Credit Cards for Dummies for Those That Aren’t Dummies

Searching for a credit card is a bit like trying to find the perfect outfit. It’s an intensely personal experience. In other words, the credit card you choose should be a reflection of your financial situation as well as your current credit status. If you don’t have A1 credit you can’t apply for a platinum gold Mastercard. You need to know your creditworthiness and what type of credit card you can realistically expect to be approved for.  With this being said, it’s a good idea to do your homework before you go ham and just start applying for credit. A little education about credit cards can go a long way and put you on the path to building a strong credit history if you’re proactive.

Starter Pack of Information About Credit Cards

In simple terms, credit is simply a loan. You are using a bank’s money to make purchases that you agree to pay for later. Most credit cards bill credit cardholders every month. This means that you are required to make a minimum payment on your credit card account once a month. You can carry a balance or you can pay the total balance in full. As long as you are making your minimum payments on time, your credit can grow.

However, other factors come into play, like how much you’ve spent on your credit cards and how many other credit cards you have. Although the concept of a loan is simple, other factors can make credit a little confusing.  One of the things that many young people may view as an adult rite of passage is getting a credit card. Even if you’re not a young person, choosing to start using credit, particularly if you’re new to it, can be both exciting and scary. However, it doesn’t have to be. Investing a little time in securing a fundamental understanding of how credit works are all you need. t’s important to know when you have a limited understanding of a topic.

A credit cards for dummies mindset helps you seek education before choosing a credit offer.

Let’s Dive Into the Ocean of Q&A Related to Credit Cards

Credit cards for dummies teaches the uneducated credit seeker to look at the details. You need to be careful and try to avoid credit card mistakes. We’ve learned that credit use is similar to borrowing money from a bank. In essence, that little plastic card acts as cash allowing you to make online purchases as well as purchases at stores and other retailers. The balance you create is interest-bearing, however. Most cards offer users a twenty to a thirty-day grace period. This means that if the balance is paid in full each month by the due date your purchases are interest-free.

However, you aren’t required to pay off the balance in full. You comply with the guidelines of the creditor if you pay the minimum balance by the due date every month. However, failure to male payments by your due date as well as failure to pay the minimum amount required reflects poorly on your creditworthiness and could damage your credit. Plus, you should keep in mind that the interest on your unpaid balance is growing monthly. If you’re not at least paying the minimum amount due, you could end up paying substantially more than the original amount of your purchases due to the interest that credit cards carry when balances aren’t paid in full.

Getting to the Bottom of It…

Credit can be tricky. Credit cards for dummies ideology encourages research and smart planning when it comes to credit. This is why its best to have a plan, process, and strategic approach when it comes to weeding through credit card offers. Truthfully, most sound so appealing, from cashback offers to free air miles, it can be quite confusing to navigate which credit card is worth your time. Fortunately, there are several steps that you can take to determine if a credit card is for you as well as if its al that it’s chopped up to be. As you open the letter with your credit card offer or read a new email detailing your credit card offer, your credit savvy education can come to your rescue.

There are several questions you should answer and consider to help guide your choice:

Is the credit offer unsolicited and from an unfamiliar bank?

If so, do your homework. It’s not uncommon for scam artists to craft enticing emails and letters to get your personal information. Do your research to determine the legitimacy of the offer. Credit cards for dummies explores different credit offers and focuses on teaching consumers how to choose the best credit offers for themselves.

Does the credit offer meet your needs?

If you know you need a card that offers balance transfers and a low APR, make sure that the card offer you’re considering has the elements of what you’re looking for. It may be a great card offer but if it doesn’t meet your specific needs, its not the card for you. The credit cards for dummies approach forced the consumer to become extremely personal and hyper-focused on their unique situation and whether or not a credit offer is truly for them.

Is the fee schedule clearly outlined and do you agree with the terms?

Many people don’t even look at a credit card fee schedule in detail. They may study the APR but don’t look at the nuts and bolts of an offer. This is important. Does the card charge exorbitant late fees? Are some of the fees strange or unusual? Most importantly, are you in agreement with the types of fees associated with the credit card? These are loaded questions that you must answer for yourself to proceed. People who are intimidated by numbers may shy away from understanding or even looking at the fee schedule. However, this is a mistake. You don’t want to be a dummy when it comes to your credit. Credit cards for dummies encourages education in the place of willing ignorance.

Does the card have an annual fee and how does it stack up against offers without an annual fee?

Do the math on this one. It will help you to make a decision. You can answer many financial decisions in regards to credit offers by being willing to take a close look at all the fees that come with a card. Credit cards for dummies help people that aren’t in the know learn about credit and make better choices.

If the credit card offer includes the lure of rewards, are these rewards truly relevant to you?

Many credit card offers come with the perk of reward offers attached to making certain purchases. This is an area where you need to pay close attention. If your credit card offers rewards for items or items that you don’t typically buy, it may not be worth pursuing. If you are a person who flies a lot, a card that offers free mileage as a reward for your purchases may be a useful card for you. Selecting a credit card is an intensely personal experience that should take into consideration your lifestyle, budget and spending habits, as well as your preferences. Be honest with yourself. Not all that glitters is gold. Credit cards for dummies sheds light on how valuable an offer or offers are to your unique situation and challenges you to make sober decisions.

Does the credit card offer other benefits that may be of value?

Does your credit offer mention travel protection or purchase protection? These are both examples of additional benefits that may or may not be attractive to you. Regardless, use the benefits offered to help you decide on the card, along with all the other details. These additional benefits may have a practical use for you. Consider them when choosing a credit card. Credit cards for dummies seeks to eliminate confusion and educate consumers.

Is the credit card’s payment network widely accepted?

You may receive a great credit card offer from a payment network that isn’t widely accepted. For example, Visa and Mastercard are the two most widely accepted payment networks. although Discover and other networks may still be accepted, you may run into trouble with retailers or shops that don’t accept these less popular payment networks. YOu will need to consider how this might impact your ability to use the card in the way that you want to. If you don’t plan on using the card for a wide variety of purchases, having a card with a payment network that’s not widely accepted may not be a big deal. However, as an uneducated person, credit cards for dummies encourages consumers to consider this aspect of a credit offer as well.

Does the credit card offer align with your credit score?

This is very important. You may get an American Express credit offer in the mail. However, your 460 credit score probably makes it highly unlikely that you’ll be approved for this card. Be honest and realistic with yourself. Applying for credit that you’re not eligible for only hurts you by creating an unnecessary inquiry on your credit profile. You don’t need that. Choose the credit offers you apply for wisely. Do your research. Determine the target credit score that these creditors are most likely to serve and extend credit to. If its not your credit score or tier, move on to something more appropriate for you. Credit cards for dummies push consumers to make smart educated decisions when it comes to choosing credit cards that will best serve them. All credit offers aren’t created equal and some offers are better suited for you than others.

Does the interest rate make the credit offer a practical choice for you and your spending and payment habits?

This is a big one. If you’re not one to pay off the entire balance on your credit cards monthly, you may need to ask yourself if getting a credit card with a high-interest rate is practical for you. If you’re someone who gets by making the minimum payment, you’ll be paying through the nose for your purchases if you choose a card with a high-interest rate. OCbeversley, if you’re someone who typically doesn’t carry a balance, the interest rate may not be as significant to you. This is a personal question that demands your honesty. This could be the difference between paying considerably more for an item purchased on credit or paying considerably less based on the interest rate.

Have you read ALL of the fine print?

This can be boring and tedious but it’s necessary when it comes to making an educated and informed choice about a credit offer. You will thank yourself later if you do your homework. The fine print will detail everything that will come with accepting this credit card offer. The fine print details fees, the fee schedule, benefits, and rewards, as well as a whole host of other details that you need to know if you want to be a cardholder. Consider this, you will only have to pour over the fine print once or twice to make an educated solid decision. However, the time you take to do this will be well worth it. You won’t be fooled or caught off guard. Plus, this allows you to ask any questions you may have about the credit offer before you apply.

Putting All the Pieces Together

All the questions that you consider regarding a credit card offer will help you to make a solid and informed choice about which credit cards will be best for you. It’s best to leave no stone unturned. The more you know the better. Many things aren’t readily apparent when it comes to evaluating a credit offer. This is why you should take your time and read between the lines as much as possible. You can’t go wrong by doing this. After all, this is your financial health and future that you will be impacting when you make a credit card choice. It’s best to choose well.

For example, if you need brain surgery and need to choose between two or three different surgeons, yure going to want the one that specializes in your particular kind of brain surgery and has the credits and training to show it. Right? Although credit and brain surgery are two different things, you still need to make a choice that serves you and your unique situation well.

The prons and cons of credit cards

Late Payments, Missed Payments, and Maxed Out Credit Cards

As a new credit cardholder, it’s a good idea to get a firm understanding of one thing. If you don’t make your payments on time you will tarnish your credit history. On the other hand, paying off a credit card balance on time can improve your credit score. Payment history comprises thirty-five percent of your credit score so it’s safe to assume that it’s pretty important to creditors. It’s common sense. If you loan someone money you want to know that you’re going to get it back, as promised. In essence, a credit card is a small plastic promise to pay back borrowed funds. It can help people in a pinch.

However, when it’s neglected and not handled properly, it can destroy your financial health and creditworthiness. If you miss payments, pay late, and /or use all the funds available on your credit card, you will be perceived as a credit risk if this becomes the way you handle credit in general. Be careful with your spending, honor the terms of your credit card, and pay your bill on time.

Calling All First Timers and Credit Card Newbies…

Now that you have a basic understanding of how credit works, you may be wondering how to choose and pursue the right credit card offers best suited for you. This is not difficult either. There are many tools to help you with this pursuit. You can use different tools to help you determine your best first credit card and you can also compare credit cards online. You should do both. Research and explore as much as possible because this will help you to find the credit card that is truly best for you. Loanry can help. We selecte credible credit card companies for you to consider.

Conclusion

Navigating credit card offers when you don’t know much can be a little intimidating. However, you don’t have to be intimidated if you don’t want to be. All you need is a little education and credit savvy along with the willingness to do your homework. Don’t be lazy and don’t take short cuts. Read the fine print. Research unfamiliar banks and understand the details of any credit offer before you apply. There are many tools that you can use to help guide your decisions. Many are free and most just require common sense and a willingness to pay attention to details.

 

The 7 Best Credit Cards That Give You a Sign-Up Bonus?

Just about every American over the age of 21 has a credit card. Many of us have more than one. It is rare to meet someone that does not have any credit card debt. It is possible but can be incredibly challenging. We live in a world where it is expected that you buy things on credit and pay them back over time. There are some benefits to having a credit card.

There are also some negatives to having one. The credit card itself is not the problem. The problem comes in when people do not use them responsibly. Whether this is your first credit card, or you have had them for a long time, you should make sure you use them in a way the benefits you and does not hurt you. When looking for a new credit card, you want to find one that works for you. The best way to do this is with one that has a sign-up bonus. Continue reading to find out all the information you need to know.

Top Credit Cards With The Sign-Up Bonus

A credit card is a square piece of plastic that has information embedded in it. The numbers on the card used to be raised but on other cards, they are just printed on the card. It also has your name on the card. The cards have a chip on the front and a magnetic stripe on the back. When you want to use it, you can swipe the card, insert it in a card reader, or tap it on the top of the card reader. When you do that, the machine is reading the information on the card, which includes your name, account information, and PIN number. The machine sends a message to the bank that funds your credit card company including the amount of your purchase. The bank responds with an approval or denial based on the available credit you have.

Take your time and do research. There are many cards that offer a sign-up bonus. Compare credit cards and understand each of them and pick the best one for you. I am going to list 7 of the top credit cards that you should check out on your quest for a card with a sign-up bonus.

Card Option #1: Citibank Double Cash Card

The first one is the Citibank Double Cash Card. This card is backed by Citibank, a well-known bank. It gives you two percent cash back on all purchases. You get one percent when you make the purchase and the other percent when you pay for the purchase. This card gives you an incentive for paying off your credit card each month, so you can get your cash-back faster. This card does not have an annual fee, so you do not have to pay to keep it. There are no caps to how much money you can get back. Just like most credit cards, you must pay the minimum amount on time.

The Double Cash Card is available for balance transfers, but you will not receive cash-back on transfers. You must make any balance transfer within the first four months of having the card. There is a charge of $5 or 3 percent of the balance transfer, whichever is higher. In the first 18 months, you have the card, you do have 0 percent interest, so you do not have to pay interest on the money you borrow for a year and a half. Another the first 18 months, you will have an interest rate of anywhere between 15.49 and 25.49 percent.

Card Option #2: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The next sign-up bonus credit card that you should consider is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. This card is usually reserved for those with good to excellent credit. You earn 2 times the miles on every purchase you make. There is no limit on how many miles you can earn. The miles you earn will not expire. Every 10,000 miles you earn is equal to about $100 dollars. The bonus for this card is once you spend $3,000 in the first three months after you open this credit card, you receive 50,000 miles. That is the equivalent to $500 in money for travel. You also receive a $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA Pre-check.

You are able to use your miles for any airline or any hotel at any time. There are no black dates when you cannot use your miles. You can also transfer your miles in more than 15 travel loyalty programs. This card does not have a foreign transaction fee. This card does have an annual fee of $95, but it is waived for the first year. The interest rate on this card is 17.24 to 24.49 percent. This card does not allow balance transfers.

Card Option #3: Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card

The next credit card with a sign-up bonus that you want to consider is the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card. This card gives you a one time $200 online cash rewards bonus. You only receive that once you make purchases of $1,000 and they must be in the first 90 days of opening this credit card account. This card has a tiered rewards program. You receive two percent back on grocery store purchases and wholesale club purchases. There is a limit of $2,500 cash-back on these purchases quarterly. You then receive three percent cash back on any category that you choose. You then get one percent back on all other purchases. This is unlimited so there is no cap on how much you can earn.

This card does not have an annual fee. If you are a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn up to 25 to 75 percent back on every single purchase. The rewards never expire. There is an intro rate of 0 percent interest for 15 billing cycles. There is also an intro 0 percent interest on all balance transfers made within 60 days. You have 0 percent interest on the amount you transfer for 15 billing cycles. After the 15 months, your interest rate may be 15.49 to 25.49 percent. After the 60 days, there is a minimum fee of $10, or 3 percent, for all balance transfers.

Card Option #4: Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

The next credit card with a sign-up bonus that you should check out is the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card. This card offers a high tiered rewards system that includes earning 3 times the points on dining, no matter if it is eating out or eating in. You get 3 times the points for all travel, which include airline flights, hotels, and car rentals. You earn 3 times the points on gas stations, public transportation, and ride-sharing. Also, there are 3 times the points on streaming services. All other purchases receive 1 times the points. The point system works so that every 10,000 points you receive equals $100.

If you make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months after you opened your credit card, you will earn 20,000 bonus points. That equals $200 in cash. This card does not have an annual fee. It also does not have a foreign currency charge. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card gives you 0 percent interest for 12 months. After that, you can expect an interest rate of 15.49 to 27.49 percent. It also offers you 0 percent interest on balance transfers for the first 12 months.

Card Option #5: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The next credit card with a sign-up bonus to consider is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. You can earn 5 times the points on all Lyft rides through March 2022. That is an additional 3 times the points added to the 2X points you already earn on travel. You also earn 2 times the points on dining out at restaurants worldwide. You receive 1 time the point on all other purchases. That means you get 1 point for every dollar you spend. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card gives you 60,000 bonus points once you have spent $4,000 on purchases. You must spend that within 3 months of opening the credit card account. That is up to $750 you can use for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

If you spend your points through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you get more value, up to 25 percent more. An example is 60,000 points equals $750 towards travel, whereas it would be $600 elsewhere. You can get $0 delivery charge when you make an order over $12 with DashPass, which is a subscription service with DoorDash. You must activate this by 12/31/21. This card does have an annual fee of $95. The interest rate is anywhere between 17.49 to 24.49 percent.

Card Option #6: Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card

The next card with a sign-up bonus that you should consider is Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card. It offers you 1.8 percent cash rewards on qualified digital wallet purchases, with services such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, which is within the first 12 months from when you opened your account. You also earn 1.5 percent cash on all purchases. It is an unlimited 1.5 percent. There are no categories and you do not have to sign up for any rewards, it happens automatically. The rewards do not expire.

This card offers a bonus of $150 cash rewards if you spend $500 in the first 3 months of opening your credit card. You can also receive up to $600 cell phone protection against damage (subject to restrictions) or theft. You must pay your monthly cell phone bill with your Wells Fargo to qualify for this protection. There is no annual fee. This card offers 0 percent interest for the first 15 months. The interest rate ranges from 15.49 to 27.49 percent after that.

Card Option #7: Citi Rewards Credit Card

The last card with a sign-up bonus that you should consider is the Citi Rewards Credit Card. You receive 2 times the points at grocery stores and gas stations for $6,000 per year. After that, it goes to 1 point for every dollar spent. You earn 1 point for every dollar for every other purchase. This Citi card rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase. There is no limit to the rounding up of your points. After you spend $1,000, you can earn 15,000 bonus points, as long as it is within 3 months of opening the credit card. You can use this for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com. This Citi card gives you 0 percent interest on all purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. The interest rate goes from 14.99 to 24.99 percent.

How To Pick A Credit Card?

There are many credit cards from which you can pick, so the key is finding one with the best sign-up bonus. You want a credit card that suits your needs. There is a credit card shopping trick or two that you should be aware of.

You should know the bank that is offering the credit card. Make sure it is a legitimate offer and not a scam. If you are not familiar with the bank that is offering you a credit card, you might want to look elsewhere. You should understand what you want in a credit card. Do you want one with rewards? Or perhaps one with a low-interest rate? Maybe you need one that will allow you to do balance transfers. You should be careful with how many credit cards you have. Too many with high balances will cause your credit score to decline.

You want to know what fees the bank may charge you. All of the fees must be listed in their documents. It is your responsibility to read and understand the fees. You must know when your payment is due and at what point the bank considers it late. Some cards have an annual fee, while many do not. Check to see if you want to have an annual fee. Then you have to decide if it is worth paying the fee. Some cards with an annual fee offer such good rewards that it might be worth it to you to pay the fee.

You have to understand that interest rates. You must know that if you do not have a 0 percent interest rate and you do not pay your balance every month, you will have to pay interest on your purchases. Be sure that you understand the rewards that come with any card you want. They are all different. Even each card that the bank offers are different from each other. You want to make sure that the rewards offered are ones that are meaningful to you. You also want to pick a credit card this is accepted anywhere you go.

Learn More About How Credit Cards Works

When you apply for a credit card, there is a bank that funds it. A credit card company gives you a revolving line of credit. The issue you a credit line of a certain amount of money. That is your credit limit. You can use as much of your credit limit as you want. You have to pay interest on the money you use. As you pay on the balance used, it becomes available to you. This is called recurring credit. If you pay the full amount you owe, you do not have to pay interest.

When you purchase something with your credit card, you have about 20 to 30 days to pay the full amount of your balance due. If you cannot pay the full amount, you should pay at least the minimum balance. If you do not pay the minimum balance, you will have to pay a fee on top of what you owe. Many cards offer a sign-up bonus, so you should look for that type of card. This is often the best first credit card you can find. You want a card that is going to work for you.

Conclusion

There are a number of credit cards that offer a sign-up bonus. The key is to find the right card for your situation. No matter which credit card you choose, you need to use it responsibly. You should work hard to pay off your credit card each month. If you cannot pay the full amount, you should pay as much as possible, and at least the minimum payment. It is important that you use your credit card so that it works for you and not against you.

Credit Cards with Zero Percent Interest Might Interest You

Credit cards can be a wonderful tool to help you manage your money. They can also quickly pull you into a bad place financially. It is all in how you use them. You probably have some concept about a credit card, but you might not understand the details of how they work. This is usually what helps get people into trouble with credit cards. There are some details you should understand before you begin to use a credit card. You may have heard the term zero percent interest, but do you know what that means? Worry not, because I am going to explain the details behind zero percent interest in this article so you understand what it means. This also helps you decide which zero percent interest credit card is best for you.

What Is A Credit Card?

Before we can begin talking about zero percent interest credit cards, I want to make sure you understand what credit cards are. I am sure you know that a credit card is a piece of plastic that you carry around in your wallet. You also know that you can buy things with it. You can also use your credit card online. Each time you use your credit card, you agree to pay back the money you use. You are also agreeing to pay any interest or fees you may have.

The credit card is typically backed by a bank. That means a bank is allowing you to borrow money with your promise to repay it. It is similar to a line of credit. The bank agrees to let you borrow up to a certain amount of money. You can use that amount all at once, but you can choose to only use a portion of it. However, whatever amount you use is due within 30 days. If you do not pay the amount in full, you must pay interest on the money you used but are not repaying right away.

The credit card company always requires you to make a minimum payment. If you do not pay at least that much, you are subject to additional fees. Not paying the minimum amount impacts your credit score. You want to make sure you pay at least this much. Ideally, you would pay off the whole amount each month, but many of us cannot do that.

The way a credit card work is like this:

The credit card company gives you a limit of $5,000. If you have poor credit, your limit is going to be lower, but more on that later. That means you can use the $5,000 any way you want. You use $400 of the available $5,000. That means you now have $4,600 available and in about 30 days, you owe the bank $400. If you pay the full amount, you have no interest charges and your available credit is back up to $5,000.

However, if you only pay $200, that means your available credit is $4,800 and you have interest charges for the $200 you did not pay. Since you have good credit, I will say the interest rate is 10 percent. That means you must pay an additional $20, so your new balance due is $220 and your available credit is $4,780.

Why Is Zero Percent Interest So Appealing?

When looking for a credit card, you should always try to find one with zero percent interest. These types of cards are appealing because you are not charged interest for a set period of time. Typically, the credit card company gives you zero percent interest for 9 months or a year. This means for the next 9 to 12 months, you are not charged interest for any month that you cannot pay your balance in full. The only money you owe during that time is the money you charge. This is a great way to make large purchases, as long as you know that you can pay off the purchase before the time period runs out.

The downside to this type of credit card is if you do not pay off the entire purchase during the promotional time period, you are charged interest on the entire cost of the item, even if you have paid for some of it. Another downside is you could be teaching yourself bad habits by not paying off the full amount every month. You can get used to carrying a balance from month to month. That is fine when you are not being charged interest. Once that interest starts accruing it is an entirely different situation.

The Top Credit Card With Zero Percent Interest

With all this talk about zero percent interest credit cards, I am sure you are interested in finding out some of the best available. I mean, what is the point in knowing you have these options without knowing what they really are, right?

I am going to list some of the best options available to you and give you just a little bit of information about them. Remember, some of these offers are subject to your credit score. Just because they are available does not mean you qualify for them.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

chase freedom unlimited card

This card gives you 15 month with 0 percent interest. Yes, 15 months. This is one of the longest periods of time you will find. In addition to 0 percent interest, this card has no annual fee. It also offers unlimited cash back rewards of 1.5 percent, which do not expire. There is no minimum for redeeming the cash back. If you spend more than $500 in your first 3 months after opening the account, you get a $150 bonus. For these reasons, if you qualify, this could be the best first credit card you can find. You should be aware that after the promotional period ends, the interest rate may be between 16.74 and 25.49 percent.

Discover It Cashback

discover it cashback card

Another card that offers zero percent interest is the Discover It Cashback card. This card offer 0 percent interest for 14 months. After that period, you can expect an interest rate of anywhere between 13.49 percent to 24.49 percent. There is no annual fee for this Discover Card. This card offers you 5 percent cash back at various places that change each quarter. They can be places such as Amazon or various gas stations and grocery stores.

You must activate these offers, but Discover also offers unlimited 1 percent cash back on every other purchase. That is automatic and you do not have to activate this cash back. The best part of this card is that Discover matches all of the cash back you earn for the first year. There is no limit on how much Discover matches. You can redeem any amount at any time and they do not expire.

CapitalOne QuickSilver Cash Rewards

CapitalOne QuickSilver Cash Rewards card

This credit Card is another card that offers zero percent interest for 15 months. After the 15 month period, the interest rate may be anywhere between 15.74 percent to 25.74 percent. This card also offers zero percent interest on balance transfers for 15 months. There is no annual fee with this card. CapitalOne also offers 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, with no limits. There are no specific categories and you do not need to activate any offers. The cash back does not expire and there is no limit to how much cash back you earn. This credit card also offers a $150 bonus after you spend $500 within the first 3 months after you open the account.

BankAmericard

bank of america card

One last card that you might want to consider is the BankAmericard credit card offers zero percent interest for 18 billing cycles. After the end of 18 billing cycles, the interest rate goes up to anywhere between 14.74 to 24.74 percent. This card does not have an annual fee. This card does not penalize you for paying late. Making late payments does not negatively impact your credit score. This credit card does have mobile banking, but does not have any other promotional offers.

Key Terms I Should Understand

In the section above, I mentioned a few terms that you may not fully understand. These are important terms when it comes to credit cards and proper usage of them. I want to take a few moments to give you some detailed information about them.

I want to start with your credit limit because this is the basis for your credit card use. This is the full amount that the credit card company allows you to use. This amount is typically dependent on your credit score. The lower your credit is, the lower your credit limit will be. This amount can change over time, if you use your credit card wisely. If you make regular payments on time and pay off the full amount, or most of the among, the credit card company will increase your credit limit.

The available balance is the amount of credit available for you to use. The bank gives you a set credit limit and as you use that amount, your available balance goes down. When you pay the credit card, your available balance goes up. I will give you an example in simple numbers. Your credit limit is $1,000. You spend $200 of it. That means your available balance is now $800. When your credit card bill comes, you owe $200 because that is what you used. You pay the entire amount of $200 and now your available balance goes back up to $1,000.

All credit card have some type of fees. You should be aware of them before you begin to use your credit card. Your credit card may have an annual fee. This is an amount they charge you simply to use their credit card. Some of those fees are fairly high and are not worth it, but you must understand what the fee is and why. There are plenty of credit cards that do not charge an annual fee. You should look for those first. Credit cards charge other fees such as a late fee when you do not pay the minimum balance on time. Credit cards also charge a fee if you go over your available balance. Many credit cards will deny the sale if you do not have enough money available, but others will no. You will get hit with a fee if you go over the limit.

Interest is where it gets a little more difficult. Most credit cards have an interest rate. It varies across credit cards and your credit score. In the examples I described above, I talk about simple interest, which is the interest you owe on the money you used this month. However, there is something called compound interest. This is paying interest on what you already owe. This is the way the credit cards get out of control.

I am going to use numbers to highlight what I mean, but keep in mind these are made up numbers to help the explanation. You owe $150, but can only pay $50. Interest is charged on $100. 10 percent interest is added, which means you now owe $110. For the next month, interest is determined on the $110, which is the $100 you used plus the interest on it, so now, you owe $11 more, bringing your total amount due up to $121. These numbers are only if you do not use your credit card during that month. This continues to happen each month until you pay your balance in full.

Some credit cards offer incentives such as zero percent interest for a set period of time. That means during that period of time, no interest is charged for money that you carry over from month to month. This is appealing because you do not have to pay off the balance in full to avoid interest charges.

What Is The Difference Between Secured And Unsecured Credit Cards?

You may have heard the terms secured and unsecured credit cards. Typically, secured credit cards are for those with bad or little credit.

A secured credit card is great for someone who needs to build up credit. It could be because you are young and you do not have any credit yet. Or it could be because you have gotten yourself into a tough spot and your credit score has dropped. No matter the reason, this type of card helps you build up credit. You should know that you will not find a zero percent interest secured credit card. These types of cards work a little differently.

They use your own money to help secure them. You give the bank a deposit of a specific amount. In some cases, your credit limit is the amount of your deposit. It may be $500. You can borrow up to that amount of money. Each month, you make regular payments on your credit card, just as you normally would. Over time, as you continue to make timely payments and make smart decisions with your credit card, your credit score improves. Then the bank increases your credit limit and gives you back your deposit.

An unsecured credit card has none of your own money backing it. You do not have to give the bank a deposit. You just have to have good credit. A typical credit card is considered unsecured.

Does My Credit Matter?

Yes, it is important for you to learn now that your credit always matters. It matters in many different aspects of your life. However, for purposes of this article, I am going to explain how your credit matters for credit cards. The type of credit card and credit limit you receive is based on your credit score. Typically, only those with good to great credit will qualify for a zero percent interest credit card.

If you have very good credit, usually a score of 740 or more, you can qualify for just about any credit card with the best features, incentives, and interest rate. A good credit score of somewhere between 670 to 739, means you can qualify for most credit cards with some fairly good rewards and promotions such as zero percent interest. When you have a credit score in this range, it means that you have a credit history of three or more years and no late payments. Credit card companies also look at how many other debts you have to help determine if you can handle credit card debt.

When your credit falls between 580 to 669, you may start to have some challenges getting approved for a credit card. It is not impossible, but now you are falling into category where you need to do more research about credit cards. It always helps to know your credit score before you begin to look for a credit card. This helps you understand what type of credit cards for which you qualify.

Can I Get A Credit Card With Bad Credit?

Yes, you can get a credit card with bad credit. However, it may be more difficult for you to obtain one. You may have a low available credit. Also, you may need to obtain a secured credit card, depending on how bad your credit score is. You most likely will not qualify for a zero percent interest credit card if you have bad credit.

If you have bad credit, you should be aware of some other points when it comes to credit cards. You should make sure to get a free copy of your credit report. Remember, you are eligible for one free copy per year. You should get one and review it. The first things you want to do is make sure it is correct. If you find errors on your credit report, you should fix them immediately. This helps to improve your credit score. After you do this, take a look at your credit score and understand it. You should also begin to take measures to improve your credit score. You should make sure you make all payments on time and work to reduce your debt.

After you have taken these steps, you should do some research to find the right credit card for you. There is a best credit card to get with bad credit because it is geared towards helping you improve your credit score. You may have to obtain a secured credit card until you are able to improve your credit score. A secure credit card is one that you give the credit card company a deposit to back your card. Typically, your credit balance is the same amount as your deposit.

What Is The Best Way To Use A Credit Card?

I may have mentioned it a few times already, but a credit card is a great money management tool as long as you use it properly. There are a few items to keep in mind when you are using your credit card to help you stay on track. If you can follow a few tips, you can keep yourself from drowning in credit card debt.

  • Pay off your full balance each month. I know this can be challenging, but if you only use what you can afford to repay, you will be able to pay your credit card bill each month.
  • Budget yourself. One of the best ways to stay on track to pay your credit card in full each month is to have a budget. I will go in more detail later in this article.
  • Auto pay. You can set up so that you automatically pay a certain amount to your credit card each month. You should make this amount pays more than the minimum balance.
  • Look for zero percent interest. The best kind of credit card you can have is one that does not have a balance. That way if you are not able to pay off your balance each month, for a short time you will not have interest charges.

Why Should I Create A Budget?

I mentioned earlier that a good way to use credit cards is to pay the balance each month. I also said that the best way to do that is to create a budget so you know how much you can afford to pay each month. It is impossible to stay within your budget, if you do not know how much you can afford to spend. The average credit card debt per person continues to rise each year. The best way to stay on top of it is not to over spend.

Creating a budget is fairly simple as far as writing down all the numbers. It may not be simple for you to stick to, but that is another issue. The fastest way to create a budget is to write down your income in one column. In the next column, write down all of your expenses. Do not leave anything out. This is not the time to hide things. You would only be hiding them from yourself and it would serve no purpose. After you have written everything down, add up both columns. Then you subtract your expenses from your income and hopefully, you have a positive number. That is how much money you can spend each month after you pay all of your expenses.

Should I Save More?

It is always a good idea to save as much money as you can. You never know what is going to happen. There always seems to be some unplanned expense. You want to have money for emergencies, but you also want to have money for your future. The best way to save more money is to cut expenses. Now that you have all of your expenses written down, it is fairly simple for you to see where you spend money. It may be surprising to you to see how much money you spend and where you spend it. Most of us do not even realize where our money goes. Creating a budget helps you answer that question. Once you see where it goes, you can begin to make some changes and cut spending.

Now is the time to take a critical look at your expenses. Put your expenses into categories. Create a category of must have expenses. These are thing such as your mortgage or rent. Your car payment and utilities and food should go here. Keep in mind that just because these are must haves, it does not mean you cannot reduce spending in these areas. Take a look at what is left and see what spending you can cut.

Conclusion

Credit cards can be the best tool you have, or they can be your worst enemy. It all depends on how you use them. When used properly, credit cards provide flexibility with your spending. When used poorly, they can drag you into a vicious cycle of debt. Use them wisely.