Having a good credit card not only allows a person to avoid carrying cash, it gives them additional charging power. Most of today's credit cards provide benefits such as rewards and cash back programs, but choosing the right card can be difficult unless the applicant knows what to look for. Below are several tips on choosing the right credit card.
Choose a Card Benefit
After determining the month's largest expenditures, it's easy to determine which benefits are most important. For instance, if a person has to travel frequently for business, they may have significant expenses for gas, hotels, plane tickets and restaurants. In such cases, it may make sense to get a gas or air miles credit card.
Check the Credit Report
Before applying for a Chase sapphire credit card, a person should review their credit report. The three major credit bureaus say that it's common for these reports to contain errors, which can negatively affect interest rates and the ability to get credit. Applicants should correct errors as soon as possible, and those with already-poor credit should raise their scores before applying for additional cards.
Consider Additional Card Perks
There are many credit cards out there, and the best one is the one that gives the applicant what they need. Many cards come with extra benefits such as balance transfers, which can help immensely when combined with a period of 0% APR. These perks can help cardholders save on interest and pay down debt. Most card companies charge a portion of the balance transferred for the convenience, but some do it at no charge.
Be Wary of Hidden Fees and Other Catches
Many of today's cards have numerous fees, and some are only found in the fine print. Applicants should compare fees before signing up, and they should consider that most companies will withdraw introductory offers and put them in a high-rate category after just one late payment.
As a person searches for a credit card, they should focus on those with the best interest rates. While a low teaser rate may seem tempting, the applicant should remember that the rate is introductory—and it can come as a shock when the real interest rate kicks in.