Save money and maintain your excellent credit by being an informed consumer. balance transfer and cash offers starting at 0% for a few months or a lower interest until paid”Good credit” credit cards now offer interest rates starting at 7.99% – but with periodic in full. Typically, the lower interest will be 4.99% to 5.99%
Some cards offer low introductory rates from the time you sign up, while others will send you promotional offers after you have been with the credit card issuer for a time. These offers are sent to selected consumers with excellent credit, in order to keep your business.
Most credit cards for good credit carry no annual fee, although some rewards cards do.
Your choices as a consumer with good credit are:
• No frills – lowest interest
• Cash back rewards
• Points rewards
• Miles rewardsuse a business card
As an individual with good credit, you have the ability to pick and choose from all the cards available. By owning more than one of these cards, you also have the ability to transfer balances between them to obtain the lowest possible interest on balances you must carry from month to month.
Of course you can and should use different cards for different purposes. For instance, use a rewards card for personal purchases you pay in full each month, and a “lowest interest” card for balances you’ll carry. If you own a business, for all business-related purchases. This will simplify your bookkeeping and could allow you to deduct any interest paid on business purchases. Check with your tax preparer to learn the regulations for deducting business interest on credit cards.
In order to maintain your “excellent” credit status, keep your balance below 30% of your available credit – even if you pay the balance in full each month. If your expenses are higher than that, ask for a credit line increase, or obtain a second card to carry the additional charges.
Your mailbox is probably filled with offers, but do be careful. The offer in your mailbox may not be the best offer. With excellent credit, you can have any one you choose, so click here to compare. Click on the link to “view rate and term details” for those that interest you most.
You’ll find differences in more than the interest rate and rewards. For instance: the grace period. Some cards charge interest from the day of purchase, while you’ll pay no interest at all on other cards when you pay the balance in full each month.
• As gift cards
• For employee expenses
• For kids away at school
• For travel
• For individuals without checking accounts
A pre-paid card is nothing more than a debit card, to be used against an amount that has been deposited into the account. As such, it is not reported to the credit bureaus and has no value in building or re-building credit.
The terms and fees vary drastically from one card to the next, so it pays to take a careful look at the cards offered and choose the one that suits the way it will be used.
Some have activation fees, some have “load” fees which are paid every time you add funds to the card. Some have monthly fees – and even those differ from one card to another. One might charge a flat rate for the month while another charges based on the number of times you use the card.
Like most debit cards, all have ATM fees for cash withdrawals.
Pre-paid cards can be a convenience for individuals who receive government checks each month and who don’t want the bookkeeping involved in keeping a checking account.
Some of these cards are tied to a long-term agreement and have fees for inactive accounts. So read all the details before choosing your card.
Click here to see and compare an assortment of pre-paid card offers.
Cash-back rewards credit cards are a favorite among consumers with excellent credit who pay their balance in full each month. It only makes sense to get something back for the money you spend!
These cards typically carry higher interest rates than standard, no-frills credit cards. That makes them a poor choice for consumers who carry credit card balances from month-to month. 1% or 2% cash back will not make up for an extra 5% or 10% in interest fees.
Some also carry an annual fee, so before you choose, consider how much you spend each year. Will you get back an amount greater than the annual fee?
As with the non-cash rewards credit cards, offers vary with regard to the cash back given on different kinds of purchases. Some even offer big bonuses for making a purchase within a set time after receiving your card.
Many cards offer double or triple cash back on gasoline, entertainment, or grocery purchases, while some offer cash back only on those purchases.
For instance, Discover offers a credit card with cash back on all purchases, but additional cash back on categories which change periodically. One quarter it might be grocery purchases, while in a different quarter it will be entertainment. They also offer a card that gives 5%-20% cash back on purchases made through their on-line shopping site.
The HSBC Weekend card offers 1% back Monday through Friday, and 2% back for week-end purchases.
With such a wide choice of options in cash back credit cards, it pays to take your time and compare. Choose the card that fits your lifestyle, so you get the maximum amount back.
If you have purchases, such as gasoline, that you pay in full each month, use a cash back credit card for those purchases while using a low interest “no-frills” credit card for large purchases that must be paid off over time.
Click here to see the wide variety of cash-back and non-cash back rewards cards available to you.
Informed choices are a sign of wise money management, so compare before you choose. And remember, offers change, so double-check your information on the day you apply for your new credit card.
BestRateforCreditCards.com your resource for credit cards, business credit cards, student credit cards, secured credit cards, and prepaid credit cards. We also provide a weatlth of information about the importance of having credit cards and how they will benefit you.
Student credit cards
are available for students with no credit, fair credit, good credit, and excellent credit – with rates and terms to match the credit ratings. Rates start at 11.99% and go up to 19.8%.
The rewards also vary between cards, and are generally geared toward the interests of the younger generation.
For instance, the Citi® mtvU™ Platinum Select® Visa® Card
for College Students offers 5 Thank You Points for every dollar spent at restaurants, bookstores, record stores, movie theaters and video rental stores, while offering 1 Thank You point for all other purchases.
Students earn 250-2000 extra points twice a year for maintaining a good GPA. These points are redeemable for gift cards, MTV events, and airline tickets.
While one card offers points redeemable toward the purchase of a new or used car, others offer airline miles or merchandise.
Cash back student credit cards offer an extra percentage for such expenses as gasoline, groceries, and drug store purchases. Discover offers a choice of cards that give 5% or more cash back on purchases from their on-line store.
For students with no credit or poor credit, Capital One offers a choice between a card with an annual fee of $29 and 16.9% interest, or a card with no fee and 19.8% interest.
Students with no credit or poor credit can also obtain a secured credit card
, which will help them build credit.
As with all financial decisions, the choice of a credit card should not be made lightly. Examine all the choices and decide which offers the most advantages to you before making application.
Be sure to check the rate and term details listed with each card before making your decision. Then, as you make your application, read the more extensive terms to be sure that this is the correct card for you.
Responsible student credit card use will go a long way toward building your credit rating, so be sure to make all payments on time, and try not to use more than 30% of your available credit at any time – even if you pay the balance in full each month.
As your credit rating builds, your credit expenses will go down. Responsible credit card use and on-time bill payments during college years will put you in a good position after graduation. You’ll get lower interest rates on everything from a car to the purchase of your first home.
Business credit cards are much like standard credit cards in that the interest rate offered will vary with your credit scores, and no-frills credit cards generally carry lower interest rates than cards that offer miles, points, or cash back.
However, they do offer some additional options.
For instance, as a business owner, you can order extra cards for your employees – some with pre-set spending limits. The cards are imprinted with the employee’s name and the monthly bill also breaks out who spent what and where. Some cards also offer year-end reporting that summarizes the year’s purchases. This can be a valuable tool for both accounting and budgeting.
Rewards programs are geared toward business, with several cards offering miles for business travel or extra points or cash back for business-related purchases.
The Capital One business card, for instance, lets you choose which of the following categories will earn triple points: travel and lodging, gas and service stations, building supplies and hardware, computers and electronics, office supplies and furniture, advertising and shipping.
Advanta offers a card with a twist – the interest rate is high, but the consumer gets the first 90 days interest-free on purchases. Thus, there’s plenty of time for accounting and bill paying before any interest is due. The rewards program with this card is an added bonus.
Advanta also offers a “points” card with a customizable option. Your cards can be imprinted with your business name and logo.
Most business cards do not charge an annual fee. However, the two that offer the greatest benefits in terms of airline miles and extra “perks” charge both an annual fee and a high interest rate. Consumers must weigh the value of the rewards against these fees.
As with other credit cards, the consumer should read the details and study the offers carefully before choosing a business credit card. If the balance will be paid in full each month, then your preference for miles, points, or cash back should be the consideration. If the business will need to carry a balance, then the annual percentage rate should be the prime factor behind your choice.
Click here to compare business credit cards.
An often overlooked business card:
As both a convenience and a financial safety feature, some businesses choose to issue pre-paid cards to employees who travel or shop on behalf of the business. This not only limits the amount an employee can spend, but reduces the danger from a lost card. A thief will be limited to the balance on the card, and it will be useless as a tool for identity theft.
Why get a secured credit card? Wouldn’t it be easier just to spend your own money?
Yes, it would be easier, but it wouldn’t be helpful in terms of building your credit, which is the purpose of a secured credit card.
These cards require both an annual fee and a savings account which is held as security against the credit line on the card. Thus the credit card issuer has no risk and anyone can obtain the card – regardless of their credit history.
Careful use of a secured credit card will gradually raise the card holder’s credit scores, enabling him or her to become eligible for a standard credit card.
This card is good for people who have poor credit, and also for those who have not yet established credit. For instance, young people just out of school who still live at home and don’t even have a power or phone bill to give them a financial reputation.
A tool for parents to help children establish credit:
At one time parents could employ a method called piggybacking to help their children establish credit. They simply put the child’s name on their own credit cards so their good credit would also be reported under their child’s name and social security number.
That method ceased to be effective when credit card issuers became aware that the practice was being abused. Businesses had sprung up selling the piggyback opportunity.
Now, a parent can simply fund a savings account for their child to use as security. Once the child has established credit, the money is returned with interest.
These cards do carry a high interest rate and should be used only as a tool for building credit scores. The holder should never carry a balance of more than 30% of the credit line and should pay the entire balance in full and on time each month.
Because these credit card issuers do report to the credit bureaus, after a few months to a year, credit scores will begin to rise. Then the card can be replaced with a traditional credit card.
Pre-paid cards do not carry the same benefit
Pre-paid credit cards do have valid uses, but building credit is not one of them. These transactions are not reported to the credit bureaus.