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4 Steps to Finding the Best Credit Card

Finding the Best Credit Card

Everyone has a unique financial situation with their own needs and problems. Similarly, each credit card has particular benefits that are geared towards different people. The key is to analyze your situation and discover which of the many options will help you accomplish your specific needs. 

How to Find the Best Credit Card

The following are four important things to consider when searching for your ideal credit card. Keeping these in mind can help you in finding the best credit card for your needs

Understand Your Credit Score

Simply put, credit card companies want to know that you can be trusted to repay any money they provide you. The single most important method they use to determine how reliable you are is evaluating your credit score.

This score is a number compiled by different variables that relate to how well you have managed to pay your bills, whether you were able to do so in a timely manner, and whether you had a difficult situation such as  bankruptcy that could make you a risk.

The higher your credit score, the better the chance that you will be able to get a high-quality card with great rewards and a good APR% (Annual Percentage Rate) of interest for repayment. A number from approximately 600-700 is considered good, and above that is exemplary. 

Here’s how you can check your score: 

      • The Equifax, Trans-Union, and Experian credit bureaus offer one free check a year and sell them beyond that
      • You can get a free FICO credit score from many credit card companies

Note: Receiving multiple rejections from credit card companies can sometimes damage your credit score, so be cautious.

Best Credit Cards of May 2022

Milestone® Mastercard®
Fair Credit

  • Annual Fee
  • Regular APR
  • Recommended Credit Score
More details

Product Specs

  • Regular APR 24.9%
  • Credit Recommended Fair/Good
  • Annual Fee $35 - $99*
  • Intro Rate N/A
  • Intro Period N/A
  • Balance Transfer N/A
  • Intro (Purchases) N/A
  • Intro (Balance Transfers) N/A

Product Details

  • Prequalify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score
  • Less than perfect credit is okay
  • 24/7 access to your account information, even on mobile
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.

Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa®

  • Annual Fee
  • Regular APR
    8.99% -29.99%
  • Recommended Credit Score
    (620+) Excellent, Good, Fair, Average
More details

Product Specs

  • Regular APR 8.99% -29.99%
  • Annual Fee $0
  • Credit Recommended (620+) Excellent, Good, Fair, Average
  • Return Payment Fee $0
  • Foreign Trans Fee $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee $0
  • Late Payment Fee $0
  • Penalty APR N/A
  • Cash Advance Fee N/A
  • Cash Advance APR N/A
  • Intro (Balance Transfers) N/A
  • Intro (Purchases) N/A
  • Credit Line See website for Details*

Product Details

  • Earn a $200 bonus on your Upgrade Card after opening a Rewards Checking account and making 3 debit card transactions*
  • Unlimited cash back on payments - 3% on Home, Auto and Health categories and 1% on everything else
  • $0 fees - $0 annual fee, $0 activation fees, $0 maintenance fees
  • Combine the flexibility of a card with the low cost and predictability of a loan
  • No touch payments with contactless technology built in
  • See if you qualify in minutes without hurting your credit score
  • Access to a virtual card while you wait for your card to arrive in the mail
  • Great for large purchases with predictable payments you can budget for
  • Mobile app to access your account anytime, anywhere
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud liability

  • Annual Fee
  • Regular APR
  • Recommended Credit Score
    (620+) Excellent, Good, Fair, Average
More details

Product Specs

Product Details

Select the Right Type of Card

There are three primary types of credit cards. Each one satisfies different needs. You should understand each type of card to determine which is best for you. Here are the three main credit card types:

Credit Builder Cards

If you have a low credit score, your best bet is to build it up so you can work your way toward bigger and better cards. There are several methods available for you in this regard, most of which do not require a credit score since the purpose is to improve yours.

        • Secured Credit Cards – These cards require a deposit, which will function as your credit limit. This ensures that you already have the amount you need to cover any transactions before you make them. 
        • A Chime Card – Chime is a financial banking technology app that works with FDIC insured banks to provide banking services. They have a credit builder card which is easy to use and is as simple as transferring however much money into that credit account as you want and that serves as your balance. 
        • Student Credit Cards – These cards, such as Discover Student Card, build credit for beginners and require little in terms of approval requirements.

Low-Interest Cards

These are cards with 0% APR or low monthly interest requirements, or possibly cards designed to do a balance transfer to help manage debt. Just avoid credit card red flags which offer unusually high rates. 

Can a balance transfer to an existing credit card affect credit score? Not unless you do it frequently by opening new cards

If you are having trouble determining whether this process can improve your situation, you could consider the MSE credit card balance transfer site. Money-Saving Expert provides a lot of great tips and calculators to help you decide. 

Rewards Cards

Rewards cards are top-tier cards that provide you with points, miles, or percentages of your money back to save you money the more that you use them. There are a multitude of benefits to having these cards, but you need to have a high credit score and have demonstrated trustworthiness.

Consider Some Key Questions

Here are some questions you should ask yourself depending on which type of card you have decided upon.

Credit Builder Cards

      • Does the card you are considering actually report to the credit bureau? Some secured cards don’t, so make sure of this before choosing it. 
      • What is the deposit and the annual fee? Are they manageable for me?
      • Will I be able to upgrade this card or move to a better one later?

Low-Interest Cards

      • How long is the 0% APR period? Is it long enough for my purposes?
      • If you plan to do a balance transfer, check the associated fees to make sure that doing this will actually make your payments better and not the same or worse.
      • If I only need a small 0% APR period, could I perhaps find a card that satisfies those requirements and offers rewards?

Rewards Cards

      • Find rewards cards in which you will get the most benefit. If you rarely fly, why get an Airline rewards card when you could find one that you will use frequently?
      • What is the reward rate and value for this card?
      • Is the reward system so convoluted that I will struggle to understand when I can use it? Seek simplicity for your own peace of mind.

Find the Card that Offers You the Highest Value

Here’s what to look for in each of these card types to narrow in on the card with the highest overall value.

Credit Builder Cards

      • Automatic credit increases
      • Allows you to collect a small amount of interest on your deposit

Low-Interests Cards

      • No late fees or APR penalties
      • Provides a planner to help organize your debt payment plan

Rewards Cards

      • Rewards without expiration dates for points
      • Those with lower spending limits to acquire rewards

Now I’ve Got It, What Do I Do With It? 

Now that you have chosen the best card for your situation, use it to improve that situation. 

If it’s for credit building, reach a point where your score is high enough for you to move up to a higher level card with a better balance and maybe even rewards.

If it’s low-interest you want, use it to pay off the debts you’re struggling with and buy yourself the time you need without APR to eliminate your debts, so you can move on to a rewards card.

Finally, if you have a rewards card, find ways to maximize its value to save the most money or acquire the most benefits by streamlining your cards to activities that you do the most. 

Featured Image: Megapixl

About the author: Shaan is a content writer who enjoys creative writing and her career in the marketing field. Shaan also has an educational background in Marketing Management.

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