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Searching for a new credit card can be a daunting task. Should you get a rewards point card? Or maybe a cash back credit card? Maybe eschewing all the other benefits for a lower interest rate is your best option?
Not only do you have to decide what’s most important in terms of benefits, you also have to sort through hundreds of different cards and banks, many of them offering similar terms. With so many options available, finding the right card for you can be overwhelming. If you’re trying to narrow down you list, these four tips can help you find the right credit card for you.
1. Compare Your Options Efficiently
You have hundreds, maybe thousands, of options when choosing your next credit card. With so many options, it can be difficult to know which is the right card for you. That’s where credit card comparison websites come in.
Comparison sites let you filter cards by interest rate, rewards, cash advances and dozens of other factors. Instead of having to sort through hundreds of cards, you can quickly get down to just a handful of cards suited specifically to your needs. Websites like bankrate.com, creditcards.com, nerdwallet.com and many others all have credit card search tools to get you started.
2. Get Protected
Different credit cards offer different protection benefits. Some of the available benefits include:
- Theft protection
- Protection against non-delivery
- Extended warranties
- Price protection
- And many others
Think about how you plan to use your credit card. If you’ll be making a lot of purchases, cards with price protection and extended warranty benefits might be your best bet. If you travel, a card with travel benefits and insurance might suit you best. Make sure you read the fine print and ask questions so you know exactly what you’re getting. Doing so makes it easier to pick the card that best fits your lifestyle.
3. Don’t Let Free Stuff Blind You
Temporary benefits, like a 0% introductory APR or a free gift, can seem enticing, but don’t lose focus of the bigger picture. They aren’t the most important factors when choosing a credit card. Temporary benefits aren’t worth it if the introductory APR balloons to a high interest rate later or there are substantial fees attached to the account. Stay focused on the long-term benefits of any given card.
4. Everything Is Negotiable — Sometimes
Try to negotiate better terms whenever possible. This is especially true if you apply for a credit card through a bank you’re already a customer of. If you’re a good customer and pay on time, you might be able to negotiate better terms. You’d be surprised at how flexible some providers are. You have nothing to lose by calling customer service and asking what they can do for you.
If you’re a new customer, make sure you pay on time and use your credit wisely. After you’ve been a customer for 12 months, call a customer service representative and see if you can negotiate a lower rate. Being a customer has its rewards too.