How to find the best credit card rates
The newly signed Credit CARD, or Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure, Act went into effect Feb. 22, 2010. As credit card issuers adjust their practices to accommodate new federal legislation and still turn profits, it's important that you understand how to find the best credit card rates before opening an account in this new climate.
The lowest credit card rates don't always mean the best deals.While zero percent interest on balance transfers and low introductory rates sound appealing, be sure to comb through the fine print to understand a credit card's full agreement. Annual fees, hefty charges for exceeding your limit and high APR after the introductory card rate expires can turn that low rate into overwhelming monthly finance charges. Protect yourself against surprising figures on your monthly statement with thorough research of each potential credit card.
Do the math.If you're applying for a rewards card, do the rewards outweigh any higher charges that the card carries? Many users fall into the trap of using a rewards card that weighs them down with a higher interest rate or other hidden fees. Small cash-back percentages or points may seem like great incentives, but don't let an enticing offer make you miss out on the best credit card rates. For helpful hints about your rewards card offer, look at Bankrate's "7 Ways to Spot Unrewarding Rewards Cards."
Compare before you apply.Finding your way through the crowded world of APRs, annual fees, balance transfers and other information can seem like a challenge. Between receiving daily offers in the mail and finding countless card options online, picking the right card for you isn't always simple. You can use Bankrate's Credit Card search to make finding the best credit card rates easy and efficient. With complete comparison charts for all types of cards, use this tool to find one that fits your lifestyle and meets your needs.
Whether you're searching for your first student credit card or working to consolidate existing card debt, finding the best credit card rates is a crucial step in building strong credit for your future.
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