With the holiday's coming up quickly, and so many changes in the credit card industry, it is essential to make sure that you are finding and using the best credit card possible. Recent financial reform in Washington has caused a lot of credit cards to change their perks, and so many people who thought they had the best cards several years ago, may be finding their program terms changing or being eliminated all together.
Now is the time to really assess to see if you have the best card. There are many tools out there to help you find the best card. For example, there is Nerd Wallet, which compares many different types of cards, and there is CompareTheMarket, which is an interest free credit card comparison site.
Here are some common comparisons you should check out:
The annual percentage rate is the amount of interest you will pay each year on your outstanding balance. There is usually a different rate for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances. Many cards offer introductory rates as well. Some things to look for:
- Low APR on Purchases, and sometimes 0% for a certain time, such as 12 months
- You can usually find 0% APR on balance transfers for at least 12 months
Many rewards programs have changed over time. It used to be common that you could get 2% cash back, and now that is pretty rare. You will be lucky to find cash rewards over 1% now, and many of those cards charge outrageous annual fees. There are also rewards cards for airline miles, other travel, and of course, points.
Check out my post on How To Maximize Your Credit Card Rewards for more information.
A lot of cards, in recent years, have increased their fees. There are annual fees, balance transfer fees, over the limit fees, etc. Some you can avoid by being a responsible borrower, but others you can only avoid by avoiding the card.
Watch out for annual fees – you can still find great rewards cards that don't have annual fees. Also, 0% balance transfers may have hidden fees, so make sure that you read the fine print.
Readers, what card do you have, and where did you find it?