Choosing the Right Credit Card for You

by : Danjervas

It's not difficult to look for a credit card offering a low introductory interest rate. Many credit cards lure customers through offers too good to resist. What is difficult is finding a credit card offering great rates that you can deal with in the long term. Opening and then closing an account definitely affects your credit score, so the best route is to first choose a card that matches your requirements then apply for it.

The four major credit cards in the market today are Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Every one of them has a website you can view to see their current offers. You want to get a card that charges a reasonable annual fee or one with no annual fee at all. Some annual fees charged entitle you to side benefits like a free airline ticket for a friend, as is the case with the American Express Platinum card.

Most major credit cards also throw in additional benefits like roadside assistance, zero liability on fraudulent charges, and rental car insurance coverage.

If you like to be rewarded for using the credit card, search for a reward card. If you love traveling, airline cards are the best choice. You earn mileage which you can exchange for airfare while you use the card for everyday purchases. Other reward cards allow you to select your reward, which can be gift certificates, merchandise, hotel stays or cash, to name a few.

There are also what you call specialty cards that give free credit scores, discounts on utilities like phone bills, and theme park tickets. Some specialty cards also benefit various causes and allow you to donate your rewards to a charitable institution.

The next kind of reward card is the rebate credit card. Most of these cards reward you one to five percent of the amount of qualified purchases. Some rebate credit cards offer gas rebates. To get the full rebate, these gas rebate credit cards are best used at stand alone stations rather than at wholesale club stations.

Whatever card you decide on, always read the terms and conditions in full. Interest rates and annual fees may change in an instant and increase dramatically. If you know what to expect, chances are you will be pleased with the credit card you've selected.

To keep your excellent credit score, don't max out your card. Avoid carrying a balance but pay off the entire statement balance each month. It is best that you keep two or three major credit cards like Visa and American Express for charge purchases. If you want, you may also keep a card for emergency purposes.