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Are The Best Credit Card Deals Easy To Find?

Jan 16, 2008
Where do you start when trying to find the best credit card deals? Many people being by looking at their credit rating - after all the interest, credit and deals you are offered by any credit card company will be dependant on an independent confirmation of your spending and credit history. In short, your credit rating will affect not only the amount of credit you can be offered but, ultimately, whether you will or not! Your credit rating or score is a figure given to you to inform lenders as to how much of a risk you are perceived to be when it comes to borrowing money. If you have spent years missing payments and incurring penalties or have been made bankrupt or suffered at the hands, then your credit rating is likely to be poor and you can expect higher interest rates and lower credit limits.

The answer is that not a lot could be simpler, when it comes to offers from credit card companies - but that doesn't necessarily mean that you'll make the decision that is most pertinent or beneficial to your situation. Going to an online comparison site to choose which of the credit card companies offers you are going to take advantage of should be the final step of a process to ensure that you make the choice of credit card deal that is best for you.

For those who want the security of having access to money when they need it, but do not want to be a regular credit card user, then a cash-back or reward deal might serve you best, offering additional consumer protection. The same type of credit card deal should be considered by those who are regular credit card spenders, but do pay off their credit card bill each month; this way they can reap the rewards that the cash-back and reward systems offer. And for those who are happy to make a little effort and 'play the system', then Purchase Cards can offer a shrewd way of making a credit card work for you by changing providers when the next best introductory rate unveils itself. Or, you can simply go for the credit card with the lowest available standard rate.

Incentives can vary from company to company and as competition for customers gets fiercer, the more offers there seem to be. Typically, you can expect introductory offers of 0% interest for a fixed period of time, good rates on balance transfers and occasional 'grace periods' that cover times when it is difficult for repayments to be made. On top of that, there are various perks or 'loyalty reward schemes' that may include things like travel insurance deals, cash-back offers on selected items - or even frequent-flyer air miles.

If this range of incentives only serves to make the decision more difficult, then your best option is to go to one of the many online comparator sites. Sites like Motley Fool and Moneysupermarket offer a chance to see the offers made by credit card companies side by side and explain them in concise, simplified terms. Many of these sites have a 'top ten' table, showing the most attractive, current credit card deals and, importantly, most of these sites are free to use.

Whilst the incentives and benefits offered by credit card companies can seem attractive, borrowing in any form is not to be taken lightly. Careful planning, budgeting and preparation can prevent further debt and problems that have caused credit cards to have a bad reputation in the past. Simple tactics like setting up a direct debit to make sure repayments are met on time. Occasionally, it is worth paying a little bit more than the required minimum repayment; that way you can be sure that you can never get fined and prevent damage to your credit score. If used properly, credit cards can be a valuable financial asset and, if managed properly, can even earn you money.
About the Author
Andrew Johnson is an experienced writer in the personal finance sector. His work includes numerous articles about introductory credit card offers and finding the best offers online.
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