Saturday, January 1, 2011

Tips to Comparing Credit Card Accounts

It is no secret that credit card accounts have become an important aspect of the average consumers lifestyle. As a matter of fact, statistics say that currently the average consumer carries a few thousand dollars in charge account debt. However, for those consumers who are new to charge card, it is important that they choose the best account for them when they pick their first one. Unfortunately, there is no class in school that Americans can use to learn what charge card will be best for them, however, I will try my best to give the tips that can help. Here are the steps to comparing charge card accounts:

Step 1: The first thing that consumers should do when comparing charge card applications is get a copy of their credit report. This is because each individual credit card product is designed for people of a specific range of credit worthiness. Americans with higher credit scores tend to qualify for lower APRs and better rewards whereas consumers with lower credit scores tend to qualify for higher annual percentage rates and less rewards. When comparing credit cards, Americans should first make a list of all the card accounts they may actually qualify for.

Step 2: Now it is time to narrow that list down a bit. The next thing that people will want to look at when comparing credit cards is the APR on the account. The APR is the rate of interest that the bank will charge Americans when borrowing money using their credit card account. The higher the interest rate on a card, the more money it will cost consumers to borrow cash using the card. The lower the interest rate the less money borrowing will cost! At this point, people should cross out the high interest rate charge card accounts on the list. These will cost too much money to borrow against.

Step 3: Let's narrow this down even a bit more. Now consumers should look for introductory interest rates. Introductory APRs are short term rates of interest that start the day the charge card is opened and end generally within 6 to 12 months. These APRs are used as a tool to attract new consumers to charge card products. Generally, introductory interest rates will range between 0% and 6% which allows for a great savings when first opening a new charge card account.

Step 4: Now Americans should have a relatively small list of charge card offers to choose from. At this point, it is time to narrow it down to one account to apply for! To do this, people should look at the rewards offered with the different credit card account offers that are left. Some charge account rewards like travel rewards are better for some Americans than others and some charge card rewards like cash back are pretty much universal and will benefit all consumers the same. However, rewards are part of the calculation to see the benefit of accounts to people so it is important to choose a charge card that offers a rewards program that will be taken advantage of!

Step 5: Fill out the application. At this point, if people followed all of the steps here, they should have no problem getting approved for a charge account! Simply fill out the application and wait for the APPROVED message to show up on screen!


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