What to Look For In Your First Credit Card - MissLJBeauty

What to Look For In Your First Credit Card

A credit card can be a great resource, so long as you choose the right one for you. And, of course, not all cards are created equally — choosing the wrong option can be damaging to your financial standing for years to come.

With thoughtful planning, selecting and spending, though, you can rest assured that your credit card will serve you well now and in the future. Here's what to look for in your first card:

1. Annual Fee
For starters, some credit card companies will require you to pay an annual fee to use the card and all of its rewards. Because this is your first card — and you might not have as much money to toss around — be sure you know the fee before signing up. You might be better off selecting a more basic card that comes without an annual fee.

However, if you want a card for its rewards programs, then you will likely have to pay some sort of annual fee. Factor that figure into your search, and be sure to find out what you get in return. Some companies exchange airline miles for the price of the annual fee, for example.

2. Interest Rate
Perhaps more essential than the annual fee is the credit card's interest rate. If you don't pay off your balance each month, then your remaining balance will incur a fee based on this percentage. If you plan to use your credit card for a large purchase that you'll pay off incrementally, it's vital you know the APR. Sometimes, this number can reach up to 30 per cent, so you could end up paying way more in the long run for your high-price item.

3. Rewards
We've already touched on the topic of rewards, but you should consider this facet in your credit card search, too. You might be able to find a card with low-interest rates and fees that'll still offer you rewards. If so, try and find a program that aligns with your interests. You'll find cards with cashback programs, travel rewards and other benefits — select the one that's best for you.

4. Balance Transfers
Some cards offer this special program, which allows you to transfer the balance of a high-interest card to their lower-interest program. Although this is your first card, it's nice to know you can perform a balance transfer with your chosen credit card. Perhaps you'll want to have such a feature available down the line, so check and see if you have the option.

5. Credit Limit
It's your first time having a card, so you don't have any credit history. As such, the card issuer probably won't give you much of a credit line to play with — at least, at first. Once you prove that you can pay your monthly balances, they'll offer you more wiggle room. Just make sure that your starting limit is enough to get you through your month-to-month spending.

6. Take Your Time
Finally, don't rush into finding your first card. Do your research so that you're partnered with the right bank and program for you. The above tips will help you get there, but ultimately it's up to you to find your perfect first card. With the right planning, though, you're on the right track to a bright credit future.

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