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Searching For The Right Credit Card

If you are one of the thousands of people who are struggling with the question of which credit card is right for them, rest assured – you are not alone. At first it can be confusing as you try to understand the benefits of Annual Percentage Rates (APR), Monthly Fees, and Rewards programs.

While there are a number of resources available to help you compare various credit card offers, it can be overwhelming. The first decision you might want to make is to decide what is most important to you: Lower Interest Rates, Cash Back or Travel Rewards, or Building a Better Credit Score.

If you tend to carry a balance over each month, you might want to choose a card with a lower interest rate. The APR (Annual Percentage Rate) is what determines how much interest you will pay for the balances you carry over each month. There are a number of credit cards that offer a 0% APR for a period of time in order to help you transfer (or consolidate) your outstanding credit card debt to a new card. However, while this may at first be a good opportunity for you to reduce the amount of interest you are paying, you need to factor in what the APR will be after the initial transfer period. You could end up paying a higher rate over time.

If you generally don’t carry a balance from month to month, a lower interest rate may not be of much value to you. In this case, you would want to compare cards with strong Cash Back or Travel Rewards programs. If you are thinking of getting a card with these types of programs, you will want to check to see which purchases would qualify for the rewards programs, and to see if they offer other perks such as Early Boarding or Free Checked Bags for Travel Rewards programs.

If you are just starting out to build (or perhaps repair) your credit history, you may want to look at Student Credit Cards or Unsecured Credit Cards. While it can be easier to be approved for these types of cards, they may come with either a Security Deposit requirement or a higher APR. If you are considering this type of card, be sure to limit the amount you place on the card and make your monthly payments promptly – after all, the purpose for this type of card is to help build your credit history and improve your credit score.

Finally, before you begin your search for a new credit card, it would be beneficial to get your Credit Score. Your Credit Score will determine what offers are available to you and what APR you will end up paying. By checking your score before you begin, you may find errors that you can have corrected or changes you can make that will improve your score and help you get better rates on your next credit card.