If you’re looking for a new credit card, you may be overwhelmed by the many options available. There are seemingly endless varieties of cards that offer rewards, no-interest periods, and the chance to build credit. This can make it pretty hard to settle on the right credit card.
So, we’re sharing a few steps you can take to narrow down your options when you’re looking for a new card.
Check Your Score
The very first thing you need to do is check your credit score and your credit report. Keep in mind that the best credit cards are offered to people with favorable credit scores. Credit score ranges usually vary as per the credit scoring model but creditors use FICO Scores in 90% of U.S. lending decisions.
What Does Your FICO Score Mean?
Very poor: 300 to 579
Fair: 580 to 669
Good: 670 to 739
Very good: 740 to 799
Excellent: 800 to 850
Decide What Suits Your Needs
There are three main types of credit cards:
Rewards cards: If you don’t have debt and have already established a good credit score, rewards credit cards help you offset the cost of purchases by offering cash back, points, or miles in common spending categories. You may even be able to redeem your rewards for statement credits, gift cards, airfare, stay at hotels, and more.
Intro 0% APR cards: If you want to get out of debt or want to finance new purchases, a 0% APR credit card can be a good tool.
Secured credit cards: If you don’t have a long enough credit history or have a less-than-stellar score, make building credit your top priority. A good credit score is a key to unlocking the best in interest rates and increasing approval odds for credit cards, mortgages, and loans in the future. Get a secured credit card, in this case.
Shop Around for The Best Card
Once you’ve decided on the type of credit card that meets your needs, it’s time to shop around for the best credit card offers. Look at bonus categories for reward cards, the length of the intro period for 0% APR cards, and the credit limit for secured cards.
Don’t forget to factor in fees and interest rates into your decision as well.