How do you define what the best type of credit card is? For each of us, the answer likely differs, due to our own unique personal needs. Credit companies understand that consumers broadly differ in what they look for in a credit card, and in such a highly competitive field, offers and credit cards are continually improving. Credit cards can be compared to an arms race, when one or more credit card companies introduce a new perk or feature, more follow.
In a world where there are a multitude of options when it comes to credit cards, what do you look for? How do you compare the available offers when you are hunting for a new card? Some might look for a card with a multitude of perks, while others look to maximize their rewards earnings, others simply look for new cards based on the best sign up rewards bonus. Others who travel look for a card which offers them the features they need when traveling, such as air miles and hotel points, and also no foreign transaction fees. Some people weigh the fees a card carries, such as an annual fee vs no annual fee. others prefer to stick to a card type, such as Mastercard or Visa. So for the answer to what the best credit card is, it would be better to ask what the best credit card is for what you are looking for, be it rewards, air miles, low interest, sign up bonuses or perks.
If you want to base your worth of a credit card based on the bonus points, you should learn how to estimate those points value. If you cannot come up with a dollar value of the sign up bonus when you redeem your points, how can you effectively gauge weather or not a deal is good? One card might offer a sign up bonus of only 40,000 points and another might offer a sign up bonus of 50,000 points, but the redemption value may be higher on the 40,000 points card. You should also take into account any statement credits any sign up offer might have, as well as any statement credits that are given out each year to card members.
You should try and rank a credit cards perks as well. For example if you often travel, free checked bags perk could be worth hundreds of dollars, unless you have elite status with an airline already that is. Things that are free from a credit card, such as free nights or a free travel companion ticket should be ranked accordingly as well. A free night at a hotel is roughly worth $250 for example.
One thing to consider is if you find two or more credit cards, with the perks that you are looking for, and roughly the same value in sign up rewards, is how to pick the right offer in this case. My opinion in this case would be to opt for the card with the lowest spending requirement to obtain the sign up bonus. All credit cards with sign up bonuses require some set spending limit, often with in 3 months of opening the account. So if you have 3 offers you really equally like, but two of the offers require you to spend $3000 for the sign up bonus, but the third card only requires you to spend $1000 to obtain the sign up bonus, you should opt for the card that only requires the $1000 spend.
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