Ten Credit Card Comparison Hints, Tips & Tricks
With so many credit card companies offering a large range of different credit cards to consumers, it is vital that you shop around before you sign any credit card contract. Shopping around and comparing the costs, features, benefits and rewards of different cards will not only make sure that you are getting the best deal, but it will also ensure that you get the right card for your situation.
The first step to hunting down the best credit card is to determine what your specific situation is and what you will be using the card for. For example, will you be using the card to pay off a previous credit card debt? Will you looking to earn airline miles or reward points? Are you just looking for a low rate card for emergencies? These requirements will determine which card will be the best option. So if you want a card for emergencies only, then it probably won't make sense to sign up for one with a ton of rewards.
If you want a rewards card then you should compare several different rewards cards to determine how you earn the points (spending amounts or spending on specific products), exactly what the points are worth (in dollars or rewards), how and when you can redeem your points (specific items and specific times) and if and when your points expire. You should also compare the card's annual fees, penalties and interest rates in order to calculate whether or not it is worth it to earn the rewards.
2. Balance Transfers
If you are looking for a balance transfer card you should compare the interest rates of the balance transfer, how long you have to pay back the balance, what the annual fee will be and what exactly does the balance transfer rate apply to (it may only apply to new purchases). This will help you to determine if switching your debt to this card is worth it.
3. No Annual Fees
Looking for a card with no annual fee? Then you should compare card's to see which offers the longest fee free period, the lowest interest rates, interest free days and other ways that the credit card company will earn money from you. Sometimes a no annual fee card costs more in other areas.
4. Low Interest Rates
If you are searching for a card with a low interest rate you should make sure it will end up saving you money by comparing the annual fees, the amount of time you are offer the low rates, hidden fees, rewards benefits and all of the other card features. Find a card that offers the longest period of low interest.
5. Gold And Platinum Cards
These cards offer great rewards and benefits, but they often have higher interest rate and you have to send a certain amount of money to earn the rewards. Be sure to compare how much you will have to spend each year in order to make these cards worth it.
6. The Best Credit Cards
These are determined by an independent organisation or group. They offer he best overall cards based on criteria like low interest rates.
7. Debit Cards
To compare debit cards you should look at accessibility, ATM fees and usage and penalties for overdrawing the account.
If a credit card offers you cash back features you should compare the differences between cash back and money back and what exactly you will be earning in exchange for using the card.
If you may be using your credit card for traveling then you will want to compare currency exchange fees and rates as well as interest rates on foreign currency.
10. Affinity Cards
These cards rewards you with savings or deals when you shop at your favourite stores or merchants. You should compare how much you will be rewarded and if the card charges an inactivity fee.
So now you are armed with 10 tips and tricks to help you make a wise choice on your credit card. Remember to always way up the pros and cons of all your options before rushing into any decision.
This guide was written by the team at the Australian credit card comparison website CreditCardFinder.com.au. Visit their website today for a comprehensive guide on how to compare credit cards.