Ask five different people to name which credit card is the best available and you’ll probably get five different answers. The best credit card often depends on what you’re looking for or need in a credit card company. There’s a lot to consider when applying for a new credit card account, and with so many types of cards on the market, finding the best card requires patience and research.
Here are a few questions to help narrow down your search for the best credit card.
Do you have a good credit score?
Your credit history directly affects the type of credit card that you’re able to get. It’s no surprise that people with a long credit history and an excellent credit score have more credit card options. They can apply with just about any bank or financial institution and get approved. But if you have no credit history or a low credit score, a secured credit card might be the best credit card for you. You can get a low-rate credit card and use the card to rebuild or establish your credit history. Make timely payments for several months and the bank that issues your secured credit card may refund your deposit and switch your account to an unsecured credit card.
Do you have existing credit card debt?
If you’re already carrying a balance on your current credit cards, you can apply for a balance transfer credit card and consolidate your balances at a lower interest rate. You’ll pay less interest each month, and with 0% introductory rates, you can eliminate the credit card balance faster. Some credit card companies limit introductory rates to balance transfers only, in which you’ll pay a higher interest rate on purchases. When selecting a balance transfer credit card, research and pick a card with the lowest balance transfer fee. The fee to transfer a balance is around 5% of the balance, but many cards offer fees as low as 3%.
Are you looking for a credit card with perks?
If you’re a frequent traveler or a frequent credit card user, you might find which credit card is the best depends on how many points you earn on every dollar spent. Credit cards, such as the Capital One VentureOne and the Citi Thank You card lets you earn points on everyday purchases like groceries, gas and meals. You can redeem these points for cash, merchandise, hotel stays and airline tickets. Rewards credit cards vary, with some charging an annual fee. You may also deal with blackout dates on travel and reward points with expiration dates. Research different rewards credit cards and compare program requirements before submitting an application.
How often do you use credit cards?
If you’re not a big credit card spender and you only pull out the card for emergencies or as a last resort, then you probably don’t need a card with a lot of perks or rewards. You may decide which credit card is the best is a basic, no rewards credit card, such as the Slate by Chase or Citi’s Simplicity credit card. Annual fees are less common with basic credit cards and some cards offer low interest rates.