How to Select the Best Consumer Credit Card

By: Nick Makaryk

Are all credit cards created in an equal manner? The answer to this question is a resounding NO! That would be similar to saying a tatty van from the 1970's is the same as a 2007 luxury SUV. Credit cards also vary quite dramatically by their terms and conditions and they can both cost you money or save you money, depending on which one you choose to have.

The world of financial institutions is extremely competitive at marketing credit cards and you will discover that the terms and conditions can be quite different from one company to another. Be smart and take a close look at the small print.

Of course, we are all looking for the most amount of credit for the least cost in the long run. A credit card with a low annual percentage rate (or APR as it is also known) is always favorable. This is the amount of interest applied to your account for the privilege of renting the credit card company's money over a certain period of time.

Making at least the minimum payment every month on the required date means you will not see an increase in APR which is sometimes what happens if your payment is late. A delayed or missing payment could well boost your APR to between 18 and 22% where it will remain for a considerable amount of time.

Working on the theory that you are a good credit risk and you settle your monthly payments in a timely manner, you should look for a card which offers you that extra little something such as reward points which you can exchange for goods, meals in restaurants, tickets for movies and weekend breaks in hotels.

With a card like this you earn redeemable points as you make your day to day purchases which result in the overall deal being even better still. If you use your credit card regularly and pay in full each month, it will not take long before you have two free tickets to jet off almost anywhere in the world for a holiday.

By far the fastest way to receive a credit card is to apply on line. It only takes a matter of minutes to complete the application form and approval is almost immediate as long as your credit checks out favorably.

Although you may have to wait between seven and ten working days to receive you new credit card through the post, many companies will give you a small opening credit limit enabling you to shop straight away on line.

There are opportunities to find a better deal on line which allow you to transfer your existing balance from a high interest card to one with an introductory offer of 0% for six months or to benefit from some other form of saving. Shopping around in this way is sure to make the switch worthwhile.

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