A Quick Look at Credit Cards: What You Need to Know
Many of us rely upon credit cards to pay bills, to purchase items and to enjoy day-to-day living. In order to avoid bad credit and similar unenviable situations, it is always a good idea to take a look at the different types of cards as well as what each has to offer. For the sake of brevity, we will only be examining the most popular options as well as the top providers.
Whether you are suffering from poor credit or you are looking to switch companies, knowledge is indeed power.
The Benefits of Credit Cards
Credit cards provide a ready source of cash while out and about. Thanks to heightened security measures, it is nearly impossible for third parties to access your details. This is important when travelling or if the card happens to become stolen. Additionally, many programmes offer cash-back rewards and similar schemes in order to keep customers loyal over time. While the mechanics behind these cards are rather straightforward, it is still important to appreciate some of the main categories as well as what each entails.
What Types of Cards are Available?
There are a plethora of variants on the open market and some of these are quite popular due to their flexible terms and conditions. Some common options include:
- 0 interest cards
- Travel rewards cards
- Business credit cards
- Cards for poor credit
0 interest cards are generally chosen by those who wish to rectify poor credit ratings. The main principle is that the user will not be charged any additional interest for a set amount of time (generally between 12 and 18 months). In return, an existing balance can be paid off without accruing more debt.
Travel rewards cards will offer "points" or similar windfalls for each purchase. These points can then be redeemed; generally in the form of airline miles or care hire options. Of course, each provider is associated with its own unique programme.
Business credit cards tend to offer higher limits; often required when paying for expensive goods and services. Interest rates may also be lower. However, obtaining such a card will depend heavily upon your credit rating.
Credit cards for poor credit are another option to consider. However, keep in mind that these are use to pay off an existing debt as opposed to making expensive purchases. If employed in the correct manner, these cards can be used to restore your credit rating to its former glory. Some additional variants that can be encountered by consulting with a professional firm
- Balance transfer cards
- Flexible and premium travel cards
- Low-rate credit cards
Each of these can offer a host of amenities depending upon your individual requirements as well as your financial needs.
What are the Best Companies to Consider?
As there are so many credit card companies to choose from, it can often be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. Here are four providers which have risen to the top of the ranks:
- American Express Preferred Rewards (optimal for beginners).
- M & S Reward Plus credit card
- The NatWest credit card (very low APR)
- Tesco Balance Transfer Credit Card (28 months of zero interest; ideal for bad credit).