Posted On: October 16, 2016
When looking at credit card options, it can be hard to decide which features are best for your unique situation. Some people focus on finding a low interest rate first, regardless of the rewards. Others look for a rewards program that sparks their interest, and examine interest rates second.
Deciding which approach is best for you depends on how you use your credit card.
To help you determine which priority should be your first consideration, ask yourself the following questions.
Do I Normally Pay Off My Balance Every Month?
Whether you pay off your balance every month in entirety, or tend to carry a balance, is one of the most important questions to ask. Ultimately, no rewards program will provide you with enough benefits to offset the costs of interest accruing when you carry a balance.
Don’t ask yourself if you intend to carry a balance, as most people don’t want to owe interest. However, if your current habits show that you don’t often pay your balance in full, err on the side of caution and assume you won’t act differently now.
That means you should look for a low interest card above all else, like the Barclaycard® Ring MasterCard®.
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® offers an APR as low as 13.74% variable. This means you can pay less interest over time than many rewards cards offer.
You will also be able to participate in the Giveback program, a unique offering that provides benefits to all users who exhibit responsible borrowing habits. Other card features include:
• No Balance Transfer Fees
• No Annual Fees
• Free FICO Score
If you have a balance on a higher interest card, you can take advantage of the balance transfer option. This allows you to pay less interest on the debt you have today, as well as save on the purchases you make tomorrow.
For borrowers that do pay off their balance in full, then you should focus on finding the right kind of rewards.
What Sort of Rewards Do I Want?
When choosing a rewards card, you want to find a program with offerings you will actually use. For example, if you don’t tend to travel then you should bypass cards that focus on airline or hotel rewards.
There are a wide variety of rewards options to choose from including:
• Cash Back
• Specialty Shopping
If travel rewards appeal, then you should consider The JetBlue Plus card or the Best Western Rewards® MasterCard®.
JetBlue Plus Card
The JetBlue Plus Card allows you to earn points no matter where you shop while giving you the opportunity to earn 30,000 bonus points, worth around $450, by spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. Regular points accumulation includes:
• 6X points on qualified JetBlue Purchases
• 2X points at grocery stores and restaurants
• 1X points on all other purchases
You also get 5,000 bonus points on your card’s anniversary date, and unprecedented flexibility to use your rewards to fly how you want, when you want, including:
• No blackout dates
• Choose any available seat
• Fly at any time
• 50% off eligible in-flight purchases
Keep your accounting in good standing and your points never expire. Families can pool their points to fly more often. Plus, you get 10% of your points back on every eligible redemption, letting you plan for your next rewards trip sooner.
Barclaycard ArrivalTM Plus World Elite MasterCard®
Sometimes it is best to find a card that makes travel more convenient.
The Barclaycard ArrivalTM Plus World Elite MasterCard® allows you to earn double miles on every purchase.
You also get 50,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 90 days.
Miles can be traded in for a variety of perks including:
• Travel Costs
• Statement Credits
• Gift Cards
Miles never expire as long as your account is active, and you can enjoy a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. Plus, world travelers also enjoy no foreign transaction fees, making this ideal for holidays spent abroad.
If you are looking for other cash back options, try the Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard®.
Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®
With the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® you get 1.5% cash back on every purchase no matter where you shop. Get a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening.
Plus, you’ll also get a 5% cash back rewards bonus for your next redemption. Cash back can be exchanged for gift cards, statement credits, or cash directly into your bank account. Other features include:
• 0% introductory APR for 15 months on balance transfers
• No annual fee
• No rotating categories
With all of those rewards card options, you are sure to find a program that meets your needs. Or focus on a low APR, and lower the costs associated with carrying a balance. Either way, you should consider it a win.
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
Have a question? Ask our Credit Card Expert at Silver credit, Christophe Ochin, or email him directly at: [email protected]