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Credit Cards: The Lowdown Newsletter

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There's no doubt that credit cards have become an important part of today's society. And for good reason! Credit cards make buying easier - you don't have to carry around loads of cash or write a check every time you buy something. Credit cards protect you, the consumer - many credit cards offer purchase protection and travel protection that just isn't available with other forms of payment. And credit cards help to build up a reliable credit history, making it easier for you to purchase a car or a home.

When shopping for a credit card, there are dozens of cards to choose from. It can be somewhat intimidating to decide which credit card you should choose. Just remember that different credit cards are designed to appeal to different consumer needs. Find out what's most important to you in a credit card, and your decision becomes much easier.

To help you with your credit card decision, we've arranged several dozen credit cards into the categories below. Within each category, we've ranked the credit cards from best to worst. For example, if you suffer from bad credit or no credit, look at the Bad Credit Credit Cards. If you want a card that charges low interest rates, then look at the Low Interest Rate Credit Cards. Or if you're a student and just starting out establishing credit, look at the Student Credit Cards.

Once you decide on the credit card that you want, applying for it is easy. You can simply fill out online the secure form on the credit card application page. This normally takes less than 10 minutes, and typically you'll find out within 24 hours whether you've been approved for your credit card. Then your card should arrive within 5-7 days through the mail, and you'll be all set to start using your new credit card.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best credit cards available today. We hope these reviews help you find the right credit card that meets your needs!

Disclosure: We pay our reviewers and we are compensated for our reviews. Click here for details.

Credit Card Reviews

Bad Credit Credit Cards

Bad Credit
Credit Cards

Business Credit Cards

Business
Credit Cards

Cash Back Credit Cards

Cash Back
Credit Cards

Debit Credit Cards

Debit
Credit Cards

Low Interest Rate Credit Cards

Low Interest Rate
Credit Cards

No Annual Fee Credit Cards

No Annual Fee
Credit Cards

Prepaid Credit Cards

Prepaid
Credit Cards

Rewards Programs Credit Cards

Rewards Programs
Credit Cards

Secured Credit Cards

Secured
Credit Cards

Student Credit Cards

Student
Credit Cards

Zero Balance Transfer Fee Credit Cards

Zero Balance Transfer Fee
Credit Cards

Zero Interest Rate Credit Cards

Zero Interest Rate
Credit Cards

Zero Introductory APR Credit Cards

Zero Introductory APR
Credit Cards

How to Avoid High Interest Rate
Credit Card Charges

Despite recent laws designed to protect the credit card consumer from unfair interest rate changes on credit cards, rate increases are still a normal practice and how lenders make much of their money. There are several steps you can take to avoid paying too much interest and that can mean the difference hundreds to thousands of dollars in savings. It's highly likely that you'll have to incur some type of rate increase with your credit card but, you may be able to mitigate the impact with several of the tips below.

  • Pay attention to your credit card statements. Review the stated interest rate each and every month to make sure you know what's going on. Read any and all rate change documentation you receive.
  • The easiest way to avoid paying more interest and being accessed a larger interest rate on your credit card is to pay off the balance, each month, before the grace period ends. Most credit card issuers give you around 21 days to pay off your new purchases before you'll have to start paying interest on the balance. Interest expenses show up on your statements as a finance charges.
  • If paying off the balance isn't an option you should make bigger payments. The smaller the credit card balance the smaller the accessed interest charges.
  • Avoid making late payments. Credit card companies are allowed to penalize card holders when they aren't making payments on time. They do need to contact you and give you 45 days notice before hiking up your interest rate.
  • Be smart with promotional rates. With any new credit card, always read the fine print to find out if the initial rate is considered promotional, or short term, how long that period is and what your subsequent rate will be.
  • If you've been notified that your interest rate is going up you have a couple of options. You can call your credit card company to attempt to negotiate the rate down. If they won't budge than you can tell them you'll find another company that will. Or you can reject the change. However, that may mean you'll no longer be able to make future purchases on that card but you'll be able to pay off the balance at the current rate - saving you significantly in the long run.

As a credit card customer you need to be proactive with managing how much interest you're being charged. This will mean significant savings to you over the course of one to several years from now. Paying off charges quickly, making timely payments and working with your lender are some of the key methods to keeping interest rates down.

 

 

 

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