With such a wealth of credit cards on the market these days, one could be forgiven for just signing up to the first one that sends back a letter of approval. However, the fact of the matter is that every single card provider out there is fighting for our custom.
As such, assuming you have a good credit history, it really is a buyer’s market when it comes to picking the perks that come with these cards; free gifts, cash back and low introductory rates are commonplace, but which of these credit card offers really are worth the time it takes to get them?
Low Interest Rates
If you aren’t particularly concerned about shaping the way they spend on their card, a low interest rate really should be a deciding factor. After all, if the balance isn’t going to be cleared before the next statement date, the next best thing is having as low an interest as possible.
Throwing all additional extras to the side, a low APR always wins. When looking online for credit card deals you can usually find several cards offering low introductory rates for new customers, often from up to two years. You’ll find that repayments will be low, although some fancy perks that are on offer might not be immediately available.
Cashback and Rebates
Previously only limited to websites involving an arduous ‘click and redeem’ process, cashback on cards now takes the hunting out of the game. Simply using the card now guarantees a rebate on top of whatever cashback you qualify for online. But it doesn’t stop at simply redeeming a flat rate of cashback.
Many providers will now proudly boast the highest rebate on their card, and in certain cases will have preferred partners with even higher returns, ensuring that you take home more money (and, of course, make money for their partner companies.) However, it’s an even trade off; rebates inevitably come with a slightly higher APR, or less availability of use. There are often various terms involved with these kinds of cards, such as a minimum spend in the initial period, which many people fail to realise.
There are, of course, low APR cards with reward points. Some banks have their own reward systems, but these are nearly always available only to banking customers as a prerequisite, keeping their array of rewards in the family.
For the spender who plans to clear their balance every month, a rebate/rewards card can present a great way of making a nice sum over the year; simply using the card generates a small bonus that soon mounts up, and shopping around between cards every few months can get the user some great introductory offers from companies vying for custom.
For any spender who plans to make a purchase, large or small, and clear it off over a period of months, the lowest APR (with some kind of introductory offer wherever possible) should always be the deal breaker. Any interest payments will undoubtedly cost far more than any reward scheme can offer. With deals and perks often being changed in the name of competition, comparison websites will offer the most up to date information on what introductory offers are out there. Now that there are more credit cards available on the market than ever, why not shop around?