For those of us who need short term loans, we sometimes turn to credit cards to finance our purchases for 30 days or more. Not only do credit cards allow us extra time to pay off our debts, they can be a great way of tracking expenses for extended time periods (this is especially handy during tax time & for those of us who own our business').
But, since there are thousands of different types of credit card offers out there – like student cards, gas cards, & business credit cards – it's sometimes a little tricky to figure out which offer is right & whether a offer is really a good deal or not.
So, what can we do? Besides taking the time to do the legwork & investigate the different credit card offers, here are 3 tips to make sure that whatever card you get really is the best deal you can get …
1. "Low APR Will Get You Far." – 0% APRs are optimal. Some credit cards offer very low introductory teaser rates in order to get you signed up as a customer & then the rates will sometimes rise. However, these can be really great deals if you find the right one. For example, a few years ago, I signed up for a 0% APR credit card, but the 0% term ran for 18 months! Granted, the interest rate eventually rose, but by then, I had long since paid off my balance. Look around for true 0% APRs, but pay close attention for how long the 0% term runs for.
2. "No Fee For Me." Next, keep an eye open for credit cards with no annual fees. Some credit card companies impose annual fees on their card holders, regardless of credit card activity … But, other credit card companies offer "no annual fee" cards & that's what you want to look for … Not having to pay a steep annual fee is a fantastic benefit- one that you definitely want to take advantage of. These cards allow you to use their services without having to pay $ 50 or $ 75 yearly. The less money you have to pay for any type of service the better, right ?! You better believe it.
3. "What's in Store? Points, Gifts, & More …" During the last 20 years, credit card companies have appeared to get into some kind of competition with each other in order to offer different bonus' in order to attract new customers. These credit card bonus' range from free gas cards, frequent flyer miles, hotel stays, gift certificates to thousands of retailers, & just about everything else uniminable. And these bonus' can be really great- though, just like the APR & no annual fee advice above, you've got to make sure you know what you are really getting & whether the terms can be changed when you are not looking. Personally, I've found that the Starwood cards from American Express have excellent rewards … mainly because the Starwood rewards are flexible enough to be changed into many different types of bonus'- everything from free hotel stays to Amazon points.
In closing, if you follow these 3 tips, you will be well on your way to getting a credit card that fits your situation just right. Good luck.