So you got that shiny piece of plastic in your hand. Now you think you’re the king of the world with unlimited spending potential. King Midas can take a hike.
This mindset is where credit cards become cash-draining, life-sucking monsters. Before you know it, you’re drowning in debt and there’s no one to bail you out. You ask yourself, “When will it ever stop?” Owning and managing a credit card does not need to look like a cringe horror movie. Knowing what credit card works in what situation will save you from falling into a debt trap. Here are the best credit cards to use for every situation.
Travel Rewards Credit Cards
If you’re a trendy jet setter, this is the credit card. This type of credit card rewards you for your travels (the name probably tipped you off to that). This is an excellent credit card for the traveler who wants more than pictures and memories. Travel rewards credit cards reward you with points or miles equivalent to your spending. For example, one credit card company may offer one mile for every $2 that you spend. Some give out one mile for every $3. With enough points, you may be able to afford that dream vacation without breaking the bank.
Cash Back Credit Cards
Imagine that you get rewarded in cash just by spending. Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t. With a cashback credit card, you earn cash rewards by using your credit card. The cashback concept was launched back in 1986, and the Discover card was the pioneer behind the concept. The idea became so popular that many other credit card companies have followed suit. The cashback concept may be older than some of this site’s readers!
You can enjoy cashback benefit in three ways, depending on your issuing bank:
- Deducted from your final bill monthly
- Deposited into your account
- Issued as a cheque
Low Interest Rate Credit Cards
It’s easy to fall into the credit card trap. If you’re the type of person who does not settle their credit card bill in full monthly, you will want a card with a low interest rate. A credit card with low interest can save you a lot of money when paying off your debt. You may also qualify for 0% APR if you have excellent credit. A 0% APR credit card offers zero percent interest for some time, usually up until 21 months. Don’t get all excited, though, because, as you read earlier, these credit cards are for people with REALLY good credit. Don’t get your hopes up unless you fit the bill.
Balance Transfer Credit Cards
Transferring your balance from an existing credit card to a new credit card is more than just having the convenience of paying off one statement. Some credit card companies will waive balance transfer fees to entice customers to sign up with them. The technique for making this work for you is to transfer your existing balance to a credit card with a lower interest rate. This will help allow you to take advantage of this benefit. Keep in mind that a balance transfer will not make your debt disappear. You will still need to pay off that balance to maintain a good credit score.
Student Credit Cards
Student credit cards are a great way to build your credit early on. Don’t be fooled. Student credit cards are not exclusively for students; you may still pass the eligibility requirements depending on the issuer. Student credit cards function like regular credit cards but with a lower credit limit. Most student credit cards will require you to be over 21 years old to apply. However, some credit card companies will issue you a student credit card even if you don’t meet the age criteria. If you want to get a headstart on your credit score, the student credit card is the card for you.
Business Credit Cards
A business credit card is the best credit card for all your business expenses. This card is issued to business owners and functions like a regular credit card. A business credit card allows you to separate your personal and business expenses. Business credit cards can be used by the business owner and can also be issued to employees for official business transactions. It may sound tempting to charge your weekend getaway with your college buddies, but it could cost you your job.
Secured Credit Cards for Bad Credit
Do you have bad or no credit? Don’t worry. You can still enjoy the benefits of a credit card and build your credit score from there. A secured credit card is issued to people who have no credit history. To qualify for a secured credit card, you have to make a deposit to the bank, and the bank issues you a credit card with a limit equal to your deposited amount. So if you deposit $300, you will get a $300 credit limit. If you cannot pay your credit card bill by the end of the month, the bank will deduct your balance from your current deposit. If you pay your bills on time, you may qualify for an unsecured credit card.
You may have already realized that no single credit card fits every situation. Financial bigwigs won’t change their credit card features just because you want them to. Although there’s no one magical credit card to meet all your needs, some pretty great ones out there give great perks.
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