Credit cards can be serious business and if you don’t read through that loaded fine print with a fine tooth comb, you might be taking on more than you imagined in the long run. In 2009, a consumer protection law was passed that requires corporations to reduce their over limit fees and other interesting charges as well as refine their disclosure statements to be clearer and easier to understand. These things are great, but credit cards are going to be a debt source of millions forever. Might it be about that time for you to look for a better credit card? To avoid falling into the pits of despair with credit card debts, make sure you do your homework before getting into a bad situation. Keep following along for some of the factors that might scream: look for a better credit card!
Sky High Annual Fees
If you tend to only use your card on occasion, it’s probably about time that you look into a card with a low annual fee or no fee at all. One of the main things that might be a guiding factor in your choice is the kinds of rewards you receive from your chosen card.
For example, the American Express Platinum Card is geared toward travels and with a $450 annual fee, it probably seems like an instant no go in your eyes. On closer inspection though, you can see that with the $200 annual airline rebate, privileges at three separate airport lounges and points earning depending on how much you spend, this could be a great credit card for the right person. If you travel a lot and you want to be rewarded for those travels, you might look for a better credit card that gives you more for all those miles you fly in the sky. If you decide to get a card because of the rewards it provides, you always want to make sure the benefits you get are worth more than the annual fee.
The feeling of instant gratification that washes over you when you look for a better credit card and find that the one you’ve chosen promises no interest for the first few months or the first year is second to nothing. It might tend to give off the impression that you’re getting loans at no cost to you, but that’s not truly the case.
Eventually, you’ll end up meeting the regular standard rate of interest that you’ll be expected to pay on top of each payment you make to your card provider. Whenever you want to look for a better credit card and you stumble upon one that offers no interest, you should definitely find out what that interest rate will be looking like once it kicks in. Researching the average rates on different types of car should help you figure out if you’re getting competitive terms. That way, you have a point of reference to start from while you look for a better credit card.
Rewards That Waste Away
Most cards are in the habit of offering special little incentives based on how much you spend with your card. Before you decide to choose one credit card over another, you have to make sure you’ll actually benefit from the rewards that apply.
The kinds of cards that offer cashback on every purchase, like Discover, are usually a foolproof choice. Credit cards that offer specific products or services as rewards can be more difficult to navigate. For example, if you decide to look for a better credit card that is airline-affiliated, you want to choose the carrier that operates at the airport you frequent most with the types of travel destinations you want to visit and that way, you can be sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. You also want to get very familiar with the rules and regulations that guide the miles redemption process before you make a decision. If you’ve got a card that works on the points system, you want to identify if you get points for every purchase or just specific ones.
Terrible Customer Service Representation
Checking into the kinds of rewards a card might have when trying to look for a better credit card will allow you to get acquainted with the level of excellence you get when you communicate with the customer service department. There is nothing more aggravating than trying to get a pressing question addressed or trying to dispute a charge when you’re up against a less than experienced customer service representative. One of the deciding factors for many people when choosing a card is the level of service they can expect from an established company’s customer service team.
Cards with no foreign transactions fees are a great bet if you do a lot of international traveling, and you want to be well educated on all the fine print that’s sprinkled throughout your card’s terms and conditions.