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How to find the best credit card

Image courtesy of 401kcalculator.org
Image courtesy of 401kcalculator.org

Most people these days have a credit card and they can be really useful. You will find that a credit card can give you a lot of freedom as you can more easily buy things online, pay for things without checking your bank balance first and you will not have to carry cash. There are lots of different credit cards to choose from and it can be tricky, once you have decided that you would like one, knowing which to pick.

Comparing rates of interest can be the most obvious way to start. If you plan on using it and not paying back the full amount each month, then you will need to see which card will give you the best deal for this. It is also worth considering switching cards regularly if you want the best rates. It can be possible to do balance transfers and this could save a lot of money in interest and so they are well worth considering. If you can find a zero percent card things are even better. However, you will find that when they switch to charging you interest, after the zero percentage period is up, they could be very high. This means that you will need to transfer to another card or pay it off before this happens and this could be pricey, difficult or something you may just forget to do, so be careful.

However, if you plan on paying off everything that is owed each month, then the interest rate will be irrelevant.  You may be more interested in any cash back that you might be able to get or any loyalty points for using the card and things like that. These are rare to find these days though and they have a higher interest rate so they should only be used if you really know that you will be able to pay off the full balance each month. You may find some offer small amounts of cashback which they credit to your account ready to spend the following month. Some offer Airmiles, loyalty points for stores or things like that. It is worth taking a look at what is available as there may be something which will really benefit you.

It is also worth thinking about the type of card to get as some are not accepted by all retailers. Consider the credit card company as well and whether they are one that you would be happy dealing with. If you think that you may have difficulty getting approval for a credit card then your choice may be more limited. In this case it may be better to go to a place that you know, such as the bank that provides your current account and see if they will happy to give you one. There are cards designed for people who do not have such a good credit rating but these can be extremely expensive and it may not be worth getting one if you are in this situation.

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Rachel Henderson is a professional freelance writer from the UK. She writes on many subjects but specialises in personal finance. As well as contributing to various blogs and websites she has her own website tracking her own money making process http://www.turnonepoundintoonemillion.com and sells her books through http://www.bowbridgepublishing.com.

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