How to Find the Ideal Credit Card

The number one thing to remember when you’re talking about credit cards is that there are plenty of choices out there. There are several factors that contribute towards an ideal card, especially when you take into account rewards programs, interest rates, fees, and more. If you think this sounds complicated, then here’s a guide on how to find the ideal credit card.

For Building Credit

If you’re just starting out, certain kinds of credit cards can help you build a credit history, making it easier to access funds when you’re ready to buy big-ticket items. If you’re having a hard time getting approved for a card because of past problems, there are also cards designed to help you get back on your feet. These include student credit cards and secured credit cards.

For Rewards

If you are looking to earn rewards, affinity credit cards, airline and hotel cards, and private label credit cards are among your best options. With these cards, you earn points for each dollar you spend; most points are worth one cent, but some may be worth more. Once you’ve racked up sufficient points, you can redeem them for travel, merchandise, or gift cards.

For Flexible Spenders

Many cashback cards also have flexible travel rewards programs that allow you to redeem points for multiple kinds of travel-related expenses. Other options include gas credit cards, which offer discounts and/or rewards when you fill up at the pump, and general rewards cards, which can help you accumulate points (or miles or cashback), with options for redeeming your rewards.

For Businesses

Business credit cards offer perks for small and large businesses, such as rewards for employee travel or cashback on routine business expenses. With a business credit card, your venture will have a separate credit line from your personal credit card, which may make it easier to track expenses and apply for a loan in the future.

For Paying Off Balances

If you don’t pay back your balance in full each month—or a large portion of it—your credit card debt can become expensive. Because consumers who carry a balance from month to month tend to pay higher interest rates, we recommend looking for cards with the lowest annual percentage rate (APR). This can save you some precious dollars that would otherwise go to interest.