How to Evaluate Credit Card Offers

Monday, October 13th, 2014
Updated: October 13th, 2014
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

When you see a credit card offer how do you know if it’s a good one? With so many different credit cards on the market, it can be difficult to know where to begin in evaluating the latest credit card offers.

If you’re not sure which credit card offer is right for you, and which ones to skip over, here is a guide to help you evaluate any credit card offer that comes your way.

  • What’s the big deal? Most credit cards have some sort of promotion, or deal, they are dangling in front of potential new members. Is this card offering a balance transfer with a zero interest promotional period? Maybe it gives you a few months of no interest on purchases, or a bunch of frequent flyer miles, or the chance to earn cash back. Look at what the card is offering and think about whether it would be valuable to you. For example, if you aren’t carrying any other debt, you don’t need a balance transfer offer. And if you aren’t a big traveler, then frequent flyer miles aren’t much use to you. If you can’t use the offer, move on. There are many credit cards out there, and one will have an offer that you really do want.
  • What’s the APR? Every credit card has an annual percentage rate—or APR. This is the amount of interest you’ll pay on any balance you carry from month to month. Even if you think you won’t be carrying a balance, it’s a good idea to choose a card with a low APR. It’s easy to spend a little more than you meant to, and end up with a revolving balance. And, that’s one of the nice things about credit cards—that you can do this if you need to. When you have a card with a low APR, you’ll be able to pay off your balance faster, and you’ll pay less interest on it.
  • Are there fees? Some cards have an annual fee. This doesn’t mean it’s not a good deal, but if the credit card you’re considering does have an annual fee, find out what it’s for. Some reasons for paying an annual fee might be: getting a lot of bonus miles or points that you can use for free hotel rooms, flights, gift cards, or merchandise, having access to 24/7 concierge service to help you make reservations and travel arrangements, or getting travel insurance and purchase protection from your credit card. Look at the fees under the terms and conditions and make sure you know what the card will cost you.

These three questions are a great starting place when you’re looking for a new credit card. Of course, you’ll want to consider how high your credit limit will be, what the issuing bank is, if it’s a MasterCard, Visa, or American Express—but finding out these things will tell you most of what you need to know when you’re choosing a credit card.

All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
  • Steve Marcotte

    Hello. I’m hoping everyone is doing great.Im hoping Im applying for the right credit card offer fot people eith fair to low credit snd crefit scores due to ID Theft.Im 56yrs old and bee disadied dince 1994 and been struggling to get by and try to live a so called normsl life.Then acouple yesrs ago I found out someone had stolen my idenity.Now life is unbearable trying to make end meet or have a credit card to prove your idenity since 911 and everywhere else that requires more than a simple form of ID.Anyone with helpful info or solution please feel free to let me know here Thankyou! STEVE

    • BestCreditOffers

      To find a card which is right for you, you should know your current credit score. You can check your credit score with any of the three major credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax. When you know your credit score, you can use our card finder tool to see the credit cards you can qualify:

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