Different credit cards offer different benefit and charge different fees. Evaluating all the options can help you find the credit card that best meets your spending needs and habits, as well as your credit profile.
Each new application for credit results in a hard inquiry on your credit report. This can trim a few points off your credit score, so it’s not something you want to do many times. Here are things to bear in mind before applying for a credit card.
The first step to decide what card is right for you is to start by evaluating the features and benefits. Ask yourself what you expect from a card. If it's rewards you are interested in, for example, you'll need to decide first what kind of rewards you want to earn. This could be, cash back, miles, or travel points. Discounts at different strores may be another thing to consider.
The next thing to bear in mind is to compare the interest rates you'll pay for purchases, balance transfers, or cash advances. If a card offers a 0% introductory promotional rate on purchases or balance transfers, be sure to ask how long the promotional period lasts and what the regular interest rate will be after it has ended.
Another thing to take into account are the fees. The most important fees to consider include the annual fee (if any) the balance transfer fee if you're planning to transfer a balance, and the foreign transaction fee, if you want to use your card overseas.
Once you have decided the type of card you're looking for, your credit history will be essential to know how likely you are to qualify for it. Even though credit card companies usually don't specify a minimum credit score needed to qualify, they may indicate which cards are designed for fair credit, good credit, or excellent credit. Being aware of your credit score, can be a guide for choosing a card.
Carefully evaluating all these things before applying for a credit card can help you choose the right one. So take your time and analyze all your options thoroughly.