Credit card selection
Whilst the current economic climate means that lenders are still being relatively cautious, there are several credit card deals which have hit the market which may mean it is worth considering whether it is time to switch providers.
There are a number of different reasons why people open credit card accounts but the good news is that there are deals to suit everyone free financial advice
For those that anticipate using their card on a regular basis, a cashback card could offer a good way to spend and earn some money at the same time. However, these cards are best suited to individuals who will repay their balance in full each month. Before picking a cashback card it is also essential to have a rough idea of a monthly budget as some cards are more generous for big spenders whereas others reward those who spend lower amounts.
The cards that have hit the news recently are the 0% interest accounts. There are several providers in the market vying with each other to provide the longest term with no interest and it is possible to secure 0% interest deals for up to 18 months. These kind of cards are great for those who have a debt to switch as it will allow them to focus on paying off the debt without losing a chunk of their money to interest payments each month. These kind of cards are best suited to those who will be either able to repay their debt during the 0% interest period or who are willing to switch providers again when the deal comes to an end.
While 0% deals are undoubtedly great news, there are a few things to watch out for. Failing to make the minimum payment or being late can lead to the 0% deal being voided and charges accruing on the account. For those who don`t plan on switching at the end of the 0% deal, it is worth checking the `regular` APR as some providers who offer great introductory deals can be quite expensive when they revert to their normal charging structure. It is also essential to ensure that the 0% deal applies to both purchases and balance transfers, as some accounts only offer the interest free facility to new transactions, a fact which is not always made clear at outset.
Frequent travellers are often deterred from using their card abroad because of the additional charges levied by many providers. However, there are some cards which are specifically aimed at those who go overseas regularly, with a significant choice of lenders who allow European purchases to be made at no extra cost and a more select band of providers who offer the same deal world-wide. The only downside is that these providers do not tend to offer the most competitive APR so it is essential that the card is paid off each month and not used for borrowing.
Of course, many credit card
users simply want a borrowing facility which allows them to splurge on things they do not have the money for immediately and do not intend to pay off in full when the bill arrives. Cards with a long-term low APR are the best kind of credit facility but as they do not tend to offer extras such as free overseas use, it is best only to have this kind of card for borrowing and to have different cards with attached benefits such as cash-back for other more short-term uses.
Cards on the market vary significantly in APR, with the best currently offering around 7.9%. These kind of deals are often difficult to track down and many people find the best way to compare the latest interest rates is by visiting a comparison site such as moneysupermarket.com