These days, there are so many options and choices about which credit card to choose, so many offers from a whole range of lenders and card providers, that no one has to accept the fist credit card offered to them. Most people shop around, and pay careful attention to the true and full costs and benefits of each card before deciding which one to opt for.
The cost of most credit cards is calculated according to the stand annual percentage rate, or APR, formula used for all lending. This formula gives a uniform figure for calculating the cost of any credit or loan in the entire market place. Therefore, all credit cards have to tell you clearly what APR they charge.
However, the APR will never give you the complete picture of what the cost of the card will be. There are many other factors that must be taken into account. Most credit cards do not charge an annual or monthly fee any more, but there are still many cards, especially those with better rates and terms, that do come with a subscription fee. This must be paid no matter how much you use the card, and whether or not you use the card at all.
What charges should I look out for?
As well as this fee, you should also be aware of the penalty charges that apply to the card. So for example, some credit cards may charge you five pounds for a late payment, others may charge you thirty five. It is worth checking out before hand so you have some idea of what to expect, and if there are two cards offer you the same terms but one has lower penalty charges, then this may be the one you wish to choose.
Another factor to consider is the interest free grace period. When you make a purchase on your credit card, you will not have to pay interest on the amount straight away. You will be given all the days until your next bill is due to make the repayment interest free. Different cards give you a different number of days, and most range between fifty and sixty days so if you find a card with a significantly shorter period, you should consider perhaps opting for a different card.
Many cards give you a lower introductory rate, so if this is the case, you must find out what the normal interest rate is, and when it kicks in, and use this rate to assess the cost of the card.