Which credit card is best for you?
Credit cards come with all sorts of benefits and features. The one that matches your needs and spending pattern most closely could help you save, manage your budget or enjoy valuable rewards.
Low interest-rate credit cards
If you’re struggling to clear your credit card balance each month you need to pay the lowest possible amount of interest. That usually means a no-frills credit card with a comparatively low interest rate. Quite a few fall into this category and, as interest rates and annual fees can vary quite considerably, it pays to look closely at the different offerings.
The interest rate is usually higher on cash advances than purchases so, whichever you choose, this is something to avoid.
Some credit cards charge no interest at all for a certain period, either as an introductory offer or part of a balance transfer deal. This can help you pay off an existing credit card debt more quickly or provide a handy short-term, interest-free loan. The danger is that you’ll still have an outstanding balance when the interest kicks in because the rate is likely to be relatively high.
Credit cards with a long interest free period
Most credit cards have an interest free period of up to 25 to 55 days on purchases. The ‘up to’ is important as this is the longest possible interest free period – the one that applies only to purchases made on the first day of your statement period.
For example, if your credit card has up to 55-day interest free period, this will run from the first day of your payment cycle to 55 days later. Make a purchase on day 30 and you’ll have 25 days interest-free. And, for this benefit to apply, you will need to pay the full closing balance on each statement of account by the applicable due date.
Credit cards with Rewards or Frequent Flyer Programs
Rewards Programs reward you for using your credit card, with incentives ranging from flight upgrades, shopping vouchers, tickets to sporting events or concerts and even cashback. If you’re using a credit card for most or all of your purchases and clear your balance every month, it makes sense to choose one that gives you something back.
Clearing your balance is important because these kinds of credit cards are generally at the higher end of the interest-rate spectrum. If you do end up paying interest, it could easily offset any rewards.
Before deciding to go ahead, you need to be realistic about the amount you’re likely to spend on the credit card each year, how many rewards points you would earn and whether this will outweigh the annual fee.
Credit cards with travel extras
Some credit cards come with a bunch of travel extras. Take the Latitude 28° Global Platinum Mastercard® for example. Yes, it’s a fantastic credit card for travel, and that’s because it comes with delightful features like Free Global Wi-Fi to help your travels run smoothly, Flight Delay Pass for when you’re stuck in the airport, and not having to worry about international transaction fees on purchases. Imagine you’re all set to go on holiday… then your flight’s delayed. Having features like Flight Delay Pass means you can turn a bad situation around by waiting for your flight in style.
These cards are handy for people who use their credit card to pay for bills. There are also many benefits geared to people who travel a great deal. You should check the eligibility requirements for these credit cards, as some of these cards may require a higher income and a good credit history. But don’t be disheartened, any time is a good time to work on improving your credit history. You can read about how from one of our in-house experts here.