Important factors for comparing cards

When deciding to get a new credit card, be sure to consider the following factors when comparing the different credit cards you plan to apply for:

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – Cards can have different APRs for different types of transactions. Some cards also offer an introductory APR that only applies for a certain time. Also be aware of the penalty APR that may apply if you pay late, miss a payment, or exceed your credit limit.
  • Fees / Finance Charges –  These include account setup and maintenance charges, additional card charges, as well as charges for various types of transactions.
  • Payment schedule : credit cards are paid according to a set payment schedule that may differ from one card to another. Some cards even require the balance to be paid in full each month. Learn how payments are set up so you can include them in your budget.
  • Terms for Rewards / Cash Back Incentives: Do not assume rewards or cash back cards are better than traditional cards. Incentives may not be worth the additional cost in interest and fees. Do some math to make sure you wouldn’t be better off buying a cash ‘reward’ and using a traditional credit card with a lower interest rate.

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