I have some of the luckiest friends in the planet. You know, the type of people who stumble upon good fortune in the most ordinary and extraordinary circumstances.
There is Marge, a tall and awkward friend whose clumsy steps always makes her find lost dollar bills. She could be on her way to work, on her way home, on her way to lunch. She even found a hundred dollar bill once, as she nosedived into a pile of leaves at the park! Marge’s luck extends to her credit cards too. She often scores the best credit card deals in the market, not because she haggled with a company or placed an agent at gunpoint, but merely because she happened to sign up for that particular card.
Then there is me. I have not won a single thing from any lottery. I do not find any lost bills or stumble upon great card deals. In picking a card, I do what most of the population does; I compare features of the cards that I want to sign up on. Problem is, after I finally get my credit card approved, I discover better credit card deals than the one I just took!
Over the years, with Marge’s luck and my dismay becoming a pattern, I decided I should not merely resign to this “lucky or unlucky” destiny theory that I was beginning to believe. I could take matters into my own hands, and emerge as a wise consumer. Of course, I could not hunt for hundred dollar bills all the time, so what I did was create a guide in picking the best credit card deals offered out there.
Checklist for Best Deals
Low interest rates. No matter how “pretty” an introductory offer may sound, always look at how much interest you have to pay for. Cardinal rule: settle for low rates.
Fixed APR. If you do not already know, “APR” means Annual Rate Percentage. It measures the actual interest you have to pay. Most credit card companies entice new customers by sales-pitching that they offer 0% APR, but do ask if this wonderful rate is fixed or not. Chances are, it is just a variable rate that may change in a month or two, and it could be deadly.
Long grace period. Go for credit card companies that give you some time to enjoy shopping and not charging you with interest as soon as you swipe it at a shop somewhere.
With these three features in my checklist, I scored the best credit card deals, something you could also do, even if you are as unlucky as me!