In this age of relatively easy credit, pretty much anyone can fill in an application form and get their hands on a credit card.
From store cards to high-interest credit cards marketed to people with poor credit ratings, even the least financially solvent among us are usually able to access some amount of credit.
With so much choice it can be rather difficult trying to figure out which is the most suitable credit card for you, so if you’ve decided to lay your hands on some plastic, this article should provide you with a few useful nuggets to make the job of deciding a little easier.
The first question you’ll need to ask yourself is how are you going to be using the card?
If you’re going to pay your balance in full every month then a charge card might be more appropriate, whereas if you’re going to carry balances over from month to month, you might be better off considering a credit card with a low interest rate.
A low interest rate credit card will also be a more suitable choice if you want to use it for balance transfers.
After settling on the variety of card you want, you should begin comparing different credit card lenders to find out what they offer in terms of annual percentage rate or APR, credit limits, grace periods, and so on.
Most credit card companies provide around 28 days for you to pay off your balance in full before interest and other charges are applied; this is what is referred to as the grace period. APR is simply the amount of interest applied to balances you carry over beyond the grace period.
Another quick note on APR – different credit cards and different lenders will sometimes apply different APR to purchases and balance transfers, so again, be sure to opt for a card which has an appropriate APR for your intended uses.
Credit limits can vary greatly from lender to lender and according to your credit score; most first time credit card users will be given a small credit limit initially but this can rapidly be increased by using the card regularly while always being prompt with your repayments.
You should also keep an eye on the fees applied to any instances where you exceed your credit limit; some lenders can apply some fairly hefty charges so unless you are absolutely confident you will never go over your limit, you’ll probably want to avoid any cards with ridiculously high over-limit charges.
We’re almost there, the final piece of advice is to use comparison sites to compare credit cards; this will provide you with a detailed side-by-side comparison of each lender and their cards so that you can clearly see all of the costs and benefits involved with each option.
Websites such as CardRatings.com and IndexCreditCards.com are a good place to start, and using sites like these will save you a massive amount of time and spare you the task of having to look at each lender individually.
Oliver Harding has written numerous articles on behalf for The Best Discount Codes Blog. Oliver provides useful insights for entrepreneurs, home owners and consumers. The Best Discount Codes contain the best voucher codes on the web, saving you money on the things you love the most.