credit cards

Steps before your credit card application

Credit card offers may be landing in your mailbox -- but before filling out that application, it pays to determine the best kind of card for your needs.

A good place to start is, where you can explore various credit cards based on criteria most important to you.

You can search for a card with a low interest rate, one that rewards you for transferring a balance, or a card that offers frequent-flier miles or other bonuses.

You can also research rewards offered and the terms of special deals, such as a zero percent APR on purchases for the first year.

Which credit card is right for you

If you find a card you like, research details about that particular card, as well as disclosures, such as its annual percentage rate and fees. There also may be a section that addresses frequently asked questions about that particular card.

If you want to find out about the cards available from a particular issuer that mailed you a credit card offer, you can explore many of those on the site as well.

Once you find a card you like, you can fill out a credit card application online. The application might ask you for the name of your employer, what your annual income is and about your bank accounts.

While it may be tempting to apply for every credit card, keep in mind that such a move can have an adverse impact on your credit score, one of the key factors in determining the interest rate you're charged for various types of credit.

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Product Rate Change Last week
Balance Transfer Cards 16.23%  0.01 16.22%
Cash Back Cards 16.55%  0.07 16.48%
Low Interest Cards 11.59%  0.25 11.34%
Credit cards on a table

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