Choosing the Right Credit Cards for Your Finances

Making sure accounts offer the advantages you need without too much risk.

Cash money and credit cards

 

All credit cards are definitely not created equal. Everything from credit limits, interest and fees, to rewards and even the customer service you’ll deal with when you have a problem should be a factor when you’re choosing the right credit card for your finances. What’s more, choosing the right credit card is often a game of strategy as you balance the rewards and advantages you already have on other cards with what you need on the new one. Having the perfect mix can help you achieve financial success.

The information in this section is intended for consumers who are not currently struggling with debt. If you are struggling, then another credit card is not likely to help you get out of your current situation to achieve stability. Instead, you need to solve your immediate issues before you can make a plan to move forward. We can help. Call Consolidated Credit today at or complete our request form to ask for help online.

Key factors in a good credit card

Often the problem people run into with a credit card is that didn’t pay enough attention to the details before they signed up. You see a commercial for a new card and it seems like it offers these great rewards, but you end up with high fees and terms you didn’t expect. As a result, you have a card that doesn’t work exactly the way you wanted it to, so you have to adjust your strategy around the account instead of finding a card that fits the strategy you want.

To make things easy, these are the key factors you need to consider when you apply for a card:

Having the right mix of credit cards

The right mix of credit cards is key to success

Once you start using credit strategically, it almost naturally follows that you’re going to have more than one account. With that in mind, the central idea is to get different cards that serve different purposes so you can use the best card in your arsenal for each charge you need to make.

With that in mind, it may be a good idea to have at least one card that does each of the following:

What about store cards?

Store credit cards (cards you get at department stores and other specialty stores) tend to be some of the most dangerous credit cards to use because they usually have higher interest rates may even have harder terms to follow. As a result, managing store card debt can be tricky and problematic even for savvy consumers. With that in mind, for the most part you’re generally better off turning store cards down when they’re offered to you.

That being said, if you shop at one department store almost exclusively and opening a store account will give you access to special discounts and other rewards you wouldn’t otherwise get without it, then it may be in your best interest to open the account. Just be careful with the debt!

If you have a store account, pay it off in-full every time you make charges on the account, without fail. You also need to be careful that you don’t overspend because of all of the sale notices and incentives you’ll start to receive as a member. Some department stores will send special sale offers to store cardholders almost daily. Remember, just because there’s sale it doesn’t mean you have to buy. Shop these offers strategically – only taking what you really need and what you can pay off in-full every month.

No matter which cards you have, you have to manage the debt

The number one rule that you must follow for any effective credit card strategy – no matter which cards you have – is that you have to pay off the debt quickly. Ideally, you want to eliminate your debt in-full every month so you can start the next billing cycle with a clean slate. Barring that, if you decide to carry a balance, you should have a manageable amount of debt that you can feasibly pay off within a few months. Any more than that is too much.

If you get into trouble, give us a call at to speak with a certified credit counselor. You can also ask for help now through our online application.

"We are really proud to recommend Consolidated Credit" Kathleen Cannon, President & CEO of United Way of Broward County. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. is pleased to announce our partnership with the United Way as a United Way Chairman’s Circle Organization.

"We are really proud to recommend Consolidated Credit" Kathleen Cannon, President & CEO of United Way of Broward County. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. is pleased to announce our partnership with the United Way as a United Way Chairman’s Circle Organization.

All Consolidated Credit counselors are certified personal financial counselors (CFC) We've helped 5 million people get out of debt! Call us today and see what we can do for you.

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Consolidated Credit is honored to receive the 2012 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Nonprofit Organization of the Year award. The EIFLE awards acknowledge innovation, dedication and the commitment of organizations that support financial literacy education worldwide. See what Consolidated Credit can do for you.

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Time tested and customer trusted. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services has been a BBB Accredited Business since 1998 and has a current A+ rating. Call us today and see what we can do for you.

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