Choosing a Credit Card*
You may view a list of the
most competitive credit card interest rates and terms in the country by
going to Cardweb.com.
Credit card issuers offer a
wide variety of terms. Consider and compare all the terms, including the
following, before you select a card:
- Annual Percentage Rate (APR)-the
cost of credit as a yearly rate.
- Free or Grace Period-allows
you to avoid any finance charge by paying your balance in full before
the due date. If there is no free period, you will pay a finance charge
from the date of the transaction, even if you pay your entire balance
when you receive your bill.
- Fees and Charges-most issuers
charge an annual fee; some also might charge a fee for a cash advance
or if you fail to make a payment on time or go over your credit limit.
Shop around for the terms that
are best for you. Before giving money to a company that promises to help
you get a credit card:
- Find out who the card issuer
is and get the credit card terms in writing, including all the fees
and whether a deposit is required;
- Try to apply to a card issuer
directly, rather than giving money to a third party; if you don't get
the credit card, you might not be able to get your money back;
- Beware of "credit cards"
that only allow you to buy from certain overpriced, restricted goods
- Beware of companies that
promise "instant credit" or guarantee you a credit card "even if you
have bad credit or no credit history;" no one can guarantee you credit
Courtesy of The U.S. Office
of Consumer Affairs
Premier site for comparing credit cards, comparing interest rates, and
finding the best overall offer. Provides information for various types
of payment cards including credit, debit, ATM, loyalty, and phone cards.