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When you consider opening a first-time or additional credit card there are lots of things to consider. Your current credit score, the APR rate, interest charges, penalty fees and the rewards or benefits that the credit card company is offering you.
While all of these things are important, in fact critical, to choosing the right credit card for you, don’t forget one of the most important things you use your credit card for is shopping.
The following guide will walk you through common shopping styles and help you pick the right set of rewards and guidelines for you when choosing a card.
Are you a brand loyalist?
If you find yourself always buying the same brand jeans, shopping at the same set of stores or traveling on the same airline – you may want to look into the store credit card that the outlet you go to most offers. Usually store credit cards offer a large upfront discount when you sign up and then grant you annual perks like additional coupons at the store you frequent. It may also come with free upgrades or free shipping. This is a good option for a second or a third credit card. It’s rare that restaurants and other places take store credit cards.
Are you a bargain hunter?
If you choose your OJ by which is 2 cents cheaper instead of taste, if you are constantly cutting coupons or seeking out the best deal then you are most likely a bargain hunter. The best kind of credit card for this shopper type is one of the major card carriers or banks. A card that lets you shop at a variety of places and earn cash back on your bill or get discounts at a variety of stores. Remember just because you are saving money – you are still spending it. Don’t forget to pay your balance each month or all of those savings will turn into money you owe the credit card company. Some rewards cards even restrict discounts for cardholders that don’t pay their bills on time.
Are you a saver?
Do you always pay your bill on time? Do you only use your credit card in case of emergencies? If you are not using your credit card regularly you want to make sure that your card does not charge you any fees for not using it. Look for a card that rewards shoppers for paying the full balance on time. You will also want to check how long a card can go unused before you need to reactivate it.
Are you a social shopper?
Do you like telling your friends about what you buy and sharing coupons? Several major credit card companies, including America Express, have begun using social programs to reward their cardholders with special discounts to share. Consider signing up for a card that will let you interact on Facebook or Twitter in order to earn reward points. If it is something that comes naturally to you, you might as well earn reward points while you do it.