How to Find the Right Credit Card that Fits Your Needs

Written by: Lori Gracing

There is not a one size fits all credit card. People have different things that are of importance to them when it comes to finding a card that meets their needs. Card companies understand this, so they offer a wide variety of cards. Doing this gives them a better probability of being able to fit every customer’s needs.

When applying for a credit card, it is good to only do it once every couple of years because it results in a hard inquiry on a person’s credit history. If someone does many of these within a short time frame, they can actually lower their credit score.
Before applying for a credit card, it is important for people to know what their credit score is. Of course, people who have a higher score are more likely to get approved for a credit card and have more options available to them. The three credit bureaus are Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. If someone checks their credit score and it is not what they expected, they should definitely take the time to review their full credit history to see what is causing the credit issue. Consumers should know they can dispute incorrect information on their credit reports. If all the information is correct, they should start doing all the things they can to enhance their scores. The score will not change overnight but with continuing effort, the credit score can be improved. Another deciding factor is a person’s credit history. If they have a credit history that is five years or shorter, they will have fewer options available to them. A person with a shorter credit history may also have to pay an annual fee to get a card. It is important to know that sometimes people are denied a credit card even though they may have a good credit score. There are a variety of factors that credit card companies look at when making a determination on whether to approve the person applying for the credit card.

If someone is wanting to carry or balance or not pay off their credit card’s balance every month, they should definitely pay attention to the APR that is attached to different credit cards. Even if a card does not come with any rewards but has a lower interest rate, it still may be a good idea to get the card if the interest rate is a priority. Sometimes a card will come with a zero percent APR for a period of time. These are great cards to utilize if someone is hoping to make a big purchase. This can definitely save them some money if they are looking to hold a balance on a card.

If someone is a student, student credit cards are a good option. They are generally easier to get than regular cards, so it is perfect for someone just starting with credit. Another option is a secured credit card. These cards require someone to place at least two hundred dollars down as a security deposit. Then the money is returned to them if the card is transitioned into a regular credit card or if the card is closed in good standing. A secured credit card is great for someone who has a poor or limited credit history. It is important to apply for the credit card that has the best overall value. Some student and secured card companies will increase the spending limit once a few payments have been made on time. Certain cards have this option, so it is important to inquire. Also, with secured cards, it is important to note that not all secured cards report to Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. If someone is trying to build their credit, they should definitely be sure the card they apply for reports to the credit agencies. Some secured cards actually place the secured payment amount into an interest-earning CD. This way someone could make some money from their deposit.

If the applicant has good credit and enjoys traveling, they may want to look into a card that has travel points as a rewards option. Cards that have travel rewards options have become quite popular over the years. One of the top reasons people do not travel is because they cannot see how it will fit into their budget. By having a card that gives travel rewards, they are able to plan the vacation they have been putting off for years. If someone goes with a credit card company that offers rewards, they should be sure to choose one where the reward points do not expire. There is nothing worse than saving up for something and then having the points taken away. If they do go with a company were the rewards points expire, it is important to keep up with when they expire
When choosing a card, it is important to include all income on the credit application. This can include money from a partner or parents. If someone is a student, they can include the money they will receive from grants or scholarships. Once someone has the card in their hand, it is important to be cautious with it. No one should go spending money irrationally, and they should be aware of when the payment is due. They should also not use too much of their available credit on the card.
There is a card that meets everyone’s needs. They simply have to take the time to decide what are the most important factors for them with a credit card.


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