Do You Know What's in Your Wallet? Three Tips for Picking the Right Credit Card

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Written by: Kate Ward | Best Company Editorial Team

Last Updated: June 26th, 2019

Credit Cards blog post

A wallet can say a lot about it's owner. It can provide personal details about your life with a driver's license and help give insight into where you like to eat with frequent dining cards. Some wallets carry pictures or school IDs, others cash and coins. Regardless of what else your wallet contains, it is almost certain it will have at least one credit card.

The type of credit card you choose can depend on your interests, your credit situation or even your location. While these particulars may vary, here are three important factors to look for when choosing a credit card.

Annual Fee
Each individual card will have a different annual fee. Factors depend on the bank or credit card provider, like Visa or American Express. Many provide no fees for the first 12 months, then increase the price after that time period. These annual fees can range any where from $25 to upwards of $175. The best case scenario would be to choose a credit card with no annual fees ever, but if that is not an option, choose a company with low annual fees or a card within in your budget.

Late Payment Penalties
Sometimes life happens and you forget to pay a bill on time. You feel a little bit of panic as you worry about what your card will charge you or how much your APR will increase with this one-time slip up. Many credit cards will require a one-time late payment fee which can vary depending on the amount that was late. Other cards will not only charge a penalty fee, but also increase your APR. Choose a card that only charges a one-time fee instead of increasing your overall APR. You shouldn't be punished to the extreme for late payment. The bottom line is credit card companies make more by increasing your APR than a late payment. We recommend paying all of your bills on time, but sometimes things come up and a payment could be late so make sure your protected and pay a one-time fee.

Rewards
Credit cards offer many different kinds of rewards including travel, cash back, frequent flyer and reward points. You have the ability to choose a rewards card that fits your wants and needs. You'll be more likely to use it and gain points towards your rewards. It's simple; choose a rewards card that will benefit your interests.

These three factors will help guide you towards a card that fits your needs. You want to make sure there's a low (or no) annual fee, forgiving late-payment penalty and a rewards program that fits your interests.

The Top Credit Cards Companies

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#1 Capital One chevron_right
9.4 Overall Score
4.3
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(490)
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#2 American Express (Amex) chevron_right
9.2 Overall Score
4.3
starstarstarstarstar_half
(440)
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#3 Discover chevron_right
8.8 Overall Score
4.4
starstarstarstarstar_half
(366)

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