Perks and Points: Choosing the Right Credit Card

Monday, November 4, 2019
   
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As cliché as it sounds, choosing the right credit card really can make life easier. When you have a card that works with your lifestyle, that little piece of plastic can give you the financial breathing room you need — and it might even reward you with a few perks and bonuses along the way. 

The first step is understanding what each type of credit card is designed to do. Explore the general types of credit cards listed below, and see which card’s benefits work best for you and your spending habits.

Low Interest Balance Transfer Cards

Carrying a large outstanding balance on a credit card with a high interest rate is a heavy burden. Trying to manage revolving balances on multiple cards? That can be even more stressful.
Instead, balance transfer cards offer a type of financial relief by letting you pay off those multiple cards or high interest balances by transferring them all into one place at a much lower interest rate. They’re perfect for making large purchases more affordable and multiple accounts more manageable.

Rewards Cards

Customer loyalty deserves a thank you, so issuers of rewards-based credit cards may offer cash back or points as incentives for you to use their card. The more you use their card, the more cash you can get back or points you can earn towards purchases.

If you like using a credit card to pay for everyday purchases because it lets you track your spending and better manage monthly expenses, a rewards card may be a good match. While interest rates tend to be higher for these cards, they offer a great way to earn extra cash or points to put towards large purchases. Pay off your entire balance each month, and reap the rewards!

Student Cards

Designed for young users who need to start building a credit history, student credit cards usually come with lower credit limits. Over time, as you consistently pay off balances, credit thresholds rise, and your credit score takes shape. By the time you need to purchase a car or consider a mortgage, you’ll have a solid credit score and access to favorable interest rates that will let you get more for your money.

To qualify for your own student credit card, you must be at least 18 years old and enrolled in some type of post-secondary educational program. Meanwhile, these cards usually come with no annual fee and maybe even a few perks, too.

Travel and Miles Cards

Customizing the rewards card idea for travelers, issuers award miles-based points when you purchase goods or services. Use the card for large-ticket items, everyday expenses or all of your travel expenses. Then, turn your “miles” into airline flights, hotel stays, car rentals, or in some cases, travel gift cards or cash.

Whether you travel constantly for your job or want to save up for that special cruise, holiday family visit or exotic vacation, these cards let you accrue rewards that cover the distance.

Subprime Cards

Card issuers recognize that not everyone has perfect credit. People who have had financial challenges in the past often still need the financial cushion and benefits that a credit card can afford.

Subprime cards usually come with a higher interest rate and annual fees, but they also offer a way for people to recover from financial problems and rebuild a more favorable credit history.

Combination Cards

Some credit card issuers go beyond offering a single type of benefit. Some offer exciting combinations of cash rewards, bonus points, free merchandise or miles incentives plus any number of additional benefits that can make your lifestyle a little bit easier.

With the right combination credit card, you may be able to enjoy useful extras like discounts on goods or professional services, complementary emergency roadside assistance, access to peripheral medical services or even coverage for various types of insurance.

Find the Right Card for You

Here at La Capitol Federal Credit Union, we make finding the best credit card for you easy. Come see us at one of our convenient locations, or apply online. Choosing the right credit card for your lifestyle really can make life easier—right now, into 2020 and throughout the new decade.