Advertisement
credit & debt

How to Pick the Best Credit Card for You

Consider these four things before signing up for a new card.

When looking for a credit card, use these points as a guide before you apply.

Interest rates. A single credit card may have a lower annual percentage rate for customers with the strongest credit profiles. Some cards offer an introductory or teaser rate of 0% that expires after six to 18 months.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Fees. Some rewards cards have an annual fee of $75 or more. If you expect the value of your earnings to exceed the fee, it may be worth paying. Traveling abroad? Pick a card with no foreign transaction fee, which is often about 3% on each purchase. Moving debt from a high-rate card to one with a low introductory rate could save you money, but watch out for the balance-transfer fee: 3% is standard, but some are as high as 5%. Late-payment fees are now fixed at $25 or $35.

Rewards. Check for expiration dates on points or miles and caps on how much you can earn or spend. Some cards rotate categories every few months on the purchases that earn the most rewards. Many issuers sweeten the pot for new customers with sign-up bonuses.

Perks. Most cards provide rental-car insurance to cover collision damage as long as you reserve and pay for the rental with the card. Some cards offer roadside assistance if your car breaks down. Concierge services may include travel booking and upgrades. Some cards extend manufacturer warranties on purchases made with the card. With purchase protection, you’re reimbursed for items you bought with the card that are later damaged or stolen.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

This article first appeared in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. For more help with your personal finances and investments, please subscribe to the magazine. It might be the best investment you ever make.

Advertisement

Most Popular

HSAs Get Even Better
Financial Planning

HSAs Get Even Better

Workers have more options with flexible spending accounts, too.
July 2, 2020
2020 Stock Market Holidays and Bond Market Holidays
Markets

2020 Stock Market Holidays and Bond Market Holidays

Is the market open today? Take a look at which holidays the stock markets and bond markets take off in 2020.
July 1, 2020
Find a Great Place to Retire
happy retirement

Find a Great Place to Retire

Our cities provide plenty of space to spread out without skimping on health care or other amenities.
July 2, 2020

Recommended

For Financially Responsible Kids, Do NOT Do These 3 Things
family savings

For Financially Responsible Kids, Do NOT Do These 3 Things

The key to putting your kids on the right financial path can be boiled down into one sentence.
July 1, 2020
10 Tax Breaks for the Middle Class
tax deductions

10 Tax Breaks for the Middle Class

Tax breaks aren't just for the rich. There are plenty of them that are only available to middle- and low-income Americans.
June 30, 2020
The Answers to More RMD Questions
retirement

The Answers to More RMD Questions

The CARES Act made 2020 required minimum distributions optional. But what are your next moves?
June 12, 2020
Travel Planning in the Time of Coronavirus
business

Travel Planning in the Time of Coronavirus

Insurance may not cover canceled vacations, but airlines and hotels may be flexible.
June 11, 2020