Credit Cards

In the comparison table below you can view a variety of credit cards available for customers in the United States. Regardless of the type of credit card you need you are likely to find it here! Choose from traditional credit cards for first-timers to reward credit cards or premium credit cards for people who heavily rely on their credit cards and want to get the best out of them. Use the credit cards comparison chart below to compare important factors like balance transfer periods, introductory offers, credit limits and more. Take your time to find the best credit card for you and your finances. Make sure before you take out a credit card that you understand what the dangers and risks of having one are.

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Credit Cards are a great way of getting more financial freedom. However, make sure you understand the risks before taking one out.

What is a Credit Card?

Credit cards are often referred to as plastic money. Cards are extremely popular and are a much safer and more convenient alternative to carrying around money. Cards can be used all over the world to make purchases online, over the phone, in shops, restaurants and thousands of other outlets. Many people choose to pay for things with a credit card and as such there are hundreds of different credit cards available for you to choose from which can make finding a card overwhelming.

Essentially, Credit cards are a form of borrowing. With a credit card you are given access to a line of credit. The exact amount of credit you will be given is called the credit limit and this will be predetermined by the credit card provider. Your credit limit includes purchases, balance transfers, cash advances and charges. If you go over this limit it is likely that you will be charged a fee. Many people decide to take out a credit card because they can give you immediate credibility for services such as hotel reservations, car rentals and airline ticket reservations. Many credit cards also include fraud protection cover so that is your card was stolen and then used illegally you would not be held responsible for unauthorised charges. With the latest Chip and Pin technology your card is further protected against unauthorised use.

What is the Interest Rate?

Credit cards have an interest rate, which is the annual rate you pay for borrowing the credit on your card. Interest rates are usually based on market interest rates, your credit history and the type of credit card you have. Different banks and financial institutions will have their own policies when it comes to credit card applications. You will find that the better your credit history the higher your credit limit and the lower the interest. If you have a poor credit history you will be given considerably higher interest rates. However, if you use the card correctly and make your payments on time this will improve the credit card conditions you will be given in the future and means you are more likely to be offered a higher credit limit with lower interest rates

How do Credit Cards work?

Every month, you will be sent a statement that includes all the transactions you have made that month and your minimum payment and due date. You donít have to pay it back all at once, but you pay extra interest on any money you havenít paid back when itís added to the next monthís total. Credit cards can give you more financial freedom. They allow you to pay for purchases in small monthly instalments. As long as you are responsible credit cards can be a great way to pay for something that is perhaps more than the amount of money that you actually have.

Things to watch out for

Make sure you understand the risks involved in taking out a credit card. You need to be careful with a credit card because if not used properly you can end up in a difficult situation. Credit cards become problematic when the holder accrues more debt than a regular monthly payment can cover. You should at least pay the minimum amount due every month and where possible pay charges in full. The minimum monthly payment is the lowest amount that you are required to pay the card provider each month. You will be in default if you pay less than this.

You need to manage your credit properly because failure to do so will result in increased interest rates. You shouldnít buy things that you canít pay back because you risk ending up in debt and damaging your credit score. When you donít pay the money you borrow you risk being denied future credit. There are also some great introductory offers on the market. However, you need to make sure you know what happens when this period ends to see if the card is still worth it and you are still getting a good deal.

Credit card fees

Remember credit cards are not free. There are a variety of situations where you might have to deal with credit card fees. Some credit cards will come with annual fees where you will be charged a yearly fee for the convenience of having the card. You might also have application fees where you are charged when you make an application for a credit card. More commonly you will be charged a cash advance fee for withdrawing money. Depending on the card you choose you will also have balance transfer fees and foreign transaction fees for using your card outside of the U.S.

With most credit cards you will have to deal with late fees and fees for going over the limit fee. Card providers can usually levy a charge to cover their admin costs in chasing late payments. The best way to avoid these charges is to pay your bills on time or contact your credit ahead of time to try to make alternative arrangements and always keep your credit card balance below the credit limit. You should set up a direct debit for at least the minimum payment as soon as you take the card out to help you avoid the dangers of credit cards and where possible pay the balance in full.

How to find the right Credit Card for you

You need to make sure you are getting the best card for your finances. Credit cards can be big commitments. You should firstly consider your budget and be completely be sure you can afford make the monthly payments so you do not risk ending up in debt. There are many types of credit cards so you need to think about what sort of card you want and what you want to use it for. As well as standard credit cards, if you are a student then you might want to think about student credit cards, there are business credit cards for corporate needs and reward credit cards that offer a variety of reward programmes. It is important that you take the time to compare the market. Use the comparison table above to compare some of the different credit cards available.

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