How many times a day do you receive offers through email or phone for free credit cards with money back schemes, low introductory rates and other perks of credit cards? All banks and financial institutions vie for maximum customers by pouring umpteen perks to tempt you, the customer, in one way or the other.
Remember that a credit card is just a form of borrowing money that has to be paid later. However, it is better to choose a credit card with good rates to avoid ending up paying too much interest to the banks. Make it a point to compare credit card terms and fees before opening a credit or charge card account. Once you find the credit card that has an interest rate that best fits your needs and budget, you can then open an account with that bank.
The annual percentage rate is the measure of the cost of credit the bank offers and is expressed as a yearly rate. Make sure you are aware of this rate before accepting a credit card as some credit card plans have interest rates that change when other economic indicators change. This plan is called a variable rate program. In such a case, when you first get the credit card, you may be offered 5% interest, but in case of index changes, the interest rate may go up to 8%. This means you will later have to pay more interest with the increased interest rate! So confirm if the credit card offers a variable rate program or ‘fixed rate’ program where there is no change in the annual percentage rate, even when economic indicators change.
It is beneficial for you if the credit card you have has a ‘grace period’. This is the period where you can avoid finance charges by paying your balance before due date. This is because with a free period, you will be sent your bill at least 14 days before the due date, thus giving you enough time to pay. Check if the credit card charges annual membership or participation fees or any other costs like transaction fees. It is better to choose the credit card company offering the least ‘extra costs’! This is because the more extra costs there are, the more money you have to pay the company!
When applying for a credit card, it is better to first consider if the credit limit is up to your requirements. Then only is it beneficial for you to apply for the credit card. To get the best rate for your credit card, make sure you understand all terms and condition of the card before accepting it. This is to avoid any future misunderstandings and misconceptions with the credit card company.
Of course, the main point that is taken into consideration to get the best rate for your credit card is your credit score. The better the credit score you have, the better will be the rates the credit card company offers you! This is the reason it is always advisable to have, and maintain a good credit score!