Choosing the Best Credit Card for Spending Habits

Interest rate, credit limit, fees and penalties, finance charges, and spending incentives. These factors play a major role in choosing the right credit card. But there’s another important factor many don’t consider: credit card spending habits.

Before applying for a credit card, it’s important to consider how you’ll use it to make purchases, and how you’ll treat the bill. Consider the most common credit card purchase and payment scenarios, matched up with good card features for each situation.   

Used to Purchase Anything

If there are no limitations for what the card will buy — and it will be used often — two features are highly recommended: a high credit limit and a generous rewards program, such as one that awards “points” you accumulate and can redeem for a variety of rewards such as travel, gift cards and merchandise. Our Platinum Points VISA is a good example of a great rewards card.    

Only Used in Emergencies

Some only use credit cards for necessary purchases, typically higher ticket-price, that are inconvenient to pay for with cash or check. If you’re on a road trip to the Grand Canyon, and your transmission goes out, you may want to pay the repair bill with credit instead of dipping in to your vacation cash. If this is how you prefer to use credit, a card with a low interest rate and low fees is ideal.

Balance Paid Monthly

Paying the balance monthly is the most prudent way to “buy now and pay later”. When you pay the full bill, interest isn’t a factor. It’s still good to have a low interest rate, but other features can matter more, such as no annual fees, usage points, and a generous late payment grace period.

Balance Carried Monthly

Carrying a monthly balance means you pay interest. Consequently, choosing a card with a low interest rate should be top priority. When considering interest rates, be sure to distinguish between introductory rates and regular rates. The regular interest rate — which is typically higher than the introductory rate — is the one you will pay when the introductory period concludes.     

Looking for the Right Card?

"There are so many [credit] cards that are out there, people have to sit down and think about what's important to them," says Howard Dvorkin, founder of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services.

We agree. That’s why we offer a diverse line of VISA cards and can help you select the right one to meet your needs. If you need a credit card with features that match your spending habits, call us today at (800) 325-9905, or use our contact form. We’re here to help!

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