Tips for comparing credit cards
Friday, 6 September 2019
Do you know if your credit card is compatible to your lifestyle?
Are you traveling more or spending less than when you first got your card?
If so, maybe it's time to evaluate the cards in your wallet to determine if they match your spending habits and needs. Finding the right credit card can not only save money, it can also earn some valuable rewards. To figure out if you have the right card, answer these questions:
Do you carry a balance from month to month?
If you don't carry a balance, then the biggest factor affecting your credit card decisions will be the additional benefits attached to a card, like miles or reward points. If you usually carry a balance, you'll want to compare cards based on their interest rates as well.
Do you use your personal credit card for business?
Even smart business owners get caught in the trap of using their personal credit card for business expenses. It may pay off to check with your bank for options to help separate your personal and business finances.
Business credit cards can offer flexible payment terms for larger purchases, and your business may even be able to get the interest deducted from your taxes. Your banker and tax advisor can offer helpful tips on the best card for your business wallet.
Do you want to transfer a balance from another card?
A new credit card might be a sound financial decision if you're looking to consolidate and pay off high-interest debt.
There are informative credit card comparison tools online to help you evaluate cards that offer balance transfers. But use caution when transferring balances, as it's tempting to use that newly available zero balance to spend, spend, spend—defeating the purpose of a money-saving balance transfer.
Keep in mind that comparison sites don't list every credit card available, and sometimes will only list cards from companies who pay to be included. It's worth your time to check out a few different sites.
Are you planning on a big purchase?
This is a great time to call your current credit card companies and see if they have any promotions. Let them know you're looking to make a big purchase and you'd like to use their card, and ask if they have interest rate promotions that you can use.
It never hurts to ask—especially if you have a solid payment history with them. A big purchase may also be a good time to explore a new card with a promotional APR. Check with your bank for these offers as well.
Does your credit card have an annual fee?
If you have an annual fee, consider asking your credit card company if the annual fee is something that can be waived. Typically, you'll need to establish a history of payment and good spending habits with your accounts. You may find that your issuer may be able to move you to a fee-free version of their card, possibly preventing extra fees and any impact on your credit report. It's always worth a call.
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