Credit cards have over recent years become less of a luxury for those with plentiful cash reserves and more of an everyday essential that literally anyone can get hold of.
There are thousands of the things on the market from hundreds of different providers, which of course means there’s going to be huge variations in things like value for money and customer service provision. As such, it’s in any consumer’s best interests to be as proactive as possible when it comes to sourcing credit cards – if for nothing else than the incredible savings that can be made.
Here’s five important rules for securing the best credit card deals:
1 – Check Your Credit Report.
You might not know it, but your credit score will impact everything from the decision made with regard to your application to the rate of interest you’ll pay to credit limits and even things like annual fees. As such, before even thinking about going near a credit card application it’s a good idea to first have a look at your credit report, just to find out where you stand. And if it’s not looking too good, you might want to give it some attention first.
2 – Compare the Market.
These days, comparing thousands of credit card offers in a matter of seconds is as easy as using an independent comparison site online. This way, you get to see all the very best offers from the market’s leading providers and aren’t as likely to be swayed into making the wrong decision as you might be were you to hear straight for one specific bank.
3 – Be Wary of Immediate Rewards.
Quite often, credit card companies will offer anything from a free toaster to free return flights to the destination of your choosing, simply for signing up in the first place. All well and good, but as it’s not like they’re giving these things away out of the goodness of their hearts, and you can rest assured you’ll be paying for these ‘freebies’ one way or another further down the line (interest rates, fees etc.). It’s generally better to go for the most honest, catch-free and gimmick-free deals of strong value for money.
4 – Apply for More than One.
If your credit score and self-control are both strong enough, it can often be beneficial to have more than one credit card. The reason being that well-managed credit cards improve credit ratings, which improve the deals you might be eligible for with your next credit card. The trick therefore being to have a select few, but to only use the very best one.
5 – Regularly Switch Providers.
Last but not least, it’s wholly unfair that new customers should get all the best deals, so why not play the lenders at their own game? Keep switching providers on a regular basis to make the most of those low-interest deals and you could save yourself an absolute fortune both short and long term.