Which credit card is right for you?
When you’re in the market for a new credit card, it can be really confusing to know which to choose. With so many different options and features, what is going to be your best fit?
Here are some things to consider when those credit card offers hit your doorstep.
Rate Is Key
The most important consideration for most consumers is the interest rate, even if you’re planning to use your credit card only for emergencies.
Look for a credit card that offers a low fixed rate on purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances (these rates may be different, but the important thing is that they’re fixed). No matter what balance you carry, that won’t change. A variable rate credit card will change rates based on the prime rate, which can mean your rate will increase when interest rates rise. And if that emergency is one you can’t pay off right away, you’ll be happy you’ve got a low interest rate.
What about introductory rates? A card that starts with a super-low interest rate may revert to a rate over 20% after the initial introductory period. Always check the ongoing interest rate, not just introductory rate when assessing a credit card.
Fees Are Important
If you’ve seen a 0% balance transfer offer, you’ve probably calculated how much that could save you on your credit card balance. But one little nugget is often buried in the fine print. The card issuer may charge a 3% or 4% balance transfer fee, increasing the amount you owe and cutting into the savings.
Fees can hit your wallet hard, so read through the entire credit card offer to see what fees are charged on transfers, cash advances, late payments, and if you go over your limit. Look for the card the offers the lowest fees.
When you get a credit card from a card issuer you don’t already have a relationship with, you’ve got to learn a new online banking system or app, add all the information about your payment accounts, and figure out new people to talk to when you’ve questions. To make your life a little easier, start with the financial institutions you already use — you’ll find that transferring your payment manually or automatically in an online or mobile banking system you’re already familiar with and that has your account info already in there makes a huge difference.
Choosing your own financial institution can also help you if you’re trying to rebuild your credit. Here at NAFT Federal Credit Union, we know you as more than just a credit score on a piece of paper. We may be able to approve you for a card when other financial institutions won’t because we know you and what you’ve already been doing to take control of your finances. And when you show that you’re being responsible with that card, we can offer you benefits such as a higher limit because we trust you.
Ready for a new credit card? Contact us to find out more and speak with a loan officer.