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What factors should customers consider, to get the best credit cards?

Answered on | Updated on March 23rd, 2011
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

Choosing the best credit cards amongst a whole range of options is not the easiest of tasks. In fact, credit cards vary in many different aspects. The interest rates are different, the credit limits are different, the fees and charges are different and the rewards and add-on services are different. Therefore one rule cannot be used to pick the best card for all. The rule of thumb is to pick a credit card that will help you improve your credit score. On that basis, it becomes easier to judge the credit cards, based on what works for you and what doesn’t.

For example, if you have a good credit score, but a substantial credit card debt, your score keeps coming down due to the reducing gap between outstanding balance and credit limit. If the debt is around 1000 – 2000 dollars or some amount that you can pay back in a year, a great option would be to go for a balance transfer card which will offer you a year to pay back the amount without any interest. On the other hand if you have a huge debt and are concerned by the accumulating interests, you should instead go for the low interest credit cards which will save you more money than any of the reward credit cards.

When you are choosing credit cards with rewards, it is wise to check terms, to determine how useful the rewards really are. For example, if your reward points expire every month, they aren’t good enough as you cannot go redeeming them every month unless it is a cash back reward. Similarly, if the rewards can be redeemed only in the form of discounts and that too only if you spend a significant amount, then the rewards aren’t useful either. On the other hand, if the rewards are available irrespective of your expenses, like cash back rewards or flat discounts on airline tickets through airline miles, then the credit card can be useful.

The utility of the credit card also lies in the convenience and customer service. If the costs are too high like a high annual fees, late fees, currency conversion fees or over draft fees or if the customer service is not efficient then the credit card doesn’t prove useful. On the other hand if the costs are low e.g. the annual fees is waived off, then you can go for the credit cards for the sake of convenience.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
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