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How to Find The Perfect Credit Card

 

There are a million credit cards out there and some are better than others.  We’ll help you find the one that will best meet your needs.

When used responsibly, a credit card can be a great tool.  You can earn all kinds of rewards from travel points to cash back.  They also offer much more protection that a debit card.

We found an article on USNews.com about how to find the best credit card for you, and it had some really great information that we shared on the show.

Credit cards are great because they offer:

  • Identity theft protection
  • Travel insurance
  • Rewards
  • Cash back

Don’t just apply for the first card offer you get in the mail.  You should “shop” for a credit card just like you would for a car or computer.

1. Know Your Score

Know your credit score so you know what cards you are likely to be approved for.  When you apply for a card, it puts a small, temporary ding on your score so it’s detrimental to apply for a card you have no shot at getting.  We recommend checking your score with CreditKarma.com because they do a soft credit check and have a very easy-to-use interface.

2. Avoid Fees

Find a credit card with no annual fee. We do everything in our power to avoid bank fees and credit cards are no different. A lot of the premium cards come with a fee but most of them have a no fee card with similar but not identical benefits to the premium.  The Chase Sapphire Preferred has an annual fee but the Chase Sapphire does not.

3. The Lower The Interest, The Better

If you’re trying to pay off debt and consolidate, find a card with a low interest rate or even better an introductory APR of 0%. Even if you don’t carry a balance, find a card with low interest.  You can always keep negotiating it down as you become a killer customer.  To avoid interest of any percentage, you must pay the balance in full each month.

4. Reward Yourself

Find a card with rewards that you will actually use. There’s no sense in getting a card that rewards you with Amazon Points if you don’t shop on Amazon.com. If you travel a lot, find a card that gives you points towards flights and hotels.

5. Don’t Limit Yourself

Don’t limit your options too early if you’re just starting out. If you can’t get a major card with a low interest rate and great rewards, try:

  • Gas Cards
  • Department store cards
  • Prepaid cards

6. Do Some Research

There are a few great sites that compare credit cards for you so take a look at them before deciding.

7. Check Your Mail (The Real Mail)

You may get a great offer mailed directly to you that will list all of the terms and benefits.

8. Take Your Time

Don’t rush. Make sure the card that you’re applying for is exactly what you want and there are no hidden fees.  In fact, if you can’t take your time, you shouldn’t be getting a credit card at all.

Show Notes

The Andrew Sangria – Rum, wine, triple sec and sprite. Perhaps Andrew will delight us and share his actual recipe. I’ll ask him. (edited by Andrew) For the record, who has time to measure ingredients? You’ll know you’ve done it right if you still taste the rum ;)

Podcast Correction:
In case you’re too lazy to scroll down much further I’d like to point out that we made a mistake in the episode. You can’t use prepaid cards to build credit but you CAN use secured cards to. Similar idea only there’s actual credit usage involved with secured cards. Thanks goes out to Kyle Russell for catching this one!

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