Picking the Right Credit Card
When it comes to choosing a credit card, one size doesn’t fit all. Understanding your options, spending habits, and credit situation can help you find a suitable card for you. Here are three steps to picking the right credit card.
Check Your Credit Score
Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to see your credit score for free once a year. The better your score, the higher your chance of being approved for a credit card with great perks. If your score wasn’t what you expected, look into improving it—either by changing your spending habits or disputing an error—before you apply for a credit card.
Decide What Kind of Card You Want
The best card for you depends on what you hope to accomplish.
Look for a student or secured credit card to build or fix your credit.
- Student cards may be tied to a parent or guardian, making them easier to qualify for.
- Secured cards usually require a security deposit of $200 or more, which is returned to you when you upgrade your account or close it in good standing.
Look for low-interest, 0% APR, or balance transfer cards to lower the interest on existing credit card debt.
- 0% APR cards are good in case of an emergency.
- Low-interest cards let you carry a balance from time to time without a costly penalty.
- Balance transfer offers can help you pay off higher-interest cards faster.
Look for cash back, travel, or rewards cards for valuable perks.
- These higher APR cards are worthwhile if you always pay off the balance and never incur interest.
- Sign-up bonuses, points, miles, and cash back reward you for every dollar you spend.
Look for Tiebreakers
Narrow down the choices in your preferred category by finding a card with all the features you want.
Find a student or secured credit card with:
- A low security deposit
- No annual fee
- The option to upgrade to a more competitive card without closing and reopening your account
- Automatic credit limit increases with consecutive on-time payments
- The option to earn interest on the security deposit
Find a low-interest, 0% APR, or balance transfer card with:
- A long introductory 0% APR period
- A low ongoing APR
- Reasonable balance transfer policies with high transfer limits and low APR
- Free debt payoff planning tools
- Waived late fees and penalty APR
- Ongoing rewards for benefits beyond the initial 0% APR
Find a cash back, travel, or rewards card with:
- High rewards in the categories you spend the most on
- Sign-on bonuses with low spending requirements
- No annual fee OR rewards earnings that offset the annual fee
- No expiration dates on rewards
GCS Credit Union can help members sign up for a Visa credit card with low interest rates, no annual fee, and valuable ScoreCard reward points. To learn more about the benefits of banking with GCS Credit Union, please call us at (618) 797-7993 today.