Personal Finance

A Guide to Choosing the Best Credit Card

A Guide to Choosing the Best Credit Card

It may be difficult to choose the best credit card, particularly if you're not aware with the range of features available. Online listings of the greatest credit card possibilities are simple to get, but they may not always indicate which credit card is perfect for you.
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It may be difficult to choose the best credit card, particularly if you're not aware of the range of features available. Online listings of the greatest credit card possibilities are simple to find, but they may not always indicate which card is perfect for you.

The ideal credit card for you will depend on your requirements, tastes, and financial condition; no one credit card fits everyone perfectly. Here are some actions that you can take. 

Verify Your Credit Score

Most credit card providers examine your credit when you apply since credit cards provide a revolving line of credit. Although credit scores of all kinds are not a barrier to obtaining a card, your creditworthiness will determine your selections.

For instance, those with strong or exceptional credit, typically defined as having a FICO credit score of 670 or above, are eligible for the majority of the top rewards credit cards. The same applies to credit cards that provide attractive travel benefits, sizable welcome bonuses, and initial 0% APR promos.

Experian offers a free FICO score check so you may see where you stand and what your choices could be. You may also think about trying to raise your credit score before to applying if you're close to having excellent credit.

Consider a student credit card or similar introductory credit card if you don't have any credit history. If your credit is bad, you might want to consider a secured credit card.

Read also: Creative Ways to Pay Down Credit Card Debt and Boost Savings

Determine the Features

It's important to establish your goals before you begin your search because no two credit cards are the same.

Rewards credit cards often provide a welcome bonus, typically ranging from $200 to $750 or more. To earn this bonus, cardholders must meet a specific spending requirement within the initial months of having the card. It's crucial to ensure you can meet this requirement without overspending.

Many credit cards offer rewards in the form of cash back, points, or miles. Cash back provides simplicity and flexibility, while points and miles programs can offer more value for those who strategically maximize their rewards.

Additionally, some cards feature an introductory 0% APR promotion on purchases, balance transfers, or both. This incentive allows new cardholders to pay down purchases or high-interest balances from other cards over a period of 12 to 20+ months without incurring interest charges.

Travel credit cards often come with perks that can save you money and enhance your travel experience. These may include statement credits for select travel expenses, complimentary airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and benefits like free checked bags and priority boarding with specific airlines.

Moreover, certain credit cards provide various insurance protections, such as cell phone protection, purchase and return protection, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, rental car insurance, and baggage delay coverage. These protections add significant value and peace of mind for cardholders.

It should be noted that several cards combine many of the aforementioned traits, so being clear about your preferences will help you eliminate out cards that aren't a suitable fit.

Furthermore, a lot of cards with plenty of benefits and incentives could have an annual cost. While most premium travel cards have annual fees of less than $100, others may charge several hundred dollars.

Even though you might first object to having to pay for the use of a credit card, if the card provides enough benefits and rewards to balance the annual cost, the annual fee may be worthwhile.

Consider Your Spending Habits

When choosing a credit card, your spending habits play a crucial role, particularly in terms of rewards and annual percentage rates (APRs). If you're looking at rewards credit cards, pick one that aligns with your regular spending patterns. Rewards cards can offer a flat rate on all purchases, tiered rewards with bonuses on specific categories, or rotating bonus categories. Common bonus categories include groceries, gas, dining, and travel, but some cards also offer extra rewards on streaming services, entertainment, or select retailers.

Review your expenses from the past few months to identify your top spending categories. Then, select credit cards that offer bonus rewards in those areas. If you don't have significant spending in any single category or prefer simplicity, a flat-rate rewards card might be best for you.

Additionally, consider the APRs of the credit cards you're evaluating. Ideally, paying off your balance in full each month helps you avoid interest charges. However, if carrying a balance is a possibility, prioritize cards with lower interest rates to prevent the interest charges from outweighing the rewards and perks.

When you're ready to choose a card, research and compare various options based on your spending habits and lifestyle. Unlike loans, credit cards often open your account immediately upon approval. Some issuers offer preapproval without impacting your credit score, like American Express's "Apply With Confidence" feature, but this is not universal. Therefore, apply only for cards you genuinely want to avoid unnecessary impacts on your credit score.

Related article: Budget-Friendly Restaurants for Every Family Craving

The content provided on is for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice. Please consult with a professional financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

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