It’s important to carefully weigh all your options when researching for a new credit card—whether you’re merely looking for a new one with better perks, or you’re trying to figure out how to choose your very first card. Here are five important things to consider in selecting the best one for your lifestyle.
Know Your Credit Score
To be approved for a credit card with the most rewards, you’ll need a high credit score. If your score is around 750 or more, you’ll most likely qualify for any one you’d like. However, if you don’t know your score, it’s a good idea to request a report from one of the three credit agencies; Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. Once a year you’re eligible to receive a free credit report from each of the three bureaus.
Select A Low Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
If you tend to carry a balance on your credit card, then choose one with a low or fixed annual percentage rate (APR). This will enable you to calculate how much interest you’ll owe on the purchases you make over time. Conversely, if you pay off your balance each month, then APR won’t be an issue and you can place the value of the rewards far above it.
Choose Rewards That Support Your lifestyle
Today, the variety of rewards cards is almost limitless: from airline mileage and general travel rewards to independent store cards and of course the much-loved cash-back option. What makes the most sense for you? Choose one that supports your favorite activities, whether it’s traveling the world or receiving regular discounts on your favorite goods.
Consider Annual Fees
Many rewards cards come with an annual fee. While this may seem counterintuitive, do consider how much money or value you’ll receive in return over the course of a year. In many cases, it’s worth paying the annual membership fee in order to reap the rewards.
Look For A Card With A Grace Period
By definition, the grace period is the time between the last day of your billing cycle and the date when payment is due. If the card you choose has a grace period, then the issuer must ensure the bill is mailed or delivered at least 21 days before your payment date. The benefit is that you’ll be given ample time to make your monthly payment, which is important for keeping your credit score high.
Call a Member Specialist today at 800-422-5852 to find out how we can help you choose the right credit card for your lifestyle. Insured by NCUA.