There are tons of credit cards available to you. That can make it hard to choose the best option. After all, there is no one-size-fits-all credit card. Fortunately, a little research should help you get a credit card specifically designed for your lifestyle.
The first step to determining the card ideal for your lifestyle is looking for the best credit card features. When you understand your options, you will be able to ask the right questions to help you find the best fit for your goals and give you access to credit card bonus offers.
Finding the best credit card is part science and part art. No type of credit card is better than all others in any category or for everyone. By understanding what you want and asking the right questions, you will find one that best fits your credit situation and spending habits.
Some of the basic features to look out for include:
Type of Credit Card
As you probably know, not all credit cards are equal. There are many different types of credit cards out there. A credit card issuing company may issue some or all of them. However, you need to understand that one card may have multiple versions. Some of the well-known types of credit cards include:
- Standard credit cards – Have no extra perks or benefits.
- Balance transfer credit cards – Offer an introductory interest rate and a lower fee on balance transfers.
- Retail credit cards.
- Premium credit cards – Have many benefits and perks.
- Charge cards – Require users to pay their balance each month instead of minimum monthly payments.
- Secured credit cards – Require users to make a security deposit against their credit limit.
The balance on your credit is another feature to consider. That refers to the amount of money you owe at any given time, including purchases, the amount owed, fees, and finance charges. The higher the credit card balance, the lower your available credit for making purchases. A high balance will also lower your credit score and increase your credit utilization.
Almost all types of credit cards have a credit limit. That refers to the maximum balance a user can have on the credit card at any given time. Your maximum balance will include cash advances, purchases, finance charges, balance transfers, and fees.
Your credit card issuer will charge you a fee when you exceed your limit. The issuer may also raise your interest rate. Hence, this is one of the vital credit card features to look out for.
Annual Percentage Rate
The APR is the interest rate credit card issuers apply to any balance you carry past your grace period. You need to understand that different credit cards come with various APRs. Furthermore, APRs can be variable or fixed.
You need to determine the set time you have to settle your balance in full before your credit card issuer applies a finance charge. To determine your grace period, refer to your credit card agreement. The contract should also state the length of the grace period.