Credit cards since the 18th century have grown from being a sign of luxurious living to an essential valuable. Over the years, we have grown from been a cash-based economy to one that thrives on debt. While credit cards have come as a savor to most, these plastics should instigate a form of caution in their selection and use. So whether you’re analyzing credit cards for sport, or plan determining which credit card is cheaper for you, analyzing credit cards on case-by-case basis isn’t that easy but shouldn’t be as difficult as we are made to believe.
Read the Fine Print
A credit card industry deregulated in the early 80’s effectively meant credit card companies could hire a bunch of lawyers to twist the contracts anyway they wished. Credit Cards are known to list an interest on the envelope which only applies when you’re not late on repayment and have not defaulted on the mortgage or car loan. Yes, reading the fine print remains the best way of catching mischievous credit cards early on and if you’ve forgotten to do this over the years, you can only imagine how much dollars you would have gained if you knew better.
Now, reading the fine print and understanding what it says are two different things. Since you might not understand all the legal mumbo-jumbo it contains, a good strategy would be to scan the document for percentages (which could be your new interest) and other figures listed below.
Compare the Following Details:
Analyzing credit cards requires your comparison skills be sharp. Comparing these details should be carried after you’ve read the contract, which might reveal some loopholes that could affect your analysis.
• Interest Rates
Credit cards provide the kind of credit that could see interest rate change even after you’ve purchased with it. Interest rates are the key to a good or bad credit card. When John purchased a $2,000 plasma TV, he didn’t know he’s minimum payments to the credit card company would total more than $3,000 for that particular transaction. For that reason, interest rates before and after late payment should be known else it could dig you deeper in debt, most especially when you’re trying to get out.
• Annual Fees
Do not recon with annual fees except after your analysis, the card charging these fee turns out the best. Annual fees set you back by tens and hundreds of dollars every year – couldn’t this amount be put to better use?
• Grace Periods
Grace periods determine how many days you have before incurring late fees and any extra penalties attached to late payment. Basically, the longer the period is, the better for you.
• Late Fees
If you’re forgetful, trying to joggle a bunch of loans with mid-range income, you probably should pay more attention to late fees on credit cards. These fees are charged when the good goes bad and the lower the fee is the better for you.
Check for Card Rewards
Many card companies will waiver your rewards when you pay late. Others place a location restriction on the card rewards meaning residents in a handful of states may not have full privileges on the same rewards program.
Credit cards rewards have the benefit of helping you cool down how much you pay on certain expenses. Other reward program let you receive free merchandise, Gift Cards, and other goodies as you spend.
Never consolidate expenses on a credit card for sakes of running up your points, or miles earned – don’t forget you’re also running up card debt.
Online Account Management
This lets cardholders place an eye on their accounts without having to wait for card statements. With regular checking, victims are able to detect Identity Theft early on.
Travel Accident Insurance & Purchase Protection
Both should come at no extra cost to cardholders. Travel accident insurance comes on a lot of MasterCards and VISA Cards cards offering up to $100,000 or more as compensation to the card beneficiary. Purchase protection isn’t as necessary as other features here, but could come handy when buyer remorse kicks in.
The secret to unlocking the true details of credit cards are what you’ve just read. Be sure to use them to your advantage whenever shopping for a perfect credit card.