So you’ve decided on a credit card – you’ve done your homework, checked to see if the rewards points were ones you’d actually use and have decided this particular offer is exactly what you need. And then, your best friend tells you about an amazing credit card that allowed her to transfer her balances with 0% APR along with a host of other perks. It then occurs to you that this particular card might be worth your consideration too. How do you decide? We’ve put together a few tips that will help you determine the best credit card, even when it seems they’re evenly matched.
Check That APR
Everyone appreciates 0% APR – even when it’s only for a short period of time. Your goal is to first, be sure you know when the intro APR expires and then what it will be afterwards. The Chase Slate Vertical Card with Blueprint has an impressive offer. It’s intro APR is good for up to 15 months, which is definitely worth a second look. The Discover More Card also has a 0% APR for up to fifteen months, and unlike the Slate card, the intro period allows for balance transfers.
And the Fees
When you’re considering two card offers, don’t underestimate the fee structure. Annual fees can run as high as $500 a year. A no annual fee credit card just might be the deciding factor. Both the Discover More credit card as well as the Chase Slate Vertical have zero annual fees. As you can see, both cards offer comparable benefits in terms of the annual fees.
The Credit History
This is sometimes where those seemingly matching offers will begin to part ways. Many credit cards require excellent credit scores and histories. Just as many, however, approve applicants with good credit. It’s important you know a general idea of what any particular offer constitutes, otherwise, you risk a denial of credit and that shows up on your credit report. While it won’t affect your scores for any lengthy period, it can still drop those scores in the short term. If you’re unsure, check the terms and conditions of any offer or call the carrier’s 800 number for clarification. Using our same two examples, the Discover More card requires an excellent credit score while the Chase Slate stipulates a good credit score for its applicants.
This is another consideration that often differentiates credit card offers. Many offers are inviting for their travel rewards while another credit card might offer cash back bonuses. This is important because if you don’t travel often, a miles reward card isn’t going to serve you as well as a cash back rewards program. Keep in mind too that despite the fact we hear so much about various rewards, there are credit card offers that have no reward programs at all. The Chase Slate Vertical is one of those cards while the Discover More offers cash as its reward unit. In fact, it offers 5% cash back on travel, home improvement and restaurants and for every other purchase, card holders receive 1% cash back.
If you don’t use your credit card often, it might be a rewards program is something you’re willing to sacrifice for a lower APR. Only you can decide what works best for your lifestyle.
If you’re looking for a versatile card that allows you to create your own card design or maybe the idea of contributing to a charity is something that appeals to you, there are credit cards that meet those specifics. Pay attention to credit card benefits such as auto rental insurance, travel accident insurance and of course, the ever-important fraud and security protection services – any of these can save money. Finally, you’ll want to carefully check to be sure you understand how your average daily balance in computed and how it relates to your finance charges. In a less than stellar economy, every penny counts. To not do so is only shortchanging yourself and your financial goals.
The fact is, there are countless credit card offers with as many perks and benefits designed to draw new customers. You’ll discover you’re much more satisfied with a credit card that more than meets your needs without causing you to lose sleep at night.
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