When applying for a new credit card, choose a credit card that best fits your spending style. Your spending style may differ from your friends. For this reason, don’t select a credit card based solely on recommendations from others. True, other credit card users are likely familiar with different products and they can offer insight. But to benefit the most from your plastic, you’ve got to identify your needs and choose the best credit card accordingly.
Business or Frequent Travelers
Whether you plan frequent trips and getaways or you’re a corporate traveler, a credit card with travel rewards is a great option if you constantly book airfare, hotels and car rentals. The majority of travel credit cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Blue Sky from American Express offer points on each dollar that you spend and these points are redeemable for airline miles, hotels, cruises and car rentals.
What’s more, many travel cards feature bonus points if you spend a certain dollar amount within the first few months of owning the card. But don’t think that you can only use these credit cards for travel-related purchases. You can use these credit cards anywhere — restaurants, grocery stores, movies or gas stations. The more you swipe the card, the more travel points you earn.
High Interest Rate and High Debt
If you owe huge balances on your credit cards and you can’t seem to remedy these balances due to a high interest rate, perhaps now’s the time to look into balance transfer credit cards. Balance transfer credit cards are a popular choice among people with high balances because they typically feature 0% interest or a very low interest rate during the introductory period — between six and 12 months.
Paying zero interest for an extended period can jump start your debt elimination plan because every cent paid to the credit card company is applied to your outstanding balance. Even if you don’t pay off the balance completely by the end of the six or 12-month period, can can significantly reduce your balance.
No Credit History or Poor Credit
Apply for a credit card with no credit history or a low credit score and there is a good chance that the bank will deny your request. This is almost always the outcome if you apply for an unsecured credit card. But if you need credit to improve your credit score, a secured credit card is the best credit card. You don’t need good credit for these cards. In fact, you don’t need a credit score or history. You can apply with your bank, and once you pay the deposit and the annual fee, you can obtain a credit card in your own name.
The bank that issues this card will report your payment history to the bureaus each month. And as long as you pay on time and keep your balance within a reasonable range — no more than 30% of your credit limit — you’ll improve your credit score. Compare secured credit cards before applying. Fees vary by bank, and oftentimes, you can find lower fees by shopping online.
There is no single best credit card just like there is no single best movie. The best card for you may not be the best card for your husband. Think about why you’re looking for a credit card and consider the possibilities from there.