Sunday, 8 May 2011

Top Tips for Choosing a New Credit Card

Changing your credit card is simple and can save you money

"Many people rarely consider changing credit cards but there are some great credit card providers who offer competitive rates and other benefits."

Here are some of the things to look out for when thinking about choosing a new credit card

Balance Transfers
Great for people who have an existing credit card balance; this can help to cut the cost

Make money from your credit card spending; some cards offer up to 1% of all spending as a credit back to your account. There are also some cards offering even higher cashback rates for spending at specific retailers.

Spending Limit
If you want a credit card to help you manage you spending make sure you look out for cards that allow you to taylor your spending limit; most providers allow you to reduce the limit on you credit card if you ask.

Loyalty Points
Similar to cashback this means you get rewarded for you spending in the form of points which can mean free flights or can be redeemed against a range of goods and services.

Purchase Protection
Typically provided for most things you buy on a credit card.

Fraud Protection
Often this will ensure you get a refund for any loss you incur as a result of any fraud related to your card

Identity Protection
Some credit cards are now offering this service which provides advice and guidance if you suffer from identity theft

Foreign transaction fees
Look around at different cards and you will see some big differences in the cost of using your card abroad; consider this if you do lots of travel.

Annual Fee
Some cards charge an annual free. This will often be because the card offers better rates or enhanced services such as cashback.

General fees and charges
Like many financial services credit cards have a number of fees and charges which can soon add up and you should check these out before making any decision

Y0u may also want to consider who is providing your credit card before you make any decision. You will typically find that there are a number of options for selecting a new credit card provider, you could choose for example to take a credit card from your bank where you have your current account, or alternatively you may choose to use a service where your credit card is provided by another firm such as a supermarket.

When selecting any credit card you may want to think about how simple or complex your needs are and specifically you may want to think about how you want to access and manage your card.

For example you may want to consider if you want an online credit card service which allows you to view you transactions and balances online; you may even want to pay off your current balance online. Alternatively you may be someone who really want to know they will get a good level of customer service with access to a telephone help desk, it all depends on what you need.

Finally you may want to consider the other tools the credit card comes with, some providers now offer free SMS alerts to remind you when your payment is due and to alert you when your near your credit limit. Other credit cards provide tools which allow you to gain some understanding of you spending by telling you how much your spending on your card against various types of spend.

As always you need to consider your needs, understand what the various credit card providers are offering and find the best deal for you

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