Tips for Choosing a Credit Card (Sponsored by Univest Bank & Trust Co)

The following article is sponsored by Univest Bank and Trust Co. For information about Univest’s services, please click on the following link: www.univest.net.

Tips for Choosing a Credit Card

By: Dana Brown, SVP and Area Manager, Univest Bank and Trust Co.

All credit cards are not created equal. With so many options out there, how do you find the right card for your needs? Here are a few things to consider before making a decision.  

Check your credit score – This is a great place to start when searching for a credit card as your score will impact the interest rates and offers available to you. There are options for many levels of credit scores so even if your credit score is not where you would like it to be, there are still options for you. Want to improve your credit score? Check out this articleto learn more.

Review your needs– What are your spending habits? Do you plan to pay your card in full each month? Will the card be for larger purchases or just emergencies? Thinking through these questions in advance will help determine how much credit you need and ensure you find a card that best meets YOUR needs.

What will the credit card cost you? – It’s important to know a card’s two key terms: APR and fees. APR stands for annual percentage rate, and it tells you how much interest you’ll be charged for the balance you carry from month-to-month. The lower the APR, the less you’ll pay in interest on your card. Some cards also have fees such as annual fees, late fees and cash advance fees. Look for a card that has no annual fee, or a low annual fee, and pay attention to other fees before using your card.

Identify card benefits– The perks associated with credit cards vary widely. You need to determine which are most valuable to your unique situation: Some options to consider include:

o   Low Interest rate – While not recommended, if you will need to carry balances over from month to month it is important to look for a card with a low interest rate. Remember, you may not get the lowest rate advertised, that is determined by your credit score.

o   Rewards or Cash Back – If you plan to use your credit card often you can maximize the rewards available. Often, the best rewards are reserved for customers with the best credit. However, if you aren’t able to pay off these large purchases in a timely manner, you will likely incur interest charges which could cost you more in the long run than the rewards or cash back are worth.

o   Balance Transfer – If you are currently paying balances on multiple cards or on a card with a high interest rate, considering a card with a 0% balance transfer offer could be a good option. Many cards offer introductory rates on balance transfers. Just remember, when that introductory period is up, you will incur interest on your balance, so create a plan to pay down debt during the introductory period.

o   Secured – For individuals with no credit or poor credit, secured credit cards are available. These cards work like other credit cards but require a monetary deposit to use the card. Unlike using a pre-paid card, when used wisely and payments are made on time, a secured credit card can help build or re-build your credit history which could improve the card options available to you in the future.  

The bottom line is, do your research. It is important to read the fine print and understand all aspects of the card. When you do decide on a card that is best for you, always use credit responsibly. Univest Bank and Trust Co. offers a wide range of credit cardsto support your needs. To learn more, contact us at 877-723-5571.

 

Univest Bank and Trust Co. is Member FDIC and an Equal Opportunity Lender.