There are so many great credit cards available, it can be hard to stop yourself from applying for all the new ones with sign-on bonus offers and balance transfer offers. But before you do, read this. There are several factors to consider before you apply for another card. Here’s what to know before clicking “apply” on one more terrific credit card offer.
What’s the APR? The ongoing APR of the card is important to know, even if you don’t anticipate carrying a balance. Cards with low APRs tend to have better terms, better rewards, and are offered to folks with better credit scores. Many cards offer a range of possible APRs, and you will find out which one you are given after you apply. If your credit score is great, you’ll get the lowest possible APR. If it’s not so hot, you’ll get the higher APR. Just be aware that a higher credit score equals a lower APR, and a lower APR equals less money paid in interest if you carry a balance over from one month to the next.
What the promotional offer? If you’re applying for a new credit card, you’ll want to get something for it. Whether that’s a balance transfer offer, a 0% introductory APR, frequent flyer miles, reward points, or something else, make sure the offer is one that you’ll use. Take your time and browse the offers available to you. There’s sure to be one that gives you something you need.
What are the fees? Most credit cards have similar fee structures, but they can definitely vary in important ways. Some rewards cards that give high-value perks and benefits like frequent flyer miles, hotel bonus points, and concierge service, charge annual fees. Some cards waive fees for the first late payment, or the first time you accidentally charge more than your credit limit. All cards charge fees for getting cash from an ATM. Some cards have foreign transaction fees, and some do not. Look over the terms and conditions and choose a card that has a fee structure that will work for you.
Do you need a business credit card? If you have a small business, you might want to consider getting a business credit card. You don’t have to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company to get one of these cards. Your small, home-based business with one or two employees—or even just you—can still be considered a business worthy of a corporate credit card. Many banks issue business cards specifically to small business owners, and offer great perks to help grow your business and let you get the most from your money. Things like annual spending reports, free cards for employees, and discounts at office supply stores make these cards great for entrepreneurs. And having a card with your business’s name—even your logo in some cases—will add some prestige to your business.
Whatever credit card you apply for, remember to read the terms before you apply, make payments on time, and redeem your rewards so you get the most from it.