There are dozens of credits cards in the market, but which one is right for you and your spending habits?
First and foremost, identify your needs and spending habits. Do you have a lot of expenses? Are these expenses being paid on a credit card? Could you cut down your spending on unnecessary items? Or are you looking to improve your credit rating? Keep in mind that any balance you carry is debt, not credit.
Three Things to Consider
When deciding on the right credit card, there are three things you should consider:
- What is the interest rate?
- Is there an annual fee?
- Do they report to the credit bureaus?
Most credit cards will have high interest rates that should deter consumers from paying just the minimum amount on their credit card. The high interest would then be charged to the remaining balance, which could lead to credit card debt being accumulated. Finding a credit card with a low interest rate is ideal but the best practice is to always pay the full statement balance every month.
Some credit cards offer no annual fees, however some that do have annual fees offer perks that could outweigh the fee itself. Be very careful to compare and weigh your pros and cons when choosing these credit cards. For example, if you travel often, a travel credit card where you earn points may be beneficial to you. Be mindful and read the fine print because the benefits may not always be as good as they seem.
Using your credit card to reestablish your credit score may be a wise thing to do. Some creditors offer ‘Secured Credit Cards’ which reports to the credit bureau to increase your credit score for purchases like a home.
Ideally, having one credit card for all your purchases is the best way to go. Many people are tempted by signing up for several credit cards because of their promotions and rebates. It is important to read any disclaimers and print before committing to a credit card. In addition, having more than one credit card may make it tempting to pay one credit card off with the other. This is something you want to avoid.
It is important to do your research and compare different credit cards to find the best option for your lifestyle. Some companies may offer lower interest rates but will eventually raise them after a certain period. Whatever the case may be, creating a budget that includes your credit card spending will ensure you stay on track of your financial goals.
The best practice for using credit cards is to find one that meets your needs and spending habits; ensuring the balance due is paid off every month rather than paying the minimum amount; and being mindful of not giving yourself too high of a credit limit that could tempt spending more than your means.