Great Strategies for Locating the Ideal Credit Card Offers

The most important step when searching for the ideal deal is to carefully look at why you need a credit card. Your plan for using a new credit card and a clear look at your financial status will allow you to apply only for cards that suit your needs.

Planning Your Purchases

If you just moved into a new home you may need to make a big purchase of appliances or furniture and pay off those charges over a period of time.

For you, the annual percentage rate of interest is important as the finance fees you are charged each month will determine how long it takes to pay your credit debt.

If you currently have one or more credit cards with high rates of interest, you may be looking for a new card with better rates. If that is the case, you need to decide whether you want the lowest APR you can find or if a 0% introductory rate would be long enough for you to substantially pay down balances transferred from high APR accounts.

Know Your Rights Under the Law

New laws took effect in 2010 to protect credit card users from predatory lending practices of banks and financial institutions who issue credit cards.

Lenders have changed the credit rules and terms due to these new requirements. Many of the changes may benefit you when you are looking for a new deal.

However, lenders have also changed the qualifying requirements for many of their credit cards. The result is credit card accounts that are more difficult to obtain than previously.

More than ever before, the terms of your new credit card are a direct reflection of your personal creditworthiness. This judgment by the lender is based on your credit rating and file at the three major credit bureaus.

Finding the Best Deal You Can Qualify For

When the new credit laws took effect, lenders pulled back from issuing new accounts for several months. Once the adjustment was made, banks began offering an increasing array of credit card options.

Clearly, you want to choose a credit card that is the best deal for buying the things you often purchase. For someone who loves to travel or visits distant relative on a regular basis, air miles are important.

Getting cash back rewards or a percentage discount on all grocery or gas purchases can be a valuable reward that can save significant amounts for your family over a year's time.

Before applying for the best reward programs or the lowest APR, you must look closely at your own qualifications. Get a copy of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus. Know what your three digit credit score is and how it compares to the requirements of lending institutions.

Several major credit lenders now list the credit rating requirements for obtaining certain credit cards. The most common is to highlight cards that require excellent credit for those applying. Of course you can apply for any credit card but it's not wise to apply for cards that result in credit denied.

Each time you place an application for a credit card or a loan there is an inquiry generated to at least one credit bureau. Applying for multiple credit cards and being denied places a black mark on your credit file.

If your credit score is 700 or above, you are likely to be accepted for almost any credit card offer. If your credit rating is lower you need to apply for those accounts that are listed for good, average or fair. A requirement of "fair" credit is an offer for those with a limited amount of credit in their file. It is not the same as an offer for those with bad credit.

Comparing Offers

After you decide how you plan to use your credit card and what your own creditworthiness is, you can search online for the best offers. Compare APR, fees charged, special rewards or bonuses and compile a short list of the best cards you find.

Then compare all the terms of those cards on your short list. This includes reading all of the fine print regulations as lenders often find tricky little ways to increase your charges and those are revealed in the small print. In the large ads for their credit accounts, only the best traits of each card are featured.

Making Application

Make one credit card application for the top choice you've made. This is the credit card that both has the best terms and fits your credit rating. Do not apply for more than one credit card at a time.

Lenders are wary of consumers who file multiple credit applications over a short period of time. This is because acquiring several credit cards at once opens up a high amount of spending limit to the consumer and the need for high credit lines may be due to financial stress.

Summary

To find the ideal deals, make sure to carefully compare offers from several major lending banks. Know what your personal credit rating (e.g no credit, then check first time cards) is and search for cards that are available to those with that level of creditworthiness.

The best deal today may not be the best next year. Periodically check credit card deals and don't be afraid to move from one credit card to another after a year or so. The ideal deal next year may offer better rewards or have more relaxed credit requirements.