Typically consumers and business owners receive flyers in the mail saying that they’ve been qualified for a particular card. While the deal may sound tempting, did you know that you can shop for the ideal credit card? Different types of cards could be better suited to you, depending on what your current credit needs.
A great tool to aid credit card debt with a high interest rate is through a balance transfer. However, you want to find a company that offers a 0 percent introductory rate. It should also last between six to 24 months. The low startup rates can save you a significant amount of money in interest over the amount that you currently owe.
It’s also a great way to get your current debt in control. Going from a rate of 15 percent to one of zero can reduce your interest expenses at the end of the year. While your credit may take a hit after you first apply for the credit card, it will greatly improve as you pay down your debt.
Low APR Rates
If you’re a savvy saver, you know the importance of never spending more than what you can afford. When you’re shopping around for a credit card, you want to apply the same methodology by searching for a card that suits your spending needs. It should also come with a low annual percentage rate (APR).
A lower APR allows an individual to pay off their debt rapidly, as long you refrain from adding on new charges. If you’re trying to pay off $1,000 in debt over the course of 12 months, an 18 percent APR would cost around $92 every month. This could save you quite a bit of money at the end of the year. However, before you transfer your balances, you want to ensure that the deal being offered will benefit you financially. You should also verify what the interest rate being offered on the card will be after the initial rate expires.
It’s important for you to pay your credit cards in a timely manner. In addition to obtaining a better credit score, you’ll be able to guarantee future loans and better interest rates when you want to purchase a car or home. Unfortunately, things such as forgetting to pay a bill or finding yourself short on cash can happen on occasion.
When you’re looking for a credit card, you want to read the fine print when it comes to late fees and APR penalties. Most companies offer an exemption to users who are late once and call the customer service department to explain their malady.
You may also be assessed a fee for going over your credit limit. If you do something to warrant a higher interest rate, the Federal Reserve requires the company to notify you in advance before any changes are issued. You should also find out how long the penalty is in place and if the rate will automatically go back to the previous amount after you’ve made consecutive timely payments. You may also have to contact the credit card company before they’ll issue you a change.
Fees are going to vary when you’re shopping around for credit cards. While one company may forego annual fees, others may charge you a yearly amount such as $50 to $65 depending on the type of card. You could be charged other amounts such as late payment fees, cash advance, balance transfers or other card related costs. That’s why it pays to compare the various amounts.
You may also be able to speak with a customer care representative to see if they will match the rates of their competitors. If you notice that your rate has gone up over the years, you could also ask if you qualify for a better interest rate, especially if you pay your bills on time.
In addition to being able to borrow money for purchases and services, credit card companies offer additional bonuses and reward programs if you use their credit card. From earning air miles and money off gasoline to cash back incentives and deals on restaurants, the benefits appear endless.
Unfortunately, many of the rewards can come at a cost in the way of a higher interest rate. Unless you’re able to pay the credit card off each month, you may want to think twice about credit cards with reward programs, as the value could cancel out the actual bonuses.