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If you’re considering applying for a new credit card, either as the first one to your name or as another to add to your wallet, it’s important that you do your fair share of research beforehand. Not all credit cards are created equal, especially when you consider that most people have varying needs when it comes to their financial lives. So to help ensure that your credit card is a boon to you and not a burden, here are three tips for comparing credit cards before you start applying.
Know What Your Needs Are
There are quite a few reasons why someone would be looking to get a new credit card to use. According to Claire Tsosie, a contributor to NerdWallet, the three most common reasons include wanting to use it to improve their credit score, wanting to take advantage of the rewards offered, and wanting to spend money you don’t currently have without having to spend even more money on interest charges. Based on which category you feel most matches your needs, the exact type of credit card you’ll want to apply for will vary. But if you’re someone who doesn’t necessarily fit in any one of those three camps, you’ll have to rely even more so on the research you’re able to do about which credit card is going to give you the most while taking the least from you.
Track How You Spend Your Money
To help you narrow down which card is going to be most beneficial to you and your particular relationship with money, you might want to start tracking how you spend your money on a monthly basis. Because different types of cards are going to have more benefits for different types of purchases, Consumer Reports recommends that you find a credit card that’s going to work well with what you’re already spending most of your money on. If you don’t know where the majority of your money is presently going, spend some time tracking your spending so you can identify any patterns that might prove useful to know when picking a credit card to use.
Consider Looking At Comparison Websites
Once you’ve narrowed down your search a bit, you may want to spend some time looking at credit card comparison websites to see how they’ve broken down your options for you. However, Market Watch advises that you remember that some comparison websites are partnered with or work closely with certain credit card companies and may push you harder toward those options. So before you make your final decision, make sure you’re aware of all potential bias you might be having to sift through.
If you’re in the market for a new credit card, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you compare them until you find the right match for you.