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8 Important Steps To Apply For A Credit Card

Aug 22, 2008
You probably already know how to apply for a credit card but have you considered the following steps? Many times we sign up for offers before we read the fine print and quickly find ourselves in a vulnerable position. Credit cards are no different.

1. Make Sure Each Credit Card Application You Do Counts. If you just start applying for any credit card offer you come across you run the risk of your application being declined. This can happen if you apply more than 3 times in a 30 day period. If you get the card you want then this in no big deal. Often times though, you will find an even better card afterwords. Therefore, do some planning before choosing your credit card.

2. Consider Market Competitiveness. The most common junk mail I receive in my physical mail box is credit card offers. What about you? The reason for this is quite simple. Credit card mailers have a higher than average conversion rate and there is big money in credit cards. Recipients of letters from credit card companies are easily enticed by the offers and it does not cost anything to apply. Knowing this tells us that the market is highly competitive and competition breads good deals for you and I.

3. Does The Card Have An Annual Fee? When I apply for a credit card one of the first places I look is the annual fee box in the terms and condition area. If you are like me I usually skip over this area but not with a credit card application. Try to find a card with no annual fees.

4. Interest Rate. This is usually the first place you look and for good reason. In many cases though, the interest rate is not important if you are going to be paying the full balance each month. Also read the terms and conditions regarding late payment interest rates.

5. Consider Offers. What offers does the credit card make? Many times you can get a credit card offering 0% interest for 6 to 15 months. There are also cash back rewards programs. Some programs let you share Karma Points with friends or give them to support causes.

6. What Will You Use The Card For? If it is for your business, make sure you only use it for business transactions so the IRS will not deny your deductions for finance charges. If you have a card that gives you cash back for gas purchases and auto repairs then make sure you use that card and not another one for your auto expenses.

7. Online Payments. Make sure the card accepts online payments. This feature has saved me $100's in interest and late charges. When the payment is made online it takes one business day to register on your account. However, if you mail the payment it can take as long as 10 to 15 days depending on where the credit card company is located.

8. How Do You Apply For A Credit Card? You can apply through the mail but if you are like me you want to know right away if you have been approved. A phone or an online application will let you know your approval status within 1 or 2 minutes.

After you receive your new credit card in the mail it is a good idea to sign it right away. I also try to always know where my credit cards are at all times. Write down the number to customer service and keep it in a convenient place in case you lose the credit card. This way you can quickly cancel the card if it is lost or stolen.
About the Author
Zach Allred is a tax accountant with a desire to provide tips about good credit card practices. You can visit his site to compare credit cards before completing an application.
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