How to Choose a Credit Card
Choosing the right credit card can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of cards available, each one offering its own perks. But it doesn't have to be a daunting task. By determining your financial goals and understanding your spending habits, you can narrow down the options – and select the perfect card for you.
Whether you're a student looking to build credit history, someone trying to repair their existing credit standing, or simply seeking ways to get the most out of your credit cards, this guide will show you how to choose the right credit card for your needs.
1. Know Your Credit Score
First things first, you need to check your credit score. Your credit score can impact the credit card rates and perks you receive. Typically, the better your credit score is, the better chance you get approved for cards with better perks.
You can get free credit reports from the three major consumer reporting bureaus:
If your credit score isn’t as strong as you expected, use credit reports to identify any potential issues. Maybe you need to dispute an error on a report. Or perhaps you need to evaluate your spending habits and make some changes so you can improve your credit score.
2. Determine which Type of Credit Card You Need
Not all credit cards are the same. Some cards will meet your needs better than others. For example, if you don’t travel by air often, you probably don’t need a rewards card that gives you airline miles. Let’s briefly cover the three main types of credit cards.
- Cards that help build credit. This credit card is aimed at people who don’t have credit or have limited credit – such as students. These cards typically are easier to secure than other cards, making it ideal for those who need to build their credit.
- Cards that save money on interest. For those who have a regular income and sometimes carry high balances, credit cards with low interest rates, zero percent APR, and no balance transfer fees can be a good option.
- Cards that earn rewards. This credit card is ideal for people who pay off their balances every month with no incurred interest. While rewards cards have higher APRs, they offer perks such as points, cash back, or airline miles for every dollar spent.
3. Do Your Research
After you’ve determined which type of credit card works best for you, it’s time to do a deeper dive into that card(s). Below are some examples of questions you should get answered before you settle on a final card.
- Will this card help you build your credit? Look for credit cards that report your credit card payments to the three major credit bureaus.
- How much does it cost to open an account? Is there an annual fee? Typically, the rewards you earn from credit-building cards aren’t high enough to justify an annual fee. You should try to find a card that doesn’t charge an annual fee, like TwinStar’s Visa® Classic credit card.
Cards that save money on interest
- What’s the card’s balance transfer fee? If you want to move high-interest balances to a new card, you’ll want to find out if there’s a fee to do so, and if there’s a limit amount. Good news, TwinStar Visa® credit cards have no balance transfer fees*.
- What is the introductory APR? In addition to that, how long does that rate last for? These are important to know when you are trying to reduce or consolidate debt.
Cards that earn rewards
- How complicated is it to redeem reward points? There’s likely to be some restrictions, but you don’t want it difficult to use your reward points. Otherwise, you might want to consider a rewards card that offers a flat-rate cashback reward.
- How soon do you earn rewards? When you potentially can earn reward points for every dollar spent, you want to take advantage of that perk ASAP. On that same know, it’s good to know how much your rewards really are worth.
This is by no means a complete list of considerations. Again, everyone’s needs are different when it comes to credit cards. So take the time to figure out what you need and what fits your lifestyle and budget.
Choosing the right credit card comes down to what will work best for you and your budget. Weighing out your options, understanding the interest rates, fees, and rewards programs available are all important aspects of finding the right one.
Breaking down each detail to ensure it fits your lifestyle will help you make an informed decision when it comes to getting and using a credit card. Consider evaluating all aspects of the card before diving into any agreements or terms.
Apply for a TwinStar Visa® Credit Card Today
Whether you need to build credit or have established credit, we have the right Visa® credit card for you. Take advantage of no balance transfer fees, special introductory rates*, low APRs*, no or low annual fees*, and 24/7 fraud protection. Explore TwinStar's Visa credit card offerings at to see if they align with what you're looking for in a credit card. With a wide range of features and perks available, you can be confident in finding a solution that works for you.
To learn more about our Visa credit card options or apply for a credit card, visit TwinStarCU.com/Visa.
Method of Balance Computation: Average Daily Balance (including current purchases).
Grace Period: 21 days.
Minimum Payment: 3% of the balance or minimum $25 whichever is greater.
Late Payment Fee: Payments more than 4 days past due will be charged $20.00.
For full printable disclosure click here. A printable card agreement is available here.