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Find a good credit card for everyday use

Thursday, June 07, 2012 at 5:19:03 PM

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Millions of Americans saw their finances suffer during the recent recession through no fault of their own and are just now starting to dig themselves back out of the holes they faced.

As a result, many are now

seeking a credit card they can use to make everyday purchases

, but for those who might not have been able to use such an account for much of the last few years, it might be difficult to figure out exactly which type of account will work best for them.

So how do you find the best credit card offer for an account that can be used regularly, without adding to much to your outstanding debt?

Think about your needs

What did you used to use your credit cards for, before you ran into financial trouble? If you only used them for emergencies, you probably don't want a card that charges an annual fee, particularly if you usually keep the card hidden away in a drawer. But if you use your card to finance everyday purchases, there are a number of considerations.

If, for example, you mostly used your cards to buy groceries, gasoline and other necessities, there are now a number of rewards accounts that will grant you additional points or cash back for doing so. The same is true for travel credit cards if you only used the accounts when you went on trips, be they for business or pleasure.

But if you use your card for other types of spending, and tend to carry a balance from one month to the next, you might want a card with a lower interest rate that will

end up costing you less in the long run


Think about the cost

This is perhaps the most important consideration in dealing with any type of credit card:

How much will you pay over the course of the year

to use it? Some cards won't cost you anything if you use them properly. Those with no annual fee, and on which you pay the balance off every month, will essentially be a free line of credit.

But those with annual fees - which are common among rewards cards, in particular - or higher interest rates when you carry a balance over can be quite costly if you're not careful. Look at different credit card applications to see which one is the best fit for you.

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