Finance Globe

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How to Pick Between Two Great Credit Cards

How to Pick Between Two Great Credit Cards

There are dozens of great credit cards out there, especially in the rewards and no interest categories. It’s fairly easy to whittle your options down to two similar and great credit cards, but picking one over the other can feel like you’re leaving something on the table. Here are a few ways to pick between two credit cards.

Which one pays rewards in the categories that you typically spend?

You may be trying to decide between two credit cards that pay 5% rewards in rotating categories. Take a peek at the rewards categories scheduled for this year. If one of the credit cards pays top rewards in categories that you’re more likely to spend, that’s the one you should choose.

Which rewards are easier to redeem?

Some credit cards allow you to redeem rewards in certain increments. Others only allow you to redeem your rewards as a statement credit to your account. Some give you a better conversion on you rewards if you redeem them a certain way. Check the different ways you’re able to redeem rewards and choose the card that’s most flexible for you.

Which one has the lowest balance transfer fee?

Say you’re trying to pick between two credit cards with zero percent interest on balance transfers for the same period of time. Take a look at the balance transfer fee for both credit cards, if one has a lower fee, that’s probably the best one. And if one waives the balance transfer fee altogether, it’s even better.

Which one has the lowest post-promotional interest rate?

Again, if you’re weighing two credit cards with zero percent interest on balance transfers for the same amount of time, take a look at what the interest rate might be after the promotional period has ended. The one with the potential for lower interest rate is the better option. Keep in mind, however, that your exact interest rate is based on your credit rating and you won’t know it until you’ve applied and have been approved.

Which one has the better signup bonus?

If you’re looking at two credit cards with a similar rewards structure, take a look at the signup bonus. Most credit cards with a signup bonus require you to spend a certain amount on purchases within the first three months of having the credit card. Do they both offer a signup bonus? When one credit card offers a bonus, but the other doesn’t, the credit card with the bonus is typically the better choice. 

Assuming both credit cards do offer a bonus, compare the actual bonuses, in dollar value rather than points, if possible. The higher bonus may be a better choice, especially if the two credit cards have a similar spending requirement.

Which has the lowest annual fee?

Many rewards credit cards waive the annual fee in the first year. So there’s no year one cost to consider when you’re comparing credit cards. But, if you’re planning to keep the credit card after a year, the annual fee matters

Which fits your credit profile?

You generally need to have good to excellent credit to qualify for many of the best credit cards. And credit card issuers have become better about listing the type of credit you need for each credit card. Check your credit before applying for a credit card. It may be the factor that pushes you to choose one credit card over another.

 

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Comments 1

Frank on Monday, 22 May 2017 10:53

My generally view is if they are both great cards, you won't hurt yourself over the long term if you get both credit cards.

My generally view is if they are both great cards, you won't hurt yourself over the long term if you get both credit cards.
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Thursday, 21 November 2019

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