In today’s world, it is very essential for an individual to carry money digitally right? Credit cards are one of the most efficient digital payment systems, which makes your life easier. So, what credit cards should you get, and what are the factors to consider before choosing the right one?
For the beginners, it is recommended looking for credit cards with less interest rates and additional fees. Some other factors include the credit card issuer’s annual percentage rates(APR), annual fees, welcome bonuses, reward rates, billing cycle and the initial credit or amount needed. All these factors should be considered before getting a credit card.
In this article, I will provide you with some key information which will benefit you to choose the right credit card. The major 5 factors you should consider before applying for a credit card will be explained for your understanding. The current offers and rates from different issuers will also be provided:
5 Key Factors To Consider Before Applying For A Credit Card:
When you are making a payment with a credit card, the money is borrowed from your issuer to complete the transaction. The issuer will provide this service in exchange for some additional fees, interest rates etc.
So, before you avail the credit card service from any issuer or bank, it is essential for you to consider these key 5 factors:
1. Does The Card Have An Annual Fee?
If you are new to credit cards or just starting to build your credit score, it is recommended avoiding the companies who charge high annual fees.
There are many issuers or financial organizations that will not charge you an annual fee. There are many promotional offers from different banks or issuers like rewards, bonuses or cash back offers for an annual fee that can lure you.
Never fall for such traps as many companies provide the same services with 0% annual fees and cash back rewards as well.
2. What Is The Annual Percentage Rate(APR) Or Interest Rates?
The most common point of comparisons between the credit cards are the APR rates or interest rates. The average interest rate in the United States is 14.31 % currently. The APR or interest rates also depend on your credit score. For a good credit score you will enjoy much less interest rates.
A table is given below for your insight to know the current average APR rates against your credit score:
|Average Interest Rates||Credit Score|
If you are a beginner applying for the very first time, choose the issuer who provides the best interest rates for new clients with zero annual fees. Also look for a place where there is scope to grow and develop your credit score for less interest rates.
3. Late Payment Fees And Rates:
Credited amount is always a burden for the individual as paying off the debts can be difficult sometimes. On top of that, if the extra additional fees and rates pile up for late payment, it will increase your debts more.
It is very normal for an individual to miss any given date accidentally or on purpose. But the main factor is the extra charge you have to pay for missing out on your due date.
Always check and compare the rates for late payments with different issuers before you pick your credit card. Late payment can also result in a penalty interest rate. You have to add an additional penalty fee with your interest rate. Just look for the best deal.
4. Grace Period Time Of Your Issuer:
Traditionally a grace period is a time of 25 days and that is exactly the amount of time you have from your first billing day to the day that it’s due. But most of the credit card issuers have cut down the grace period to 3 weeks or 20 days. This will decrease your chance of making the payment in due time.
This will result in a late payment fee, which obviously you do not want to afford. Try to find an issuer who provides the grace period between 20 to 25 days.
5. Billing Cycle Of Your Issuer:
Most credit card providers or issuers use a single-cycle billing which is the best deal for you as a client. However, some issuers imply a different strategy like two-cycle billing which is very complicated and makes life difficult for the clients.
In order to charge you the interest rates, the issuer will first need to figure out and determine your daily average balance in your account. The issuer with second-cycle billing will add the amount you owe each day in the cycle and will divide the number of days in the cycle.
Your carry over balance will increase your interest rates and this is definitely something you do not want to go through.
5 Best Credit Card Companies Of This Year:
Well, here is a detailed list of the 5 best Credit Card Companies of this year:
|Issuer’ Name||Annual Fee||Bonus & Reward||APR Rates||Others|
|Citi Double Cash||0%||2% cash back on every purchase||0% for the first 18 months||Easy to use and high approval rate|
|BankAmericard||0%||None||Same as above||No Late APR Charges|
|Wells Fargo Active Cash Card||0%||2% Cashback and $200 welcome bonus||0% APR for 15 months||Upto $600 insurance money for your phone|
|US Bank Visa Platinum Cards||0%||N/A||0% APR for 20 months||Same as above|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited||0%||Upto 5% cashback and $200 welcome bonus||0% APR for upto 15 months||Travel Bonus Up to 5%|
How Can You Improve Your Credit Score?
A good credit score will give you a lot of benefits and advantages. You can improve your credit score by paying your dues and bills in the given time. Use your credit cards to make small purchases but not as frequent to increase your debts. Ask the issuer for an increased credit limit to improve your score.
It is wise to compare different rates and the factors before choosing a credit card company. I hope this article will help you to choose your credit card.
If you have any other queries or confusions related to credit cards, feel free to write to me. I’ll provide you with a formidable solution to pick the right credit card.