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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.

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Top Consumer Reviews Articles

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Zero Interest Rate Credit Cards In The News

This Week In Credit Card News: The Lack Of Fixed Rate Cards; Consumers Regret Getting Store Cards

Cards tied to federal interest rates don't require the same heads-up before rate ... [Business Insider] 4 Ways To Protect Yourself From Credit Card Fraud Unless you avoid using credit cards altogether ...

Published:  Fri, 19 Oct 2018 13:18:00 GMT



Credit card rates on the rise

That will cost consumers nearly $2 billion more in interest charges. As rates go higher, the credit card companies are getting more creative.. with gimmicks such as cash back, rewards, and zero intere...

Published:  Wed, 17 Oct 2018 18:58:00 GMT



Half of Americans with this credit card regretted getting one

Meanwhile, four store credit cards - from Brandsource, Big Lots BIG, -8.24% Staples and Zales SIG, -2.60% - had minimum APRs at or above 29.99%. Many retailers charge higher interest rates for their s...

Published:  Thu, 18 Oct 2018 11:17:00 GMT



Rate hikes hit credit cards; hit them back

But with the rate-hike cycle showing no signs of stopping, card rates reaching record ... and the average household is paying roughly $1,300 per year in credit-card interest, and that was calculated w...

Published:  Wed, 17 Oct 2018 16:03:00 GMT



Matt Schulz Shares 5 Secrets for Managing Credit Cards When Rates Are Rising

The good news for consumers is the Federal Reserve tends to increase its rates slowly. Each increase is usually 0.25%. For most people with credit card debt, that increase doesn't amount to more than ...

Published:  Fri, 19 Oct 2018 07:39:00 GMT



A Cheapskate's Guide to Shopping for Credit Cards

There's no such thing as a "best" credit card. The key is finding one ... so they don't care about cards that have high rates. Ignoring rates can simplify shopping for the right card. "Interest rate i...

Published:  Fri, 19 Oct 2018 07:18:00 GMT



What is a Credit Limit, How is It Determined, and What Credit Cards Offer the Highest Limits

If you have bad credit or no credit, start with a card ... Note: It's important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently ...

Published:  Thu, 18 Oct 2018 09:36:00 GMT



How to understand your credit card statement and avoid penalties

Credit ... period with no outstanding amount. However, it is essential for you to know that the interest-free period is calculated from the starting of the statement date and not from the date you m...

Published:  Fri, 19 Oct 2018 10:30:00 GMT



How to Negotiate a Lower Credit Card Interest Rate

The average credit card interest rate is about 17% ... When choosing a balance-transfer credit card, you want to make sure that it offers a 0% introductory balance-transfer rate for new cardholders. Y...

Published:  Tue, 02 Oct 2018 03:48:00 GMT




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