Credit card offers can be confusing. There are so many offers and fine print attached to them, it can be very difficult to make sense of them all. The key is to understand that each offer is unique, as each credit card offers differ from the others. Here is how to effectively compare credit card offers and select the one that best suits your needs.
First, determine how much you pay on your credit cards each month. Then, calculate the amount of interest you will accumulate over time, and compare this to the cash rewards you will receive if you accept the credit card offers. First, look at your credit card offers and see what types of reward programs you are getting. Consider the APR, the annual fee, the late fee, and the grace period; if you have any balance transfer fees, evaluate how those will factor into your new cash rewards program.
Next, look at your spending habits. Are you someone who is thrifty and careful with her money? Or do you easily get into debt? If you are constantly spending money, look at the credit card offers for cash rebates and other incentives that will help you save money. Look at the type of spending that you normally do, then analyze how you could benefit from receiving these rewards.
If you don’t like to pay your balances off each month, consider getting a credit card with no annual fee, low or no balance transfer fees, and low or no annual fee. Many credit card offers today offer no annual fee. Some examples of no annual fee include Chase, Discover, American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa, and Discover. Compare the terms and conditions to find out which company is offering you the best cash rebate, lowest interest rate, and longest reimbursement time for receiving your rewards.
Look at the incentives included in the credit card offers. Incentives are simply bonuses or benefits you receive as part of being a credit card holder. These rewards may come in the form of airline miles, cash back on purchases, merchandise discounts, and more. Compare the types of incentives being offered with the benefits you are looking for. For example, some airlines will give bonus points for every dollar you charge on airline tickets but may not give cash back or other incentives for purchases made with your credit card.
Also, check how the credit card company plans to redeem your points. Some companies will allow you to cash in your points for trips, hotel stays, and other services while others will use your points to purchase items. Find out if you can redeem your points by shopping in their store, watching a movie, or dining in their restaurant. Consider how often you would like to redeem your points and when you would like to do so. The more flexible your point redemption option, the better off you will be.
Finally, make sure you are able to pay off your balance each month before your account becomes due for payment. Most credit card rewards programs require you to pay off your balance every month, regardless of whether you have earned any reward points. Balance transfer cards may offer an incentive to transfer your balance from another American Express credit card to this one, but if you cannot pay off your balance in full each month, you will only earn just the interest accrued for the balance, and no actual cash value. This can be a problem because if you are transferring your balance and getting no benefit, you may end up paying significantly more in interest than you would with an American Express prepaid debit card. If you cannot pay off your balance in full, you will be better off simply choosing a different credit card that does offer a higher interest rate to help pay off your balance faster.
The above tips are a great place to start when searching for the best American Express credit cards with rewards and no annual fee. Even if you cannot earn rewards points with this card, at least you can get a free night’s stay at a hotel for free, which is likely something you cannot get with other offers. As always, be sure to check out the terms and conditions of the offer before signing up. Remember, just because there is no annual fee doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay something.