Credit Cards

How To Choose Your First Credit Card

How To Choose Your First Credit Card
Viveka Rao
Written by Viveka Rao

Before Applying For Your First Credit Card, Know What You Want

Top 3 Secured Credit Cards In IndiaIf you want to get a credit card, do your research first. And, if it’s your first credit card, then it is more important to be cautious. There’s nothing worse than getting approved for your first credit card only to read the fine print and realize it doesn not offer terms you’re happy with. Or maybe it has a rewards system you’ll never be able to take advantage of.

Just follow these steps, when choosing your first credit card, and stay away from all the hassles.

1. See the benefits

The first step is to see the benefits of different credit cards. For this, you need to conduct your own research on the internet and see what type of perks suit you. Then, only go for that card, which offers good advantages as per your financial needs and preferences.

You can look for things like low interest, no annual fees, promotion rates of interest, no charges for bank services, reward points for purchases, air travel miles, reward points for long-distance calls, reward points for gasoline, etc. Moreover, compare the fees of different credit cards, so that you can get the best credit card for yourself with the lowest fees and charges.

2. Read the terms and conditions

After you choose a credit card for yourself, make sure that you read all of its terms and conditions, as it is in this fine print that you will find important things, such as interest rates. If you are offered a promotional rate of interest on the credit card you select, then see what are the payment terms and the expiry date of the promotional rate. There are many credit cards that offer low promotional interest rates, but have very high interest rates after the promotion period ends. So, check out what are the interest rates after promotion.

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3. Verify the interest rates

Double check the rate of interest on the credit card. Some credit cards charge interest rates from the bill date and some credit cards charge interest rates from the purchase date, so see how your credit card charges interest. Furthermore, pay all your credit card bills on time in order to avoid paying interest.

4. Check the fees and other charges

See what all charges and fees are there on the credit card that you pick. There are different types of charges, such as annual fees, application fees, account service charges, over-limit fees, late-payment fees, cash advance fees, miscellaneous fees, etc.

So, make sure that you see all types of fees that come with your credit card, so that you do not get a shock later on when your credit card bill comes. Moreover, compare the fees of your selected credit card with other credit cards to make sure that your credit card issuer is not trying to rip you off.

5. Evaluate the billing cycle

You must see if your card follows a monthly billing cycle or a bi-monthly billing cycle. Generally, the billing cycle of credit cards is for a month, but there are some credit cards that have a billing cycle of two weeks. Moreover, you must ask the credit card issuer if there is a penalty in case you do not use your credit card.

You’re Almost There!

6. Apply for the credit card

Finally, when you have completed all the above-mentioned steps, you can apply for the credit card that suits you. Generally, there are 3 ways to apply for a credit card, including on the internet, over the phone, or through mail.

7. Activate your credit card

When you get your credit card in your hand, activate it as soon as you receive it. You can do so by following the activation instructions that accompany your credit card. Usually, you can do this from your home by using the phone. Remember to say no, when the credit card issuer tries to sell you various services over the phone. Additionally, before you use the card, sign at the back of the credit card.

These are the steps that will help you to choose your very first credit card. Use them and get the best credit card with the best rates. Plus, if you follow the right ways, you will not be conned by different credit card issuers.

About the author

Viveka Rao

Viveka Rao

Viveka Rao is post grad in finance and a freelance writer here at CreditSmart. A love for shopping and travel rewards has fueled her interest in personal credit, and making the most of rewards programs. She writes to educate other consumers in making great financial choices.

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