Posted on October 11th, 2010
**Welcome to 5 Minute Mondays here at Credit Karma Bootcamp: Your 31-Day Credit Health Plan.**
Choosing the right credit card for you has eerie parallels to dating—your perfect card should fit well with your lifestyle, complement your budget, and shouldn’t compromise your financial needs.
Since credit cards and aspects like credit utilization, credit card debt, and credit history plays a significant role in determining your credit score, the right credit card should help your credit score climb. When you find The One (the plastic kind), it’s a match made in heaven for you and your wallet.
However, its important to differentiate between the credit card we want and what we need. You might want a rewards card to earn miles for a trip to Hawaii, but maybe what you really need is a card that helps you manage your credit card debt.
Stroll through our gallery of credit card types to figure out what type of plastic is your true credit match.
If you WANT to get out of credit card debt… then you NEED a balance transfer card.
If you are serious about getting out of credit card debt, one option is the balance transfer credit card. It might sound counter-intuitive to pay off a credit card with another credit card, but a balance transfer card is a great way to save money on existing credit card debt.
Balance transfer cards allows you to transfer a current credit card balance interest-free for a limited time period. As a word of warning, take advantage of the intro APR period to pay off your debt completely or else you’ll find yourself balance transfer-surfing—hopping from one balance transfer card to the next—to avoid interest, just like jumping relationship to relationship. Stick to a balance transfer card to pay off outstanding credit card debt and vow to keep yourself debt free by restricting your credit use.
Your credit card match made in heaven could be the Citi Platinum Select MasterCard.
If you WANT to buy a big ticket item on credit… then you NEED a 0% intro APR card.
If you are planning to buy a big ticket item like a 3D television or designer purse, a 0% intro APR credit card is your best match. It allows you to use credit interest-free for a few months, and is essentially a free loan that allows you to pay off a big balance over time without it costing you. The biggest concern is that you need to plan to pay off the purchase before the 0% APR term expires, or else you’ll be stuck with a big debt you will begin paying hefty interest on.
Your credit card match made in heaven could be the Capital One Platinum Prestige Credit Card.
If you WANT rewards like airline miles, cash back, or rewards points… maybe you NEED a simple, no-frills card instead.
You like the good stuff—airline miles, travel packages, shopping sprees, gift cards, and rewards points. But if your expensive taste also tends to rack up high credit card balances, you’re better off with a spendthrift type of card that is simple, essential, and affordable.
Get a low interest rate card that doesn’t have extra frills or rewards programs. The main feature of a low interest card is a low APR that minimizes the interest on the balance you carry month to month. Like a basic dinner and a date, this card is simple and to the point, providing debt-ridden cardholders with a way to carry balances as affordably as possible. If you tend to carry monthly balances, you need a card like this in your life.
Your credit card match made in heaven could be the Chase Freedom Visa.
If you WANT an everyday credit card…. Then you NEED an everyday credit card.
If you need a daily use credit card for your normal expenses, look no further than a cash back card. A cash back card is simplicity married with perks, and some cards have certain spending categories like groceries and gas that accumulate a higher percentage cash back. The more you use it everyday, the more it pays off.
However, take care not to carry a monthly balance or you’ll pay interest charges that essentially negate your cashback earnings. Your everyday credit card should be practically used to purchase daily necessities within your budget, which means you should have no problem paying it in full at the end of the month.
Your credit card match made in heaven could be the Discover More Card.
CK Bootcamp Tip: When it comes to credit cards, go for the credit card that you NEED and suits your financial life and budget; don’t go for the card of the moment that suits your spending wants.
Throughout October, Credit Karma Bootcamp gives you daily information on what you need to make wise, credit-savvy decisions when it comes to credit cards, mortgages, insurance, loans, and most importantly, ALL THINGS CREDIT.
Follow along to get financially fit and credit healthy.
Filed under 0% APR, Bootcamp, Credit, Credit Card, Credit Card Debt, Credit Cards, Credit Score, Reviews, Step-By-Step, balance transfer, balance transfer credit card, cash back credit card, low interest, rewards card, rewards credit card |
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