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Comparing credit cards for fair credit

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 4:15:07 PM

compare best credit cards

If you have fair credit you probably know that you have access to a wide variety of credit card offers, each of which may come with its own particular perks.

When you're ready to move on from a credit card you already have, or simply give yourself more payment options, you will be able to find a credit card application online to meet any number of needs. For instance, you will likely be able to find accounts that offer no annual fee, a low annual interest rate, and even grant you rewards for every purchase you make.

However, the benefits of each type of account will vary depending upon your personal borrowing history and the credit card usage habits you've developed over time. As such, it's probably a good idea to look into the benefits and drawbacks each credit card offer will provide based on your unique situation.

Low interest credit cards

These accounts come with interest rates well below what you might expect to pay on other types of credit cards, or those you've had in the past, but who are they ideal for?

Low interest credit cards will particularly be of benefit to you if you have a tendency to carry a balance over from one month to the next. Taking a look at your past statements to see exactly how much you carry over on average will help you determine exactly how much you spend on interest charges every year and what the new, lower rate you would pay after filling out a credit card application for this type of card would be.

This kind of card would be most beneficial to borrowers who use their cards frequently.

No annual fee credit cards

The idea of never paying an annual fee for having a credit card may sound enticing, but it's not necessarily for everyone.

If a careful study of your previous credit card statements shows that you typically pay your balances off in full at the end of every month, then this kind of card might be ideal because you would, in effect, be paying very little every year. Unlike low-interest cards, the APRs on no annual fee accounts are usually somewhat higher than normal, and as such, any balance carried over will likely end up costing you more than you might expect.

However, these cards are also useful in the event of an emergency. That's because you can put it in a drawer or leave it in your wallet without worrying about a balance being added to it at any point, and then tap the account when you're in need. However, some lenders also cancel cards that go unused for too long, so making a small purchase on this account every once in a while is usually advisable.

Rewards credit cards

While many people consider rewards credit cards to be "free money," the truth is a little more complicated.

To truly earn a significant amount of rewards - whether in the form of points, miles or cash back - you will have to carefully manage your account, keeping balances low but also making sure to use it often. That's because rewards cards typically come with both annual fees and higher interest rates, meaning that the cost can be larger than whatever benefits you earn.

Taking a close look at your finances will help you to determine the best credit card for your personal situation. The key to finding a credit card that you will be happy with in the long run is understanding how you will use it. It is your actual patterns of spending and payment that will determine the costs you will incur and the benefits you will accrue. See the article How to do a credit card comparison for more details.

Once you understand the features and benefits you're looking for, you can search for credit card applications for fair credit and determine the exact credit card program you need.

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