Which Card Is Right For You?

There are a great many choices out there these days when deciding which credit card to carry. The decision is no longer limited to which bank or financial institution you prefer to do business with, but also what kind of credit card best suits your needs and your spending profile. Are you someone who prefers to pay down your balance each month, or are you comfortable carrying a balance over a longer period of time? Does your comfort level depend on the amount of your balance? In today’s credit climate, the answer to these questions can be just as important as the interest rate itself in choosing the best card for your financial lifestyle.

For those with a good credit history, the options are many. They will usually enjoy a lower APR, and in most cases be extended a higher credit limit. For those whose credit rating is average, there are still many options available when choosing between credit cards. Even a bad credit history, low credit score, or bankruptcy no longer means one is banished form the world of credit cards. One company, Providian, offers credit cards to those with poor credit and some can even be procured without a credit check.

Other variations on the traditional credit card for those with below average credit include: No credit check credit cards, secured credit cards, and prepaid cards, to name a few.  Similar in their structure, they differ only in how much the lending institution will extend in credit. No credit credit cards are rare indeed and the downside to these cards is that they usually carry very high interest rates. They are best suited for those with no, or bad credit histories who are trying to rebuild their credit ratings. It can work, but it can be a costly trip back to a decent credit rating.   

Prepaid cards are a great convenience, but they extend no credit. Paid in full up front, they are more a convenience so that one does not have to carry cash. Another upside to these cards is that you never having to worry about going over your spending limit. Great for those who perpetually spend more than they intend, the prepaid card is also a great tool for students living on a strict budget.

Secured credit cards work much in the same way as prepaid, but you can keep using the same card by paying the bill down monthly. There is a security deposit upfront that the lender can hold should you miss payments.  So, before you take your credit card shopping, there is a lot of shopping to be done just in choosing a card. Be sure to take the time to educate yourself on all the options out there – there are many.

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