Top 7 Factors to Consider While Reviewing Credit Card Offers
By Vinodh Pushparaj
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Credit cards have migrated from being hip or convenience product into a must have entity for everybody. Shopping Online you need a credit card. Wanna book a weekend rental you need a valid card to pick one. In order to register as a valid seller in many online sites you need a card. Like this the credit cards have evolved from being just convenience items into something you got to have or you will be denied many services. There is a lot of money being made by the credit card industry. Everything you buy has a credit card fee attached to it. If you pay by cash you still paying those fees since the merchants donít offer a discount for cash or check payments. They are willing to pay the 2-3% charge to the credit card companies than give it back to you. If you are not using a credit card as your main payment method and enjoying the convenience it offers you are paying for nothing.
The cards come now-a-days not just loaded with a variety of features but they also come in many shapes and colors. Have you seen the new discover cards? Well letís take a look at the important features you should evaluate the credit cards against.
- The credit limit: This is the amount you are allowed to spend using the card. Be careful while choosing the right amount. This is important in two angles; the first is how much purchasing power you are willing to guarantee to pay back. The other is what your spending style is. Many folks donít know that reaching close to your credit limit is not good for your credit history. Are you a responsible person and wanted to keep the limit low but you use up 90% and constantly pay every month? You may want to increase your limit so that your credit score is not affected by this usage pattern.
- APR: This is the interest rate you have to pay for the amount you owe in the credit card. Obviously look for the best rate you can get. Regularly contact the customer service to bring down the APR. These companies increase it regularly; you should contact to keep it at the same rate.
- Annual fees: This should be zero.
- Online payment option and activity checking: You should choose the bank that offers a good and comprehensive online tool to check and evaluate your use. They should give you features like auto payment options. This is a lot useful as you will have a way to check the account usage. If you are planning on a shared card it is a must have to monitor.
- Late Fee and additional charges: Although being late is bad, you will end up atleast once a year being late to pay the dues. You may want to make sure they donít add it to your credit history even for one late payment. And the fees! yeah check out the agreement.
- Rewards and additional benefits: The current trend is offering cash back on purchases or points for purchasing with preferred vendors. This is free money as well it is a better way to save on the purchases you are anyway going to make. The additional benefits include insurance coverage, miles and more. Evaluate these carefully as they may be worthwhile.
- Read about the reviews: Although you can evaluate the card by yourself, you may want to read about what others have to say about the card. It is these review sites that shed some light on the crappy customer service or the hidden charges. You should and must employ the many review websites to choose the best card that fits your need and lifestyle.
Donít forget those fraud protection capabilities that come with the card. You donít want to be stranded because someone misused your card and you are stuck in nowhere land without any money.
Here is one good website for credit card application [http://www.smartcardshopper.com]and to read about the reviews. [http://www.smartcardshopper.com]
Author does freelancing [http://www.freelancefree.com] through the no fee free freelance website freelancefree.com.
Article Submitted On: March 06, 2006