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Find a Credit Card

If you are just starting out and need a new card, or need a card with a lower rate and better terms or need a card for balance transfers then we have listed some points on how to select a credit card and use a credit card wisely.

New laws have been passed to help protect you from outrageous credit card fees and tricks. But you still have to be diligent in your use of credit cards. 


       1) How To Find Which Credit Card is Best for You

 

*When choosing a credit card, first determine how you plan to use the card, or what you need the card for.

Will it be used for emergencies, to make monthly automated payments, travel expenses, balance transfers to get a lower rate, or just to help build or repair your credit score?

Do you need a business credit card or  will this be for personal expenses?  Is this your first credit card?

What kind of monthly payments fit into your budget?

If your goal is to rebuild credit then you may need to get a secured credit card. Secured cards require a security deposit. The larger the deposit, the higher your credit limit will be.

Other suggestion from federalreserve.gov:

  • If you are not interested in extra features like frequent flyer miles but you plan to pay your bill in full each month, then you may want to consider a card with no annual fee and a longer grace period


  • If you sometimes carry a balance from month to month then select a credit card with a lower APR (annual percentage rate or interest rate)


  • If you plan on using cash advance features then get a card with a low APR and lower rate on cash advances

 









2)  Read the Fine Print when selecting a card.

Choosing wisely can save you aggravation later on. Read the fine print, check the billing cycle, look at annual fees, some compound interest rate daily and some monthly:

APR (annual percentage rate) – the interest you’ll be charge for carrying a balance, expressed in annual terms although most card issuers calculate compounded interest daily of monthly. One card can carry different interest rates. For example the rate for cash advances may be different than the stated APR, some issuers also have an “introductory” offer which will change after a certain amount of time.

Fixed vs. Variable rate  With fixed rates your APR seldom changes, or changes infrequently (unless you become a credit risk by not paying your bill on time). The credit card company must tell you ahead of time if they want to change the fixed rate.  With variable rates, your rate can change from 1 month to the next.  Variable rates are usually based on the prime rate or Treasury bill (T-bill) rate.

Grace Period. Grace period is the time you have to pay your bill after the statement day before you get charged extra fees. It’s usually a certain number of days. It usually only applies to new purchases. Look on the credit card application for information about the “method of computing the balance for purchases” to see if new purchases are included or excluded.

Finance Charges  How are finance charges determined? Card issuers use different methods to calculated the finance charges.

Minimum Finance Charge Some credit card companies have a minimum charge so you'll get charge a monthly fee even if you don't purchase anything or have a zero balance.

Credit limit  Find the maximum amount you can charge with the card.

Other Fees  Other fees may include:

  • Annual fees - If there is an annual fee it may be billed monthly.
  • Cash advance fees.
  • Balance transfer fees.
  • Over the limit fees may be charged when you exceed your credit limit.
  • Credit limit increase fees.
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    3) Control credit card debt & keep or build a health credit score

    There are times in life were "things" happen. An emergency or unexpected large expense for example. But for normal every day life use the card wisely by following a few simple steps:

    Pay off the balance every month, use cash advances sparingly, if at all.

    Make payments on time.

    Don't spend more than you can afford to pay at month end

    Avoid using too many credit cards.

    Don’t max out the card available balance. This will negatively affect your credit score

     

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