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Posted by Beth (MONEY FORUMS: 5, Answers: 2)
Asked on September 15, 2015 9:06 am
It really depends on what you are looking for, which may change over time. When I was about to go abroad for a while, I needed a credit card with no foreign transaction fees that I could easily pay from my bank account, so I applied for one through my bank. Now, I'm more interested in getting rewards points or cash back on everyday purchases, including gas and groceries, along with travel rewards. Your credit history is very important in figuring out which card to get, as well. If you have excellent credit, it will be easy to find a card company that will accept your application, and even if you have fair credit, you can find cards that will work for you. I recommend researching credit cards thoroughly before applying, and never respond to those letters in the mail unless you know that you want that specific credit card.
Beth, You might want to consider having two credit cards and establishing a solid history with both companies. If you apply for a home loan in the future, lenders will want to see at least one year of history with two different credit card companies.
Hi Beth; there are a couple of very important factors when considering a credit card. One is interest rate. Interest rates vary a great deal and it is important to get one as low as possible. This helps prevent the balance from building astronomically if you can't pay it in full each month. The next is grace period. This is the time between when you use the card for a purchase and when the interest charges start. Many cards don't charge interest for purchases during the billing cycle, but some start from day one. It is a good idea to avoid cards which charge interest from the date of purchase. Lastly, I will add in fees. Some cards charge an annual fee. This may be billed once a year or charged as a monthly amount. These fees can add up. The best cards have low interest, a one month or 30 day grace period on purchases, and no annual fees. In time you may need more than one card, but if this is your first stick with one for a while and build some more credit history before getting another.
I'd stick to one for now. Choose one with rewards that you enjoy such as miles or cash back.