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How to Choose Your First Credit Card
If you have decided to buy a credit card, you must choose a card that is most beneficial to your needs. All credit cards enable you to shop without cash but there are cards that provide more privileges to its customers than others. Here are a few things that you should check before choosing a credit card company:
1. Interest Rate: Choose a card that offers a lower interest rate but also enquire if the interest rate will remain the same. Some card companies promote their cards by offering a very low interest rate only to increase it once the promotion is over. Check if the issuer is charging interest from the time of purchase or from the billing date.
2. Benefits: Most credit card companies provide rebate on gasoline, store purchases, phone calls, air travel miles, free subscription, etc. Check the rewards, offers and rebates your credit card company is offering and compare it with others.
3. Penalty, Fees and Charges: Most card issuers have a set penalty charges for late payment of interest and balance. Some even charge fees for subscription and warranty. Ask about any hidden terms related to such charges before you end up paying more than you are required.
4. Billing Cycle: Check if the billing cycle starts from the date you purchase the card or from the date you first use it. Also make sure your card issuer has a monthly billing cycle instead of once in two weeks.
5. Online Payment and Reports: Most credit card companies give the option to pay online or over the phone. You can also download monthly statement from the Internet on your computer or Smart Phone.
6. Check your Credit Limit: When you purchase a card, the issuer company will set a limit based on your credit history. However, over time, most companies increase this limit depending on your payment schedule with them over time. If you are unaware of your credit limit, you might end up spending more than you realize.
7. Apply if needed: When you choose your first credit card, you must be mindful of why you are applying for a card and how you are going to pay off monthly debt. Using a credit card to buy all that you want is a very attractive possibility, but eventually you have to pay for everything you buy using your card. Make budget and keep emergency funds for paying off debts.
If you pay your balance every month, then you will be paying 0% interest and your credit card will act as a short term loan with no interest rate. Credit card is a good choice for paying college fees, planning a trip and even for buying groceries. The only thing you should remember as a consumer is to use your card for things that you can afford and if at all, you are planning to buy yourself something very expensive, try and get it in installments that you can pay with your credit card. This way, you can still have less balance and manage to pay your card debt every month.