In the United States there are many different banks and companies that offer credit cards. Banks and credit card companies are in stiff competition with one another to gain your business. Each of them will offer various types of credit cards with incentives such as rebates, point plans, deferred interest charges and other perks.
Before you make that all-important decision about which credit card company you will choose it is very important that you examine each bank or credit card company has to offer. Many companies will send you credit card offer in the mail. When you get these it is always a good idea to get online and do a little research into the company. Be sure to check the “fine print” for hidden fees or other costs that may be associated with the use of their credit card. Quite often, with the direct mail credit card offers, attempts are made by the company to hide additional fees and conditions deeply within the terms hoping that you will not notice until it is too late.
One of the most important factors to consider when making comparisons is the APR. The APR will tell you what your interest rate will be. Naturally, you will want to try to get the lowest possible interest rate on your credit card. High APR credit cards can quickly send you into credit card debt problems that can be very difficult to recuperate from.
There are three main choices for credit cards. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are the industry leaders and most widely accepted credit cards. You may be surprised to learn that Visa and MasterCard do not actually issue credit cards themselves, instead, they have various banks and other companies issue the cards on their behalf. American Express, on the other hand, handles all aspects of their credit cards. American Express does not rely upon any third parties. They issue the credit cards and maintain their own customer service and billing.
If you tend to travel a lot Visa or MasterCard may provide the best service for you. These credit cards are accepted by merchants all over the world. American Express is actually the least accepted card out of the top three, although they are actively extending their networks. Eventually American Express cards are expected to be accepted world wide, but for now they are limited.
Another type of credit card is Discover. The Discover card is not as popular as Visa, MasterCard or American Express, but it is still accepted in a great many places. It may be useful to have a Discover card but should not be your only credit card.
The final decision about which credit card you obtain will be up to you. There are a lot of good banks and companies to choose from, but which one is best for you will depend upon your own particular needs. You may decide to go with a local company or your own bank or you may choose to go with a company you find on the Internet. Either way be sure to do your research and compare all the different offers and options available so that you will get the best deal.
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