Depending on how you use it a credit card (CC) can be a helpful tool or a dangerous path towards financial ruin.  Let’s be honest, not everybody has the willpower and the patience to save money for their purchases and a CC lets you have what you want now instead of later.  The  penalty;  Interest fees and smothering debt.  Not a great trade-off in our opinion.

 

If you’re new to the whole credit card scene and you’re trying to figure out what the best CC is for your financial needs and situation please read on.  We have some advice and Tips that you will be able to use to make the right decision.  Of course, as an adult, the choice of exactly how you use your credit will always be up to you.

 

First, if you’re the type of person that doesn’t pay off your card every month you need to find a CC with the lowest interest rates.  Of course even that won’t help much if you spend like crazy so try not to do that.  On the other hand if you pay off your CC dutifully every month then find one that gives you ‘cash back’ on purchases and has a great rewards plan.  If you drive a lot you may consider a card that gives you cash back on gas and other related auto expenses.  The same goes for the person who travels a lot for work or pleasure.

 

In every credit card application there’s a box called the ‘Schumer Box’ that will tell you all you need to know about the card that you’re thinking of applying for.  It’s imperative that you understand the info provided there.

 

  • Look for a card that has an annual interest rate of 11% or less on purchases.
  • If you need to transfer balances often look for a card that doesn’t charge for that, and a card that will give you 0% interest on cash advances.
  • Penalties are a part of CC life but the lower the better and you need to know what triggers them (so thatyou can avoid them).
  • A card that does NOT use 2-cycle billing is always preferred.
  • A card with no annual fees.

 

Finally, signing up for a CC just because it has a signup bonus or a discount at your fave store isn’t a great idea.  You need to understand and work with the limitations of the card so that your financial situation stays healthy. Remember that even an excellent credit card will still put you in a hole if you abuse it.