Which Credit Card Is Best for You?
Have you ever personally cut up a credit card? That is a really great feeling — seeing all the little pieces float down into the trash can is a freeing experience. Credit cards carry with them the opportunity to spend way more money than we have, and because they give many consumers huge buying power, they can be very dangerous to a person’s finances. Still, credit cards have many benefits, and are especially helpful in emergencies. While there is no specific number when it comes to how many credit cards you should own, if you use them correctly (meaning, don’t spend more money than you can easily pay back except in an emergency), they can be a potential lifesaver in emergency situations, as well as a great way to improve your credit.
So, which card is the right one for you? That depends on what exactly you want in a card, and perhaps on your interests. Since there are so many credit cards out there, it really can be an exhaustive list for every person. However, the list below should help you get started in your search.
1. If You Want to Transfer a Large Balance to a Different Card
If you are hoping to consolidate various credit cards onto one single card in order to reduce your debt, you will want to look into cards that make this easy and affordable. One of the first cards you should consider is the Discover it card. It has a 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (and 6 months for purchases), after which the variable purchase APR applies (currently 10.99-22.99 percent.) The fee for balance transfers is 3 percent.
The card also offers cash back on purchases, and has no annual fee. You could also consider the Citi Simplicity card, which also offers a 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers (and also purchases) for 18 months (after which the variable APR is 12.99-21.99 percent). The balance transfer fee for Citi Simplicity is whichever is greater between $5 or 3 percent of the amount of each transfer. If you don’t feel that either of these cards is right for you, you also might consider BankAmericard, Visa Card, or Slate from Chase.
1. If You Need a Business Card
Business credit cards have become very popular — and for good reason. It is convenient, and many offer excellent benefits that reward the owner for spending money. Chase offers multiple business cards including the Ink Cash Business Card and the Ink Bold Business Charge Card. The Ink Cash Business Card offers $200 bonus back after you spend $3,000 in the first three months; 5 percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services; as well as 2 percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually at gas stations and restaurants.
By using the Ink Bold Business Charge Card, consumers can earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first three months, as well as 5,000 points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services. Capital One, American Express, and several other companies also offer effective business cards.
3. If You Want a Card With a Low Interest Rate
Both the Discover it card and Citi Simplicity card mentioned before fit into this category, but so do several other cards. The Barclaycard Ring MasterCard has no annual fee and a super-low 8 percent variable on-going APR on purchases and bank transfers. The Citi Diamond Preferred Card has no annual fee, offers a great introductory period, which is ideal for buyers hoping for a long introductory offer, and has many additional perks as well. You can see reviews of several other low-interest rate credit cards here.
4. If You Travel Often
If you take a lot of trips abroad, consider the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card. This card boasts redeemable miles for airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals (with no limit or expiration); 0 percent intro APR on purchases until February 2015, no foreign travel fees, no intro APR on purchases until February 15, 2015; and also offers a bonus of 20,000 miles if you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.
The Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard is another great choice. You can earn 40,000 bonus miles if you make $1,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days after you open the account; the card has no foreign transaction fees, and you can also get 10 percent of miles back when you redeem for travel. The card also comes with many complimentary perks, including FICO Scores. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is another good choice, as is the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World Mastercard.
5. If You Want a Card That Maximizes Your Grocery, Dining, and Entertainment Purchases
Citi ThankYou Preferred Card is a great card if you are hoping to earn rewards for regular purchases. This card offers two times the points for dining and entertainment, as well as 1 ThankYouPoint for other purchases. The points never expire, and the ThankYou points can be redeemed for merchandise, gift cards, cash, and even travel rewards. The Visa Black Card is another card that offers several rewards, and this particular card offers VIP rewards in a unique way. Card owners can experience a 24-hour concierge service, VIP treatment at over 3,000 locations, luxury gifts, and more.
The American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card is yet another card with multiple rewards: the card offers 5,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 during your first three months of Card membership, and 15,000 points after you spend $30,000 in one calendar year. The card also provides 3 times points for flights and 2 times points at U.S. gas stations and supermarkets.
There are so many credit cards available, and this list only provides a starting place when searching for one. If you would like to do more research or see more options, CreditCards.com allows you to search by category.