There are a huge number of different credit cards and credit card companies out there clambering for your business. Many have special introductory offers that can look very tempting, but before you choose a credit card you should do a little research and shopping around to find a credit card that best suits your specific needs.
Before you start looking around at the cards available you should ask yourself a few questions.
- Why do you need a card?
- Are you going to pay off the card in full every month?
- How much can you afford to repay each month?
- How much will you want to charge to your card at any given time?
- Do you want a card that offers incentives like free airmiles, or cash back?
- Do you want to transfer an existing credit card balance to your new account?
- Is there a special offer or specific deal that you’re interested in?
If you can answer some or all of these questions, then you will have a better idea of the type of card you’re looking for and will be able to compare cards that match your criteria rather than wade through information on cards that are irrelevant to your needs.
Different cards offer different advantages and disadvantages. For example if you want to pay off your balance every month then the actual rate of interest you pay won’t be the major factor. Of more concern would be the length of the interest free period. This is the time allowed before interest is charged on your purchases. Many cards come with 56 days interest free credit, but others will charge interest from the day your purchase is made, so make sure you choose one with a decent interest free period if you intend to pay your credit card off each month.
If you are looking to transfer an existing balance, then look for a deal offering 0%. These deals often have time limit over a certain period, or until the balance is paid off in full so check the terms and conditions carefully to see if it’s what you want. You may also be charged a fee for transferring your balance so make sure you know what that is going to be. You should also be aware that the 0% on offer on many of these deals applies only to the balance being transferred and not to any new spending on the card. So check what rate of interest you will be charged on any new purchases.
If you choose a card with a low minimum monthly repayment just be aware that it could take you an awful long time to pay off your balance and that would cost you more in interest payments.
Always check the terms and conditions for any penalty charges that may apply. A missed or late payment could cost you between £20-£25.
Some cards offer loyalty points and other incentives like store discounts while others don’t, so if this interests you then look for a suitable card.
If you know exactly what you want from a credit card then it will be easier to find one that’s right for you. No matter what is you want there will be a credit card out there somewhere that will fit your needs perfectly.