Choosing the most adequate credit card for your needs has never been an easy task, given the large number of options available and the difficulty understanding the exact terms and conditions of each product. In the current climate of economic uncertainty, making the right decision is more important than ever, so as to avoid getting into further financial difficulties.
To help consumers with that decision, we have listed the four main points to consider when choosing a credit card.
1- Consider your spending habits
This is a basic element to consider, as overlooking this point could result in being stuck with the wrong credit card. It is essential to have a clear idea of the amount of money that you will be charging to your credit card every month. Determining this point will prevent you from choosing a credit card that has the right level of spending limits.
2- Take into account your previous credit history
Having a less-than-perfect credit history does not mean you cannot have access to a credit card. In fact, there are cards specifically designed for consumers in these circumstances. If this is your case, choose a credit card with the lowest standard interest rate possible (although APR rates in these particular cards tend to stand at 30 – 40 per cent), or go for a “bottom-up card”, which allows you to gradually increase your credit limit.
Alternatively, consumers who already have an existing debt may benefit from 0 per cent credit card deals, which allow them to transfer balances from other cards at no extra cost.
3- Low APR rates are not always the best deal
Some consumers are attracted by cards that advertise a low standard interest rate. However, and depending on your individual situation, these cards may not be the best option. Consumers who are able to pay their balance in full every month will not benefit from low APR rates and should not choose a credit card solely on that basis. Additionally, beware of the expression “typical APR rates”, as this means that rates can be modified (and increased) depending on your particular circumstances.
4- What if you can’t pay?
Due to unexpected events, there is a possibility that you might be late paying your monthly balance or that you exceed your credit limit. Credit card providers charge a fee in these cases, so it is important to go for the provider with the lowest fees. Also, ensure that the advertised APR rate will not increase in the event of late payment.