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Empowering your money

Credit cards: How to choose the best deal for you

Different credit cards offer different perks and drawbacks for varying lifestyles. Here’s what to keep in mind when looking for the best deal.

Video Transcript

- Thousands of financial institutions and other organizations offer credit cards. The savvy credit card user shops around for good deals, knowing that they could save a bundle in fees and interest charges. The first step is to make sure that your credit is in good standing. If it is, you'll have a lot of opportunities that come with good terms. If your credit isn't great, there are still opportunities, but they are fewer, and the terms aren't as good.

By law, credit card companies must display credit card contracts online. This means that you can invest some time in reading them, comparing their interest rates, their fees, how they charge, interest rates, their rewards programs, and other features. Many online sites will compare credit cards for you. They'll compare interest rates, rewards, introductory interest rates, fees, and credit requirements. Some of them categorize cards into uses, such as student cards, secured cards, low interest credit cards, cards for bad credit, and more.

Scope out credit cards through your Alma mater or professional organization. These might have low interest rates and other valuable perks. Many times, credit unions have the most favorable interest rates on credit cards. If your credit isn't great but you have a checking account or a share account, you can apply for a secured credit card that uses that account as collateral. This can help you build up your credit over time. Stay financially fit, friends.