People often use credit cards because they offer multiple offers and benefits that can save them money not only on their purchases but on fees and interest payments, too. No matter where you look, there’s a bank, credit union, or other financial institution offering credit cards to qualifying applications.
Before you apply, check your credit report to make sure your score is high enough to qualify. You can order yours for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. If you have a good or excellent score, you will have many options to choose from, many with favorable terms. If your credit could be better, you can still receive approval, but it may be more difficult, and you won’t get as good of a deal.
If you’re looking to get a credit card, these tips from Cashay can help you find the best credit card deals and get a better idea about the main features you should compare as you shop around.
How To Find The Best Credit Card Deals
Read The Fine Print
Credit card providers are legally required to list card contracts online. Take some time to read the terms and conditions of each company you are considering. Take note of interest rates, fees, how they would bill you, rewards, etc.
As you read, look for things that mention anything along these lines:
- The lender’s right to increase APR at “any time for any reason”
- Universal default, or “defaults to other creditors”
- Miscellaneous hidden charges
Check Credit Card Sites
You can find many websites that give side-by-side comparisons for different credit cards, such as
- The Federal Reserve
Use Your Connections
If you belong to a university alumni group or some other organization, you may be able to apply for a low-interest credit card through it. Additionally, you could also get extra bonus benefits as well as a higher chance of approval.
Consider Credit Unions
Credit unions are member-centric financial institutions that often have lower credit card rates than banks. You have to be a member to apply for a credit card at a credit union, but it’s a great way to find an excellent offer if you already bank with one.
How To Compare Credit Card Features
Credit cards are as diverse as the places that offer them. Depending on how you use it, you might end up spending much more than you get from it. Evaluating each cards’ features ensures you don’t fall into this situation. Here’s what to look for:
You should determine how much you need to borrow so that you know what type of credit limit you need. If you have good or excellent credit, the lender will likely extend a higher credit limit. Plus, if you pay on time and in full and don’t max out your card, you can receive even more credit over time.
If your credit is less than ideal, the lender will probably offer a lower limit. But if you consistently make payments on time, you can qualify for an increase.
Most credit card companies provide rewards programs to incentivize new customers to sign up. Typically, you earn points on every dollar you spend and redeem it for a reward such as cashback, credit statement, miles, etc.
Besides looking at the benefits, you should also consider how flexible the program is. Look for any limitations on how many rewards you can collect or when you redeem them. Some cardholders
Balance transfers are a type of debt consolidation that allows you to move the balance from one credit card to another. Not only does it streamline payments and make it easier to manage your debt, but it can also make it more affordable if you transfer to a card with low interest rates.
Many balance transfer cards offer an introductory period with zero or low interest rates but typically charge a percentage of the transferred amount for this service. You should assess if this rate offsets the money you save on interest during the introductory period before signing up for this type of credit card.
Also, keep in mind that if you don’t pay off your balance by the end of the promotion, you will be stuck with a double-digit interest rate. Continue to compare each card’s interest rates so you can afford your monthly payment.
- Fitness, Financial. “How to Find Credit Card Deals.” Cashay, Cashay, 4 Feb. 2020, www.cashay.com/how-to-find-credit-card-deals-131020876.html.
- Fitness, Financial. “How to Choose the Best Credit Card: Factors to Consider.” Cashay, Cashay, 28 Aug. 2020, www.cashay.com/how-to-choose-a-credit-card-130636309.html.