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How to Choose the Best Credit Card for Your Needs

Almost all of us receive advertisements in the mail telling us to sign up for one credit card or another. Sometimes we are lured into opening these offers by fantastic promises. If you are seriously considering a credit card, there are a few things to think about before settling on one.

First and foremost, think about why you are getting a credit card. Are you getting one to help build your credit? Are you choosing one for emergency purchases? The reason(s) you are looking to get a credit card will be a determining factor of which one you actually choose.

So when looking at your options, take a look at the benefits offered by the credit card company. Can you receive cash back on purchases? Do they offer late payment forgiveness? Can you earn rewards to cash in on things you really want? Many credit card companies will offer benefits to entice you to sign up. Some will even offer side by side comparisons of their benefits over other cards. Think about which benefits will be most “beneficial” to you.

Something else to look at is the APR listed for the card. This is the Anual Percentage Rate which pretty much shows you how much interest can accrue from your spending. Some credit card companies will offer a low introductory rate for a year or a short period of time. Before you sign up, you need to know what the interest rate will be after this period. Think of how cable companies entice you with a special offer and suddenly raise the rates once the offer ends. Save yourself the hassle by arming yourself with this knowledge.

If this is your first credit card, or you have a low credit score, it is very likely that the APR will be pretty high. As you build credit and develop a higher score, lower interest rates will come to you! This will give you the option to possibly open a card with a lower APR so that you can transfer your balance from a card with a higher APR. Want to know a little more about how APR is calculated and what that means for you? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has an article just for you.

Last but not least, take a look at the spending limits offered on a card. The first rule of having a card is only spending what you know you can repay. The best way to keep yourself in check is by choosing a card with a spending limit that is right for you.

When you really look deeper into your financial needs, choosing the right card isn’t as hard. Good luck, and happy hunting!

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