The amount of choice out there, particularly when it comes to credit cards, is astounding.
There are plenty to pick from, and what’s more, not all might be right for your particular situation.
Therein lies the rub—how do find the best credit cards for you?
You’ll need to take a few factors into consideration, and do plenty of comparing amongst your options to see what meets your criteria and what doesn’t.
By setting out your parameters beforehand you’ll be able to get a better idea of what you’re looking for and be able to correct any potential issues that are hindering you from getting the best card.
First Things First: Your Credit Score
Before you can apply for any kind of card or even begin contemplating what cards will work for your situation, you’ll need to know your credit score. The reasoning here is simple. The better your credit score, the larger the variety of cards you’ll have access to. Having access to a greater number of potential cards means there’s also a greater chance you can secure the best ones with the best perks.
Checking your score is an easy enough process. There are plenty of avenues available to you to find out what your score is for free, then use that information to determine your next steps. If your credit is good, then you’re ready to start narrowing down your cards. If it isn’t as high as you might have liked, though, you might need to get to the bottom of that mystery first. Perhaps you’ll have to reign in your spending or cut your total balances to bump up your score. There’s also the possibility that the credit card you’re looking for can help out.
You’ll Need To Identify Your Goals
Different credit cards come with different perks that have an effect on their main purpose. Some credit cards, for instance, are good for helping you build your credit. Others, have perks like cash back or travel miles. Others still might be good for those who need a low interest rate or want to perform a balance transfer from another card. Identifying what use you’ll have for a card in advance is key to determining which one will be the best for you.
For example’s sake, if you want to save money on interest, you might want to look at a card with an introductory APR close to zero percent, or try using a balance transfer offer to help eliminate high-interest debt in a shorter amount of time. Going back to our first point, though, these sorts of cards might be harder to obtain unless your credit is good, so the better you can maintain it the more you’ll have in terms of choice.
Next You’ll Need Details
Once you’ve decided on the type of card you’ll want to go after, you’ll have to narrow down the options within that category, which means you’ll need to start doing some comparisons and asking some questions. If you’re looking for a card that will help you improve your credit, find out upfront if they report your payment history to the credit bureaus. If they do, you’ll want to keep the card as a possible choice, if not, you’ll need to strike it from your list of potential choices.
There are variables like this that will factor into any kind of card you want to secure, so you’ll need to do your fair share of comparisons before arriving at a more manageable list of options. Online, there are some tools, like questionnaires, that can help you figure out what features you’ll need out of a particular card and will help you prune your list of choices.
Now, It’s Time For A Choice
It’s the moment of truth. You’ve narrowed down your options and you’ll need to decide which card is the best for you. This might not be an easy task, though, especially now that you’ve got a bunch of similar selections on your plate. How do you make a choice when the options might be so close to one another?
Keep your goals in mind and choose the card that aligns best with them. If you want a card that will give you lots of rewards for using them, for instance, you’ll want to go with the one that gives you the greatest perks for spending the least amount, and won’t put an expiry date on when you can use your rewards.
With that, you should be well on your way to selecting a credit card that works for you. Remember, no two cards are exactly the same, so you’ve got to keep your personal situation in mind to find the one that’s best for you.