If you’re in the market for a credit card with the best perks, it makes sense to shop around for the best deal. Credits cards aren’t one size fits all.
No annual fees Many cards offer no annual fee. Beware of cards that offer a zero fee the first year and hefty annual fees afterwards. Sometimes people sign up for a card with the intentions of cancelling it prior to the fee being charged the next year but forget to cancel the card and end up paying more to keep it.
Cash back Look for cash back opportunities that will get you the best return. Some cards offer a flat return on all purchases. Others offer higher amounts of cash back for certain purchases such as gas, grocery store or airline charges. Some cards offer cash back bonuses for signing up. For example, some credit card companies will give you a $100 bonus check if you charge $3,000 in the first three months of owning the card. Look for a card that will give you the most cash back based on your spending habits. Also be aware that many cards have a limit on how much cash back they’ll reward you.
Rewards Many cards offer specific rewards. For example, many airline credit cards allow you to earn miles toward a trip. Be aware that many airline miles earned via credit card can be difficult to cash in. Blackout dates and other restrictions can keep you from booking the exact flight you want. Retailers often offer rewards for using their credit cards - many allow you to earn bonus dollars to spend at their stores and may offer exclusive coupons and promotions to their credit card holders.
No foreign transaction fees If you’re likely to travel outside the country it’s important to look for a card that doesn’t have any foreign transaction fees. These charges can add up fast. If you’re shopping online from a foreign country, foreign transaction fees can apply.
Balance transfers If you have a high interest credit card and you’re looking to transfer your balance, there are plenty of cards that can save you money. Many cards offer 0% interest on balance transfers for a specified period of time.
No late fees If you’re forgetful about paying your bills on time, a card without late fees can save you a lot of money. Many cards will forgive a late payment once or twice a year without charging hefty late fees. Of course one of the best ways to save money with a credit card is to avoid carrying a balance each month. Paying off your card in full and enjoying the perks can help you stick to your budget.
About the Author: Amy Bennett writes about finance and small business topics such as how to use a wireless credit card machine.