When you think about getting a credit card there are so many out there, it seems almost impossible to choose. The reason there are so many cards is because there are so many different kinds of people out there, and we all use our credit cards in a different way, and for different purposes.
This is the challenge. You need to sort through all of the cards out there. Whether you are looking for a travel rewards card or one that offers both points and cash-back like the HSBC Revolution Card, once you know what you are looking for, it is easy to sort through all of the choices available.
If you travel a lot, whether for work or for pleasure, a travel rewards card may be the answer for you. These come in a few different varieties as well, and the type of travel you do may mean you should have more than one of these cards or may help you determine the right choice for you.
- Branded Cards: These cards are issued by a hotel chain, an airline, or even a rental car company. If you use the same airline most of the time, stay in the same hotels, or use the same car rental company, these can make a lot of sense, and you might want to have more than one to maximize your rewards.
- Website Cards: Sometimes sites like Expedia will contract with different card issuers to offer rewards cards for when you use their site to book. This offers you one card with rewards across the types of travel savings you want.
- General Travel Rewards: These cards offer cash back rewards for anything you spend on travel. These cards don’t limit you to a particular brand or website.
The travel card you choose will depend largely on the type of travel you do, how frequently you travel, and whether or not you use the same companies or websites all the time. If you travel, you are sure to find a card that fits your needs for paperless payment options.
Cash Back Cards
These cards are simple. Discover and Capital One both offer cashback cards that simply give you back a percentage of whatever you spend. This can vary from 2 to 4 percent of all purchases, but there are often higher rates for specific types of purchases, or items purchased from a specific vendor or location.
This type of card tends to fit a lot of lifestyles, since you can use the cash you gain anywhere at any time on the type of things you choose. Just be careful. There is often an annual fee associated with this type of card, and you want to make sure that the fee doesn’t exceed the rewards you think you will get in return. If your spending is high enough, this should not be a problem for you.
Other Rewards Cards
Some other rewards cards offer points instead of cash. Often you can redeem those points for cash, or even for specific items and discounts from various vendors and stores. For people who do a lot of shopping online, these cards can make a lot of sense.
These cards usually offer you a choice. You can redeem points in a variety of ways, and they often don’t have any annual fees or they are very low. Just. be sure the interest rate you are paying does not exceed the amount of rewards you will get a return on. Factor in the annual fee as well if there is one.
Depending on how you spend money and the purchases you make, one of these rewards cards can be a real addition to your lifestyle.
Zero Interest Cards
Many times, card issuers will entice you to using their card by offering an introductory rate of 0% on balance transfers or new purchases for a period of time, usually the first six to twelve months.
If you use these cards properly, you can save a lot of money, since this is like being able to use someone else’s money for free for a period of time. The only requirement is that you pay off the balance in a timely manner and that you know the rules of the promotion and follow them.
Still, this can be a fantastic solution if you have high interest cards or want to buy a big ticket item right away. Your monthly obligation will be lower with no interest.
Just be sure you know two things: if there is an annual fee, and how much that impacts your savings. Also, know the interest rate on the card once the promotion period is over. If it is too high, another card may better fit your lifestyle.
There are any number of credit cards out there, and it is up to you to sort through all of the offers to find the card that best fits your lifestyle and credit score. What perks and incentives do you look for when considering a credit card? Leave us a comment in the section below.