When you make the decision to get a new credit card it’s important that you know what to look for. There are six key features you need to be aware of: the interest rate (i.e. % APR), the grace period, the credit limit, the balance transfer fee, the annual fee and the terms and conditions.
When choosing a credit card, there are six key features.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
The credit card’s interest rate, measured by the % APR, is the amount you will be charged when making purchases without paying the amount back in full within in the grace period.
The grace period refers to the time you have between the date of your purchase and the date your payment is due, during which no interest is charged.
The credit limit is the amount available for you to spend using your credit card and is determined by your creditworthiness when you apply for a new card.
Know what to look for when you choose a credit card.
Balance transfer fee
The balance transfer fee refers to the percentage your credit card provider charges you on the amount you transfer onto the new card. If you have a high amount to transfer make sure you pick a card with a 0% balance transfer fee.
The annual fee is a fee that some credit card providers charge you to use their card. Most credit card providers, nowadays, waive this fee as the credit card market has become increasingly competitive.
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Terms and conditions
The final feature of a credit card is its terms and conditions. As tedious as it may sound, to read the fine print T&C’s of a credit card agreement, it is absolutely vital for you to look through it to prevent potential financial mishaps. Don’t forget that credit card companies are in business to generate profits. They will add clauses into the credit card agreement that will help them increase profits by charging you for all sorts of things, such as late payments, credit protection services, cash advances, etc.
When choosing a new credit card it is important to find a card that suits your specific requirements. If you need the card for a balance transfer, then you need to choose a card with a zero balance transfer fee and a low % APR. If you need a card for a purchase that you know you can pay off within a year, then getting a 12-month 0% APR card would be the right choice for you for example. Whatever card you end up choosing, also make sure to read the terms and conditions carefully, so that there are no hidden fees you unknowingly end up paying.