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What to look for when applying for a credit card online

By Edited Feb 21, 2014 0 0

Credit cards are without a doubt, the best way to pay for goods and services. A credit card has many advantages over using cash or debit cards when paying for goods and services and if used correctly, you shouldn’t get in to any financial difficulties or experience uncontrollable debt when using a credit card.

Historically, the only way to get a credit card was to go to your local high street bank and apply for one. Times have changed and the easiest and arguably the best way to get a such a card is to apply for one online.

There are hundreds of different credit cards on the market and the first problem is how to go about finding them and looking at the features and benefits of each type of card. Going on to each credit card companies’ website would be time consuming and not to mention dull, and by the time you had devised a comparison matrix for each card your brain would be fried. Fortunately, there are many credit card comparison websites and these are the best place to start when looking to apply for a card online.

The credit card comparison websites are up to date and only have current the current offers and details available. There’s nothing worse than finding a suitable card that is going to be ideal for your particular circumstances only to find the deal is no longer available when you come to apply for it online. This problem is no longer an issue when using credit card comparison websites. Using a credit card comparison website will also ensure the current card offers are available in your state or country. Looking at credit card offers that you do not qualify for because you are in the wrong location is a total waste of time. 

The current credit card offers will have different introductory deals, have different charges attached to them, have different terms and conditions, have different interest rates etc. choosing the best one to suit your particular circumstances can be daunting at first. This is where the credit card comparison websites are most useful.  All the key features and benefits of a number of different credit card offers currently available will be displayed on a single screen allowing you to scroll through and make a quick comparison. If you want to reduce the shortlist to make the job even easier you can drill down even further. The credit card comparison websites are the best tool when applying for a credit card online.

When you own a credit card the most cost effective way to use the credit card is to spend on it during the month and then settle the balance in full at the end of the month. Providing the balance is settled at the end of every single month there will be no interest to pay whatsoever. It makes no difference whether the credit card carries an interest rate of 4% of 40% if you settle the balance at the end of every month you will not pay any interest. When applying for a credit card online providing you are going to pay the balance in full at the end of the month you can discount the interest rate and not bother with it.

Different types of credit cards will carry different charges. Some credit card companies charge you a monthly fee just for owning the credit card and it makes no difference whether you use the credit card or not you will have to pay this fee. These fees can be monthly or annually, and this will vary from credit card to credit card. Having to pay just to own a credit card is ridiculous so when applying for a credit card online make sure you identify those credit cards with a standing charge so you can discount them.

With so many different types of credit card available the competition is fierce, and credit card companies offer reward schemes to differentiate their credit cards and encourage people to use them. There are many different reward schemes available and typical rewards consist of air-miles, vouchers for days out, vouchers for beauty treatments, shopping vouchers, clothes vouchers and cash back amongst other things. Different people have different tastes and some people may prefer air-miles whereas other people will prefer vouchers. When applying for a credit card online choose the reward scheme that is most attractive to you.

When you use a credit card you are going to want to know how you have been using it and what transactions you have made, right? In order to keep control over your spending and ensure you live within your means you are going to want to know where you have been using your credit card, how much you have been spending, when you have been spending etc. Closely monitoring your credit card usage will also let you know if you ever become the victim of plastic fraud and give you plenty of time to get the problem sorted out. Most credit providers allow online banking access, which provides up to date information about your usage twenty four hours a day seven days a week. The online banking facility also allows you to make online payments to your account which negates the need to send checks. The majority of credit companies offer an online service but not all of them do, so when applying for a credit card online you need to ensure the card you may be applying for offers this service.

So, when you use a credit card as it should be used and pay the balance in full at the end of each and every month the key things you should do and consider when applying for a credit card online are;

1) Forget about the different interest rates and late payment charges and don’t even bother thinking about them, unless you are planning on carrying a balance on your credit card that is.

2) Look out for credit cards that have a monthly or annual standing fee and discount them. There really is no need to pay any money just to own and have a card in your wallet.

3) There are no 'best' reward systmes, so choose the credit card that has the best reward system for you.

4) Make sure the credit provider offers an online banking facility and that you can monitor and maintain your financial affairs online.

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