Credit cards have become a major part of the world economy, allowing for paperless transactions and reducing the need for cheque ledgers and intensive monthly chequebook balance. With all of the options available for credit cards, however, it can be difficult to decide on which card best fits your personal needs. Below you'll find a little bit of information that will hopefully help you find the right card to fit your personal and financial needs without fees or features that you do not need.
Determining what you're looking for
The first thing that you need to do when looking for a new credit card is determine exactly what it is that you're looking for in a credit card. If you're looking for a simple card to help cover petrol expenses, then your needs in a card will be much different than in you're looking for a card with a good incentive program that you're planning on using for major purchases. Take the time to write a few notes about what you're wanting to use your card for, and what features you'd like the card to have.
How much credit do you need?
Once you've determined what you're looking for in the way of features and uses, you need to figure out exactly how much of a credit limit you want on your card. If you're only planning on using your card for minor purchases, you might want to find a card with a lower credit limit. If you want a card for larger purchases, then you'll probably need to find a card with a higher limit. Just remember that you'll have to pay back whatever you charge to the card with interest, so make sure that you do not get more credit than you can afford.
When considering credit card incentive programs, you should take a moment to consider how useful the incentive will actually be to you. Airline miles are wonderful, but they do not do you much good if you never fly. The same goes for discounts at certain stores or from certain manufacturers … if you rarely shop there or do not buy the products that the manufacturer sells, then the discount is wasted. If you're getting a card with an incentive program, make sure that you get one that you'll get good use out of.
Compare card offers
Before deciding on a particular credit card, you should take a little time to compare offers from different credit card companies and see what interest rates and terms are available. Check the different cards for any additional setup fees or annual fees that they may charge, avoiding any unnecessary costs if possible. Take the time to check online for other cards that you might not have seen before, seeing if there are any features offered by these cards that you might not have thought of previously. Use this comparison process to help you find the right card for your needs by consulting the list of what you're looking for and comparing it to the various card offers.
Choosing your card
Once you've sorted through various credit cards, it's time to make your decision and submit your application. In most cases, you should be able to apply for the card online … this can save you time by instantly transmitting your information, and you can often get an answer on your application within a minute or two from an online application.