Credit Card Study

General
What are Credit Cards
Advantages of Credit Cards
Applying for a Credit Card
Children and Credit Cards
Credit Card Terms and Fees
Credit Cards - The Right Tool for Merchants
Credit Cards as a Credit Instrument
Credit Cards Codes and Numbers
How Many Credit Cards are Enough
How to Select the Right Credit Card
Interest Rates for Credit Cards
Online Credit Card Usage
Risks of Credit Cards
Using Credit Card Overseas
Where to Use a Credit Card
Zero Rate Credit Card or Not

Major Credit Card Issuers
Wamu credit cards
American Express Credit Cards
Capital One Credit Cards
Chase Credit Cards
Citi Credit Cards
Diners Club Credit Cards
Discover Credit Cards
Mastercard Credit Cards
Visa Credit Cards

Credit Cards and Debt
Avoiding Credit Card Debt
Bad Credit and Credit Cards
Credit card debt consolidation
Credit Card After Bankruptcy
Credit Cards and Credit History
Getting Out of Credit Card Debt
Filing For Bankruptcy
If a Credit Card Issuer Sues You
The Optimal Credit Card Balance
Credit Card Debt Refinance

Credit Cards and Fraud
Avoiding Credit Card Fraud
Credit Card Fraud Protection for Merchants
Famous Credit Card Frauds
Famous Credit Card Law Suits
How Credit Card Issuers Cheat
Merchant Credit Card Fraud
Protect Your Card
What to Do in Case of Identity Theft
How Consumers Cheat

Types of Credit Cards
Business Credit Cards
Debit Cards vs. Credit Cards
Low Interest Credit Cards
Rewards Credit Cards
Secured Credit Cards
Student Credit Cards
Types of Credit Cards
Unsecured Credit Cards
Zero Credit Cards

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Disclaimer
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How to Select the Right Credit Card

Sometimes it is looks best if you don't have choice – you accept the only available offer and that's it! No sleepless nights, no chaotic thinking, no regrets that you didn't make the best choice. But actually having the choice is great and even if you don't make the absolutely perfect decision, you can feel a winner if your choice is good enough. It seems that this rule is valid for many things in life. Well, for credit cards it certainly is! So, when shopping for a credit card, don't look for the perfect one. Instead, look for a credit card that is good enough for you. This is achievable, though it can also be a bit difficult. If you know what to look for, then your task becomes much easier.

There are several important criteria to consider when shopping for a credit card. But before we start dealing with them in detail, it is important to note that choosing the right credit card is a personal decision and that borrowing ideas is not always feasible because what is good for your neighbor is not necessarily good for you. So, you will have to use your own head in order to select the best credit card for you.

Before you start looking at the abundant offers for credit cards, you need to ask yourself a couple questions, like:

  • How much money I need to borrow?

  • What is my income?

  • What is my credit score?

  • How will I pay the credit back – soon and in large installments or in smaller installments but over a prolonged period of time?

All these questions are important because they affect what you are looking for. For instance, if you need to borrow a lot of money ($10,000+) and your annual income is $200,000 you need a credit card with a higher credit limit. With income that high, unless you don't have other debts as well, you will generally be able to repay the loan quickly, so you can go even for a higher interest rate card because hopefully you will be able to repay your balance even before the end of the grace period.

But if you need $10,000 and your annual income is $35,000, then you will most certainly go for a low-interest rate card, preferably with a long grace period because if you select a higher interest rate you will have to pay quite a lot of interest. If your credit score is good or excellent, you still have many options, even when you need a lot of money and your income is not very high. However, in this case, you'd better consider another kind of credit – a loan or a mortgage because their interest rates can be times less than the interest rates of credit cards.

Your income is very important but your credit score is even more important. If you have a bad credit score, this narrows your possible choice incredibly. Also, if you don't have any credit history because you are too young, this also limits your choices and in some cases the only alternatives you have are a secured card or a student card with not-so-favorable conditions.

After the general brainstorming about how much you need, how fast you can repay it back, what cards you are eligible for etc., your choices have become limited to a more reasonable number. The next stage is to compare the choices in terms of:

  • Annual Percentage Rate (ARP).

  • Grace Period.

  • Credit Limits.

  • Late fees and other charges and penalties.

The criteria are not arranged in order of importance, though generally the interest rate is the most important one, especially if you plan to have a balance. But beware, a lower interest rate is nice but there are many other traps to watch for. Credit limits and grace period are also important and all equal, the longer they are, the better. Sometimes the fees and penalties clauses are the dominant factor because if penalties for minor errors on your side are severe, for instance the low interest rate soars after a single late payment, or the cash advances are charged at an extremely high interest rate and with no grace period but you will need cash advances frequently, this minor details become major disadvantages.

Finally, look at the rewards the card offers you. It is nice, if there are useful rewards, for instance cash backs for frequent shopping. But never forget that it is actually you – the customer – who pays for all these frills. Also, don't get lured by awards for frequent shopping because this will trick you in buying more than you need. And when looking for the right credit card, never forget that you need something that will make your life easier and not an instrument to bury you in debts!