Most credit cards seem great at first glance, but with a closer look at the terms and conditions that gem of a card can quickly become a stone around your neck. When looking for a new credit card company you should look at annual fees, whether there is a penalty annual percentage rate, and if it is a rewards card, if those rewards have limits or expire.
What are some things I should look out for when choosing a new credit card?
The first thing someone should look at when picking a new credit card is the interest rate. Many providers are trying to lure in new cardholders with special introductory interest offers. Most cards offer no interest for the first six months to a year. Most people like the idea of not having to pay interest so much that they do not realize how high their interest might be once the intro period is over.
Some of these cards have rates as high as around 25%.
Some companies also offer no interest on balance transfers for a special amount of time. New cardholders are encouraged to transfer the balances from their other credit cards to their new card so they can eliminate credit card debt without having to pay interest. The problem with this is that if the cardholder does not pay off the balance before the intro period is over they could end up paying more interest than they were before.
Before deciding on a new card, the cardholder should also check to see if the card has a penalty interest rate. When a card has a penalty interest rate, the cardholder’s interest rates can be raised by well over 10% if they are late by even one payment. If the cardholder is unaware of this, they could be in for a big surprise when they get their next statement.
Even the most responsible credit card users could be late with a payment so if the cardholder has had trouble making payments in the past a credit card with a penalty interest rate would be a very bad idea.
There are many great cards available that do have these hidden types of fees.
Annual fees should also be considered. There are so many credit cards available that have no annual fee that there really is no reason someone should have to pay one. If someone really wants a certain card that does have an annual fee they really should not pay more than $50 a year.
What should I consider when choosing a rewards credit card?
Rewards credit cards have become more popular in recent years because people like being able to earn bonuses for making normal purchases they would have made anyway. The most important thing to look out for with rewards cards is if there are limits to the amount of points the cardholder can earn and if the points ever expire.
Why are some exclusive credit cards not such a great deal?
One way credit card companies try to get new cardholders is by making them feel like they are being approved for an exclusive credit card. This method plays on people’s desire for status symbols. A card that seems like a great deal at first but fails on closer inspection is the Visa Black Card.
This credit card is a cash back credit card, but it only lets the cardholder earn one percent back on purchases and unlike many cards available today offers no type of initial bonus. There is no special intro rate for purchase interest rates and the base interest rate is a bit high at 14.99%. The most outrageous thing about this credit card has to be the annual fee, which is $95 a year.
There is no reason why someone should choose this credit card when there are much better cash back cards available.
The Chase Freedom card is an excellent cash-back card.
The cardholder can earn as much a 5% cash back and absolutely no annual fee. There is also no purchase interest for the first six months. If the cardholder has a good credit score, they could have the lower interest rate of 11.99%.
To apply for the Chase Freedom credit card, simply click here!