Credit Card Comparison - Quickly Find the Most Attractive Offers

The financial market is overflowing with a wide array of credit card products, all of which have their own ways of attracting customers. This is why shopping around is a crucial step to get the best deal and to save money on interests and fees. If you do not have any idea where to begin your credit card comparison, you will find these tips helpful.

1. Study the APR

APR or the Annual Percentage Rate is the interest stated as a yearly rate. The obvious better choice would be cards that offer low APR, however do not forget to consider other costs and fees as well.

2. Compare Interest Rates

Different companies offer different rates so it is important to study your options well. Be careful of companies that offer zero or low interest introductory rates because some of them charge overpriced rates once the interest kicks in.

3. Evaluate the Fees

This is also a crucial step in comparing credit cards since we all know that companies charge different fees. Some of the common fees to compare include (but are not limited to) annual fee, cash advance fee, balance-transfer fee (some instant approval balance transfer credit cards may charge this fee), penalty charges for late payment or for going over credit limit, and set-up fee. Do not forget to inquire about any other charges that may be included in your card.

4. Consider How Finance Charges Are Calculated

There are three methods of calculating finance charges: average daily balance method, adjusted balance method and the previous balance method. It is very important to factor this in your card comparison since each of this method results in a different outcome.

The average daily balance method, the most commonly used, is calculated on the basis of the average amount owed in the last billing period. The adjusted balance method calculates the balance by subtracting the payments and refund credits from the balance owed last month. It is wise move to go for cards that use this method because it produces the lowest finance charges and are therefore the most advantageous for the consumer. The previous balance method computes the balance owed from last month's billing without including payments or new purchases made in the current billing. This results in expensive finance charges and should be avoided.

5. Inquire About Grace Period

The grace period is the number of days that you can enjoy as finance charge free. Consider this when you compare credit card offers and avoid those that do not have such a period.

6. Know the Credit Limit

This is the maximum amount you can charge on your credit card. When getting a card, it is a must that you find one that offers a credit limit suitable for your needs and ability to make repayments.

7. Compare Additional Features Offered

Several companies offer special features such as rebates, airline miles, phone call minutes, insurance, and warranty coverage for items purchased. When comparing credit cards, consider only the features you think will be useful for you. Stay away from cards that would require you to pay for these additional features.

8. Go Online to Compare

Some websites offer credit card comparison services and it's a good idea to check them out. The Internet is a very good place to look for credit cards. In fact, many companies have online approval credit card application that is very convenient.

Once you have gathered all these necessary information about the credit cards you are eyeing for, an easy and effective way of comparing all these is by tabulating them in a work sheet so you can see side by side which credit card offer the best values.