Today, credit card companies are heavily marketing to consumers with incredible incentives and rewards programs. How do you which of the consumer credit cards are going to suit your needs? Here are a few of the stronger choices, along with our Editor’s Choice.
Editor’s Choice[card id=”1005823″]
Consumer credit cards cover the realm of possibilities: cash back rewards, hotel rewards, airline rewards and co-branded cards that combine several perks and benefits. Our editor’s choice is based on the one consumer credit card with the most to offer and the lowest fees.
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Our modern society has come to know a few truths: waiting in line for a flight is frustrating at best, if we try to get to the supermarket before it closes, we’re going to miss it by ten minutes and the hundreds of credit card offers on the market today are designed to lure us in with impressive benefits and valuable rewards. The trick is to find time in our busy days to seek out the best offers that will make our daily lives a bit easier. Enter the consumer credit cards. They’ve evolved over the years into a sought after financial tool that’s in millions of wallets around the world.
The Benefits of Consumer Credit Cards
The most obvious benefit is the sheer volume of available credit cards for consumers – interestingly enough, it’s also one of the pitfalls of consumer credit cards. The market, in recent years, has seen an explosive growth in the number of cards of all types, most being offered by less than two dozen banks and card issuers. The good news is we have more flexibility and certainly more options to make our money work for us and for many, the goal is take advantage of these great offers, complete with endless benefits and perks, without having to lose those rewards in interest fees.
Fortunately, many card networks now offer their credit cards with no annual fees; in fact, there are many out there that you can own that don’t include an annul fee ever. Others have the first year annual fee waived. No one likes an annual fee, obviously, but for some credit card offers, a reasonable fee is a wise investment if the rewards, including cash back, are generous enough. Also, there are many offers that also tout 0% intro rates – and the best part is they allow customers to apply this to both purchases and balance transfers. Ideally, you’ll be able to find the right credit card that offers a combination of these features. Your good credit opens up these doors and even if your credit is less than perfect, never before has there been so much transparency in the financial sector. Improving your scores means you can eventually qualify for these better consumer credit card offers.
The Flip Side of Consumer Credit Card Offers
The biggest challenge consumers face is understanding fee structures. Not only that, but we’re often shocked to see an annual fee appear on a statement only to learn the “no annual fee” was applicable for the first year. It’s that small print that gets us every time. Remain aware of the details.
Also, along with the annual fees, there are plenty of consumer credit cards that have a host of hidden fees. That said, the passage of laws in the past few years has resulted in a much more straightforward approach to communicating those fee structures, limitations and expirations on rewards programs and other important dynamics associated with owning a card. Still, there’s a high degree of consumer responsibility that comes in to play and becoming your biggest burden is something no one wants to own up to – due diligence is key. Also, pay attention to higher APRs associated with cash advances. Many consumers are surprised to learn that there are differences in how much they pay for purchases versus cash withdrawals at ATMs.
Consumer credit cards have made our lives easier. They’re convenient, allow us to cover unexpected expenses and depending on how we handle them, they make other things less expensive – such as how much we pay in interest on our mortgages. The trick is to find the best card for your needs while avoiding those with rewards or perks that really will serve no purpose for our lifestyles.
Have you had any personal experience with a Consumer Credit Card?