Choosing the best credit card for your needs is difficult, owing to the overwhelming amount of rewards credit cards available today.
Choosing the best credit card for your needs is a difficult task, owing to the many cards available right now. In addition, anyone’s mind would be blown by the sheer amount of rewards credit cards available today. So it’s no surprise that many people go with a card that a friend recommends or one they happen upon when exploring the web.
However, if you want to get the best card for your purposes, you’ll need to do a little more research. Some cards are better suited to certain types of customers, and your particular credit profile may limit the cards you can qualify for. So instead of depending on recommendations from friends or direct mail marketing to choose your next card, take the time to research what you truly require.
These five steps will assist you in obtaining the best credit card for your lifestyle and goals.
Step-by-step instructions for selecting a credit card
Examine your credit score
Most of the best rewards credit cards require strong or exceptional credit, but cards are also for people with “average” credit and even cards for persons with no credit or short credit history.
It’s a good idea to know where you stand before applying for a credit card. Take the time to determine your credit score so you can determine which type of card to apply for.
Based on your FICO score, the following general guidelines will apply:
If your credit score is “poor” (579 or lower) or “fair” (580 to 669), you may need to apply for a credit card for bad credit or even a secured credit card.
“Good” (670 to 739): You have a good chance of qualifying for the top credit card offers available today, but you may not be eligible for premium cards.
You should be able to qualify for practically any credit card you apply for if your credit score is “very good” (740 to 799) or “excellent” (800 and up).
If your credit isn’t as good as you’d like, it’s also a good idea to work on it before applying for a credit card. The greatest (and simplest) strategies to enhance credit are to pay all of your payments on time or early and to pay down debt to minimize your credit utilization.
Keep in mind that any time you apply for a new credit card, your credit report will be hard pulled, which will temporarily lower your credit score and remain on your credit report for two years. Having multiple hard pulls in a short period may jeopardize your prospects of authorization for cards shortly.
This implies you should strive to limit your card applications to only those with a good chance of acceptance based on your credit profile. Fortunately, you can frequently find out if you prequalify for a card with a specific issuer by visiting their website, or you can use a tool like CardMatch to search across many issuers for prequalified card offers that meet your credit profile.
While it is not a guarantee of acceptance, prequalification should give you an idea of your chances of approval and some reassurance before submitting your application.
Choose the finest type of card for you.
Once you’ve figured out where you stand in terms of credit, you can narrow down which type of card is best for you. As you may have noticed, numerous credit card options are available, each having advantages and disadvantages depending on your goals, budget, and credit standing.