If you are planning to fill out credit card applications online, there are certain things you must check such as balance transfer, credit cards for bad credit, instant credit cards and so on and so forth. However, you wouldn’t end up with the wrong card if you do your research properly and check the right things before you apply for the credit card. Here are some of the things that you must tick before you go for a card.
What is the APR?
The interest rate levied by the bank on the outstanding balance on the card is termed as the Annual Percentage Rate or APR. If you fall back on payments and have an outstanding balance on your credit card, the one thing that will hurt you the most is the interest you would pay on the balance. Higher is the APR or annual percent rate on your outstanding balance more will be the interest that will accrue on the credit card debt. Therefore if you are one of the big spenders who is left with revolving debt over credit cards, make sure you check the APR and it is manageable, if not too low.
What is the brand?
Some credit card issuers are better in terms of brand value than the others. For example, American Express is known to be the preferred credit card for those customers who have an expensive lifestyle. Some card issuers are not so well known or reputed which makes them a risk especially with card companies trying to earn their revenues from hidden charges and fees. Therefore how well your credit card is recognised makes a lot of difference.
What are the rewards?
It makes sense not to run after best rewards credit cards without any forethought. Invariably you will end up spending far more than you were planning to. At the same time, it is not a bad bonus to have if a credit card has some good rewards for expenses that you were going to have anyway. A good example would be the cash back cards, where you will get back anywhere between 1 – 5% of the money spent on the credit card. So for all your necessary expenses at the grocery, departmental store and the gas station, it is quite a saving to get back a few dollars every month, deducted from your credit card bills. Similarly discounts before holiday shopping or special travel rewards are all good for savings.
What is the security?
A lot of people tend to ignore this, but card security is at a premium now. Fraud monitoring services and other mechanisms to prevent credit card fraud are important to ensure you don’t get inflated expense reports at the end of every month as that could be really annoying.
What is the credit limit?
If it is too high you would be tempted to spend a lot. If it is too low, your credit score will take a hit. Credit limit should be appropriate based on your income and expenditure patterns and you must ensure it is under your check.