Tips for Choosing the Right Credit Card for You

A little planning and research can go a long way

With so many cards to choose from these days, we all need guidance on where to start.

A credit card can be a useful tool in your financial portfolio. They can provide rewards and cash back, as well as travel insurance and numerous other benefits depending on the card. If you have decided to use and maintain a credit card, it will take some time and thought to find the right one for your needs.

Here is a guide to make sure you get the most out of your plastic:

1.) How much can you afford to pay for the credit card bill each month? Along with the  benefits comes the responsibility of paying the bill each month with interest. It is best to sit down with your budget and get a clear picture of what you can truly afford.

2.) What is most important to you? A low interest rate, rewards or cash back? Sifting through the benefits of several credit cards will take time, from airline miles to points to cash back percentages, do a side by side comparison to decide which rewards will actually be a benefit to you.

3.) What kind of credit card user are you? This might take a little introspection here. Will you pay the balance off each month or carry a balance? If you are going to carry a balance then you definitely want a low interest credit card. If you are a heavy credit card user, then review offerings with great rewards and benefits.

4.) Decide how you will use the card. Will it only be for emergencies or will you use it to pay household expenses, airline tickets, etc. This is important as it will influence the credit limit and interest rate you prefer.

5.) Take advantage of the Internet. Sites like bankrate.com, credit.com and creditcards.com will allow you to comparison shop and make it easy to sift through hundreds of credit cards in minutes.

6.) Don’t rush into a decision. Handled properly, a credit card account is a long-term relationship. Do thorough research so that in the end the credit card you choose is the best fit for you.

Black Enterprise Columnist Jennifer Streaks is a Financial Expert, Author & Pundit. Continue the conversation by following her on twitter @jstreaks and look for more Money Tips on her website www.JenniferStreaks.com.

 

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