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Choosing a Credit Card

Choosing a Credit Card - The Beacon

06-2016

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By: Jackie

Choosing a Credit Card

A February 2016 survey by Princeton Survey Research Associates found that 25 million consumers have had their credit card for 10 years or more and 20 million have never changed their credit card. We are a loyal bunch, but should we be? Your BBB® has information on what to look for in a credit card to help consumers get the best deal.

The survey also found that cardholders favor rewards and cash back over any other perk. So which credit card is best? The answer is, it depends on a consumer’s individual situation. If you want a credit card with a rewards program, Consumer Reports offers a Reward Card Buying Guide with lots of helpful information. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) also offers a brochure entitled “How to Find the Best Credit Card.”

Before you begin your research, think about how you will use the credit card. If you are going to pay off the balance each month, you might want to choose a card with a rewards program. If you tend to carry a balance, you definitely want to look for a card with a low interest rate which is called annual percentage rate (APR).

Next, you want to compare the features of several cards. Here are the features to consider:

Once you have an idea what features you want in a card, you might look at the rewards and incentives the card offers. Rewards can range from travel miles to cash back. Here are some factors to consider regarding credit card rewards programs.

As you can see, there are many things to consider when choosing a credit card. Experts recommend checking out other offers from time to time. You might find one that better suits your lifestyle than the one you currently have. We hope this information gives you a place to start in your search for the best credit card.

Information in this article came from Consumer Reports, CreditCards.com, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the CFPB.

BBB also has information on credit for consumers and small businesses at http://www.bbb.org/council/managing-credit-made-simpler/new-to-credit/. For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org/evansville.

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Jackie

Jackie is the Operations and Education Foundation Assistant with the BBB. She assists consumers with business inquiries, and does presentations to senior groups and high school students. She is a regular contributor to the blog.