4 Helpful Tips to Know When Choosing a Credit Card
- Credit Cards
Before you apply for a new card, it’s a good idea to compare several options before making a final decision. Check out the following four tips to determine which credit card is the right fit for you, so you can swipe with confidence.
1. Check Your Credit Score
Check your credit score before applying for a credit card. Those with a high credit score may be granted a higher credit limit, lower interest rate, and more benefits, while a low credit score may mean the opposite. Applying for a card above your means may negatively impact your score with a hard inquiry.
You can view your credit score for a few dollars at annualcreditreport.com, and some credit card websites also let you check your approval odds to predetermine eligibility.
2. Realize Your Spending Habits
Pay attention to your spending habits, because a high interest rate may devastate your payments if you plan on charging up a pretty penny. If you’re carrying a balance, look at credit cards with a low interest rate and low late fees – just in case you find yourself in a financial bind. If you’re able to pay off your balance each month, you may benefit most from a cash back or rewards card option. You’ll reap rewards for the purchases you make!
Credit card calculators are a free and easy resource to estimate smart monthly payments and pay off your debt quicker.
3. Decide What Benefits Suit Your Lifestyle
Ask yourself the following question: which credit card would benefit my lifestyle? Pinpointing your current priorities will help you get the most of your perks when swiping your credit card. If you’re a:
- Frequent flier – check out a card that offers travel rewards.
- Student – there are credit cards specifically for students!
- Business owner – business credit cards offer discounts for bulk orders on supplies & more.
- Rewards seeker – a card that rewards you for gas and groceries might be best.
- Average household consumer – a cash back card is a simple and straightforward redemption option for you.
4. Read the Fine Print
We all love surprises, but no one wants an unanticipated fee.
Read all disclosures carefully before charging to your card to assure that you haven’t missed any details listed within the fine print. You should also periodically review your existing cards in the event the terms and conditions, fees, and rates have changed since you opened the card.
Key Terms & Definitions
Interest rate – this is the price you pay to borrow money, usually referred to as APR (Annual Percentage Rate).
Credit amount – the maximum amount you’re allowed to charge to your credit card.
Benefits – these include perks associated with using the card: loyalty points, rewards, cash back, and more.
Annual fees – the credit card provider will charge this fee once a year to accommodate any benefits that come with the credit card. Typically, the more benefits, the higher the fee.
Minimum payment – although you can pay more than the minimum payment, this specified amount must be paid monthly to evade a late fee.
Hard inquiry – when a financial institution checks your credit in order to determine eligibility for their services. Typically, you will have to give them authorization.
Consider a Dominion Energy Credit Union Credit Card
With a credit card at Dominion Energy Credit Union, you’ll enjoy:
- No annual fee
- Lower rates than most banks charge
- Online account management and fraud alerts
- 0% APR* on all transactions for the first 12 months
Applying is simple and easy for our members – your new credit card may only be a few clicks away!
* Annual percentage rate. 0% APR valid for new cards for all transactions for the first twelve months. The introductory rate is not valid on existing Dominion Energy CU balances. After the introductory period, the rate will return to the variable rate for which you qualify. View current rates and credit card agreement and disclosure for details.