If you’re in the market for a credit card – be it your first or not – the complexity of picking one can be overwhelming and pretty confusing. There are tons of different features and benefits in play such as Purchases APR, Balance Transfer APR, annual fee, cashback, etc.
Let’s outline a few basic rules to make the process easier and less stressful for you.
1. Lower APR is always better.
Don’t be fooled by the APR “ranges” that are listed on credit card offers. Always find out exactly what your APR would be before committing to a card. Ideally, you want a Purchase APR lower than 13%.
2. Avoid annual fees like the plague.
In 2010, if you find a card that has an annual fee on it, just toss it out. Seriously. There are so many credit card companies gunning for customers that there is no reason why you should have to pay THEM an extra fee on top of the interest that already will be capitalizing on your purchases.
3. Don’t get blinded by introductory offers.
0% APR for 6 months! 0% APR for 12 months! We’ve all seen those advertisements and tend to find them pretty tempting at first glance. However, you need to keep in mind that those offers usually exist to conceal something that will make them way more money in the long run – a high interest rate. It’s OK to accept this kind of promotion, just keep an eye on the APR after the promotion period ends.
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