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TopConsumerReviews.com provides unique articles that you won't find anywhere else on the internet. These articles are designed to help you make the most informed decisions possible.

Important Things to Know About Credit Cards

Creating a positive and healthy relationship with your credit card starts at the beginning. Before you apply for a new credit card make sure you understand several aspects of the card before you move forward. Understanding what you're getting into before you jump into applying for a credit card will lead you to a more successful financial future.

Card Type
Secured card, unsecured, private label and more are examples of credit card types to choose from. Some of these cards require you pay cash collateral or load a balance before using. Others allow you to use anywhere MasterCard and Visa are accepted while some must be used at specific stores. Your credit history will often determine which credit card types you're eligible for.

Interest Rates
Understanding the ins and outs of your credit card interest rate is imperative before you sign the dotted line. What is the starting rate, is it fixed or variable, what will trigger a change and how much can the rate jump at once? Keeping the lowest possible interest rate on your card will allow you to affordably use your card when needed.

Comparing Credit Cards
Comparing credit cards is important. Before you choose a secured card, interest free card or any other type of card you need to compare fees, the grace period (if one exists), credit limit, and payment options. This will help you best identify the cheapest options with the most flexibility.

Payment Due Date
Credit card companies are generally pretty flexible as long as they receive the minimum payment amount on time or early each month. We can't always pay off our entire balance or make responsible choices but paying a traditional credit card payment each month should occur without fail - make sure you understand any important due dates with the card you select.

Minimize Outstanding Credit
While it's good to have and use credit cards on a regular basis it's important not to over use credit. If your credit it good enough to qualify for several credit cards it's not always smart to open several and maintain low to zero balances. Having a large some of available credit can be worrisome to creditors that aren't sure if you'll pull the trigger and get yourself into financial trouble. Maintaining a balance of 30% or less, on any credit card, is said to have the most positive impact on your credit score - next to making credit card payments on time and avoiding overdrafts.

The point is, avoid jumping into credit cards when better options exist. Make smart choices by understanding the type of card you're considering, the respective interest rate, fees, payment due dates and more can set you up for a more positive experience with your credit card company in years to come.

What the Fed's Interest Rate Hike Means for Your Credit Card Debt

For credit card users, that means the APR on the cards issued by banks increases at about the same rate as the Fed's interest rate bump, which in this case is 0.25%. For example, if you're carrying a balance of $7,000 on your credit card that charges a ...

Published:  Fri, 22 Jun 2018 07:25:00 GMT



Your loyalty to your credit card brand may be misplaced

Instead of focusing on interest rates, rewards rates and redemption options ... 0.72% and Mastercard MA, -0.38% credit cards that can be used anywhere, these so-called co-branded cards have a wider reach than old-fashioned store cards that could ...

Published:  Fri, 22 Jun 2018 02:03:00 GMT



Having no credit is a pain. Why is credit history important

Expect, if you have no credit history or score ... it doesn't matter what your interest rate is. Just avoid so-called "fee harvester" cards that put high up-front charges on your account simply to open it. And make sure, especially with secured ...

Published:  Fri, 22 Jun 2018 09:39:00 GMT



Should You Close Your Credit Card

With an ever-rising cost of living and high credit card interest rates, some consumers may attempt to limit their ... By keeping open an inactive credit card with a $1,000 credit limit and a $0 balance, your balance/limit ratio becomes a more appealing ...

Published:  Wed, 20 Jun 2018 21:05:00 GMT



Credit Cards Can Give You a Break on Back-to-School Purchases

A rewards credit card with an introductory 0% annual percentage rate can offer breathing room for large purchases. You still have to pay monthly, but you won't be charged interest during the promotional period. Multiply your credit card rewards by ...

Published:  Fri, 22 Jun 2018 11:08:00 GMT



Credit card debt vs. 401(k) investing: Which should you focus your financial resources on

If you have student loan or credit card debt with interest rates over 9%, she advises that you prioritize ... with an automatic deduction), and you'll pump up those savings in no time. Refinery29.com is a USA TODAY content partner offering personal finance ...

Published:  Fri, 22 Jun 2018 08:17:00 GMT



More Americans are struggling to pay their credit cards, and what's holding them back is only getting worse

It's getting more expensive to borrow from banks in America, and some credit-card holders are struggling to keep up. Interest rates, which influence the cost of borrowing, are on the rise after the Federal Reserve kept them near zero for years. That period ...

Published:  Tue, 22 May 2018 02:55:00 GMT



How you can get a credit card interest rate drop

SHOPPERS can slash their credit card interest rates if they sign up to the newest ... period of three to six months and depending on the offer available have a rate ranging from zero per cent to 3.99 per cent, which would apply to the eligible purchase ...

Published:  Mon, 14 May 2018 11:00:00 GMT



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