Placeholder image

What to look for in a credit card


November 15, 2019


Choosing a credit card can be challenging - there are so many options out there, and it's hard to narrow down your choices and find one that makes the most sense for you. Knowing what to look for in a credit card is important, particularly if you're opening one for the first time. Here's what you should keep in mind when selecting a credit card.

Interest rate

The first thing to look for when selecting a credit card is the interest rate or APR. The higher the interest rate, the more you will be charged on your purchases, and that interest can add up very quickly. The average interest rate for a credit card is around 15 percent, so you'll want to look for a card with approximately that interest rate or lower. Getting a card from your bank or credit union usually offers the lowest interest rate options. Cash back credit cards or credit cards from retail stores usually have the highest interest rates.


Many credit cards charge fees in addition to their interest rate. When choosing a card, you should always look to see if there are any annual or monthly fees, or any fees per transaction. You'll also typically be charged extra for going over your credit limit or making late payments. There are many cards that charge very minimal fees, and these are the cards you should look for.

Minimum Payments

Another key factor to look at is the minimum payments for your card. This is the minimum amount that you'll need to pay down every month. Some cards have much higher minimum payments than others, which can be challenging if you're on a budget. However, a higher minimum payment can force you to keep your credit usage down, so it really depends on your personal preference.


There are plenty of credit cards that offer financial perks for their customers. For example, many credit cards reward you with airline miles, hotel points, or cash back on your purchases. There are also credit cards that you can use to get discounts at popular local retailers. These additional perks can help you choose between credit cards if you're feeling unsure.