Who doesn’t love dressing up, knocking on doors, saying “trick or treat,”and getting delicious sugary candies in return? This Halloween tradition brings lots of fun, but can also come with a downside—some “tricks”don’t result in a sugar buzz. Things like scary pranks, egging houses, or smashing those pumpkins your family worked hard to carve can leave a foul taste amidst the yearly candy fest.
The same can be said of credit cards. Some offer fantastic rewards, like airfare, cash back, or gift cards. However, others are wrapped in hidden fees, high annual percentage rates (APRs), or points that never seem to accumulate for those promised perks.
Check out theses five ways to select the credit card that will deliver your favorite treats, without the tricks:
- Examine the interest rate. To avoid unwelcome surprises, take a look at the APR and note whether it’s fixed or a variable. Also review the card’s rate policies, which can fluctuate based on payment timing, limit extensions, or the business’ whim.
- Review the fees. Credit card companies need to make money, and fees are their prime means of doing so. Be knowledgeable about the types of fees your credit card may implement. Cards commonly charge a fee for balance transfers, credit extensions, cash advancement, or even paying your balance over the phone. Know what you’re getting into by doing your research prior to signing up for a card.
- Pick incentives. Choose a card that offers an incentives program to match your needs or interests. Often, these incentives come with restrictions, so educate yourself on what they are before committing.
- Know the credit limit. Examine your spending habits and select a credit card with a limit that will most comfortably fit your needs. If you choose one that’s too low, you could be tacking on extra fees by constantly asking for extensions, and hurting your credit score by maxing out your card.
- Take your time. Plenty of credit card options are available, so don’t rush your decision. Compare the card’s offerings to your needs, spending habits, and financial capabilities.
Sometimes credit cards can be tricky, so invest time in exploring all the ins and outs prior to signing up.