The following is a guest post
Credit cards are an important part of the financial lives of many Americans. Not only do they provide a convenience when checking out at retailers, but also great perks, such as cash back and frequent flier miles. But, with so many different cards available it is important to find the right one for you.
Before submitting an application, ask yourself the following questions to secure the best possible credit card:
What are my spending habits?
One of the most important considerations when applying for a credit card is your spending habits. For example, if you only travel once a year it probably isn’t the best idea to choose a card that offers frequent flier miles. Oftentimes, cards with great perks have high interest rates and annual fees, so unless you plan on taking advantage of the rewards you are likely going to cost yourself money.
If you want to go with a rewards card, your default option should be a cash back card that provides you with a percentage of every purchase. Of course, there are cards that offer a higher percentage back on certain purchases, so don’t forget to check out the categories. The BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 3 percent back at gas stations, so if you have a long commute every morning this could be a good card for you.
Will I carry a balance?
Your spending habits shouldn’t be your only consideration. Another major question you need to answer is whether or not you plan on carrying a balance at all. Any time you don’t pay down your debt in full, it will be charged interest, so if you aren’t going to eliminate your balance each pay period it is best to find a card with a low interest rate. This will ensure that you debt won’t accrue too much interest if you are ever unable to pay in full. In a perfect world, you will never have a balance on your card at the end of the, but we all know that isn’t always possible. Whether you run into an unexpected expense or are low on cash, you may only be able to make the minimum payment, which is why low interest rates are so beneficial.
What features are most important to me?
Unless you have a poor credit score, chances are you will be able to qualify for a credit card with some good features. However, it is rare to find one that comes with all of the best perks, so you will need to decide which are more important.
For instance, if you want a card with the lowest interest rate possible, you probably aren’t going to be able to get one that also has top-of-the-line rewards. The goal is to get a card with features you will actually use, so if you are going to complete a balance transfer, don’t sacrifice a two-year introductory period with 0 percent APR just so you can receive 1 percent cash back on purchases.