Providing they are understood and used properly, credit cards can be a great way of borrowing small amounts of money. However, with a large number of lenders to choose from and a variety of different rates and benefits available, deciding on the right card for you can be daunting.
Before you decide to go ahead and apply for a card, it may help to do your homework and make sure you fully understand how credit cards work. By doing this, you should be able to avoid the pitfalls of mounting credit card debt.
Credit cards are a way of borrowing money that needs to be paid back at a later date, usually within a month or so. If you pay off your balance in full by this time you will avoid any interest being added, but go over this date and interest charges will be added to your monthly statement. It is also helpful to know that many cards have different rates for purchases, balance transfers, and withdrawals.
What Card Should I Choose?
Thinking about how you want to use the card before you apply can also help you choose the right card for you. For example, if you intend to pay back your balance in full each month you should go for a card that offers rewards for spending, such as cash-back benefits or loyalty points.
If you think it unlikely that you will repay your balance each month, look for a card with an interest-free introductory offer or a low standard rate. Or if you are a regular traveler, choose a card that doesn’t carry any overseas usage fees.
For those who want to move an outstanding debt to a new credit card, look for a lender offering interest-free periods on balance transfers. These often give you up to 12 months or more to pay off the debt without incurring additional interest.
Will I Be Accepted?
As with most financial products, lenders will look closely at your credit rating before accepting you as a customer. If you have a history of late or missing payments, this will definitely go against you and make you a higher risk. Every application you make is noted on your credit file, so avoid applying for too many cards and make sure you close credit card accounts that are no longer being used.
Use Your Card Wisely
There is no doubt that credit cards can be a convenient way of making the most of your money as well as offering a safer way to make purchases both in-store and online. Most cards offer purchase protection and fraud protection and the majority of cards will be accepted around the world.
However, it is important to be sensible – once you have a card, keep on top of the payment dates and preferably pay more than just the minimum amount each month. Consider setting up a direct debit or standing order, as missed payments can incur charges. Watch what you are spending each month as credit-card debt can quickly get out of hand if you are not careful.
Finding the Best Credit Cards
What are the best credit cards? That direct question may seem like something you would find on a quiz. With most quizzes, all answers are to be empirical. In other words, there is a definitive right or wrong answer that must be presented in response.
The truth here is there is no right or wrong answer in terms of what credit card can be considered the best. Rather, the goal here should be looking for the credit card that can be dubbed the very best one for you and your needs.
Eliminating the Really Bad Credit Card Offers
Actually, there are certain credit card offers that can be dubbed among the worst of the absolute worst. These are definitely the credit cards you want to avoid applying for since acquiring them delivers no real bargain. What would be the signs of such terrible credit cards?
These would be cards with very high interest rates, excessive annual fees, and hidden terms and conditions. There are quite a number of excellent providers of solid, top of the line phones. You definitely do not have to feel you must apply for credit cards with terrible terms and conditions. Avoid them at all costs.
What Should You Look for in the Best Credit Cards?
Again, it would be very difficult to narrow down the criteria for what can be dubbed the best of the best credit cards since different people will be looking for something different in their card.
However, it would likely be universally agreed upon that one of the most important things to consider would be the entity that is issuing the card. You do not want to procure a credit card from a financial institution that, for lack of a better word, is “fly-by-night.”
Cards issued by major financial institutions are far more likely to offer you better terms, conditions, and customer service. You also have to be less leery about the credit card company being involved with shady or less than desirable practices.
Interest Rates and Annual Fees Count for a Lot
Far more than cashback or rewards programs, the interest rates and annual fees offered by a credit card company will be the linchpins to determine whether or not the credit card has any real value. Would you want to invest a ridiculous amount of funds paying off high interest rates and annual fees?
More than likely you would prefer the money you paid towards the balance actually went to the principle. This might never be the case if you have to cover the costs of excessive or high fees. Consider this a major reason why it is necessary to look for less costly alternatives in the form of fairer rates and fees.
Be Deliberate and Proactive
You might not be able to find the best rate on a credit card if you rush into the process or you simply wait for credit card offers to arrive in your inbox. Be deliberate and proactive in your search and you won’t be disappointed.
Only Seek the Best Mastercard Credit Card
Are you interested in applying for a Mastercard credit card? This is a good thing because there are many excellent Mastercard credit cards available but you still have to be mindful of the actual cards you apply for.
The Mastercard Name Means a Lot
Is Mastercard the best credit card you can acquire? Such a question can be deemed debatable as there are those that prefer Discover or Visa. That said, there are quite a number of excellent Mastercard credit cards you can select from. However, there are also quite a number of less than desirable cards that bear the Mastercard name.
Different Credit Cards Have Different Pros and Cons
Why is there such a difference among the various credit cards? That question actually answers itself. The truth is there are many different Mastercard credit cards available for people to apply for. The various credit cards will be issued from many different financial institutions.
There will be those financial institutions that offer fair rates and excellent terms to account holders. Institutions such as these definitely do deserve praise.
However, there are also financial institutions that offer very troubling terms and conditions. Common examples of problems with bad credit cards include hidden fees, high annual fees, service charges, outrageous interest rates, and bait and switch balance transfer offers.
Once you actually take time out to look at all the truly terrible credit card offers that have been presented offer the past few years, you soon come to an understanding of what there is so much consumer anger levied at the credit card industry. Granted, it can be unfair to blame the industry as a whole when not every financial institution embodies such poor business practices.
And besides, it really should be up to the consumer to be sure he or she is getting the best credit card offer available.
How to Determine Whether or Not You Are getting a Solid Mastercard Credit Card Offer
When you decide to apply for a Mastercard credit card, you positively must not be take in by any advertising that promotes filling out the application.
You have to be very diligent in reading all the terms and conditions associated with the card. Doing so will definitely prove beneficial as you can determine whether or not you would be procuring a card of great value or one that might end up being far more costly than you would prefer. Who would want a card such as that?
Also helpful would be reading any consumer reviews that may be available reflecting experiences with a particular financial institution’s credit card. Nothing can be a better gauge of the value of the card than the experiences other people have had with it.
Consumers will be quick to point out any flaws the credit card presents. By identifying those less than desirable cards can help put you in the direction of the better Mastercard credit card.