The best credit card is completely subjective. Sure, there are some that are just plain bad for almost everyone. You wouldn’t want a card that gave you no perks, a high interest rate, a big annual fee, and poor customer service. But barring all of that, there are “best” credit cards for a lot of different people, depending on what they need and the benefits they want. Ready to find the right one for you? Here’s what to consider.
Is the starting credit line a main focus of your search?
Some companies are just more flexible and generous than others for people who are applying for a credit card with them. One company might give you a $2000 credit line, while another company might give you twice that. It all depends on how much significance they put on:
- your credit score,
- the amount of money you make,
- whether you rent or own, and
- other factors.
With that in mind, check around for credit cards that have reputations for high limits, or those that are focused on people who’s credit isn’t perfect. These might be more forgiving, and therefore give you the best experience when finding a good credit card.
Check your credit before you let them check it
Your credit may be fine, but then again it might not be. Have you checked lately? Did you check a reputable source? If the answer to either one of those is “no,” then you’ll want to take a look at your credit score from the three main bureaus. If there are errors on your report you can dispute them and get them fixed. If your credit just isn’t that good, you’ll want to search for the best credit card for bad credit, or improve your credit before you apply for a new card.
You don’t need an annual fee
Cards that have annual fees are still around, but they aren’t as popular as they once were. That’s because there are so many cards that don’t have annual fees – and a lot of them are really good cards that offer great perks and good credit limits. Is the annual fee worth it for some cards? Maybe. But most people don’t think so. Consider that carefully if you plan to get a card with an annual fee.
Will you really use those perks?
The perks offered by your new card may sound great, but will you really use them? Don’t sign up for that airline miles card if you don’t fly, or for the Amtrak guest rewards card if you don’t travel by train. What would be the point? The best credit card for your needs is the one that gives you the perks you actually want and will use. If you’re not going to get that from your card, it might be better to choose a different card that’s better suited to the types of things you enjoy. Because there are so many options, you don’t have to choose a card that doesn’t really work for you.
Look for the catch (but sometimes there isn’t one)
If a card seems too good to be true, it might be. But then again, it may not. It may just be a good credit card, and one that will be everything you’re looking for. Online sites can provide you with lists of credit cards to pick from, and can narrow down your search options. But they can’t really decide for you. That’s something you’ll have to do on your own. Just make sure you always read the fine print, because there can be catches that you wouldn’t expect with some of the cards offered on sites with lists of the “best” credit cards. Make sure it’s best for you, not the company offering it.
Don’t apply for too many cards at once
If you find a lot of great credit cards that will all be good choices, don’t start applying for them all at the same time. That can get you rejected, flagged as a fraudster, or give you a lot lower credit lines than you might otherwise get. If you want more than one of the best credit cards apply for one, give it some time, and then apply for another one. Overall, that will make things easier for you and help you get the cards you want with higher credit lines and better interest rates, so they can be more beneficial to your needs.