7 essential things to watch before you apply for a credit card

Cynthia Stewart
May 29, 2007
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Credit cards are an important means of establishing credit history. Using them responsibly, controlling your spending habits and not misusing them will always help the cause. Here are few things to keep in mind before you apply for a credit card.

It is always better to use a credit card which is issued in your name. The simple reason being, it helps establish credit history for you. Use the correct identity, and get credit card issued for proper name, social security number, and address.

Decide what type of credit card you need and don't get impulsive about obtaining it. Have patience and compare various offers that suit your choice.

The APR of credit card is a very important point not to be missed by any credit card owner. There are various types of APRs, like the 0 intro APR, regular APR, APR for cash advances, APR for purchases, APR for balance transfer etc. These APR contro what interest you pay on your credit card outstanding balances. Get compelte idea about the APRs that will affect you during your credit card ownership.

If you are getting a reward credit card, make sure you know how the rewards will be redeemed and using the credit card at what locations or merchants will help you get the maximum reward benefits. Another thing to watch out is the limitations to the reward program. Check carefully about what limits the rewards like minimum reward points, blackout dates, redemption locations, choice of airlines etc.

Carefully note the billing date of credit card, the payment has to reach the credit card company before this date. Also check out whether the credit card company allows grace period or not.

The fees like cash advance fees, balance transfer fees, annual fees, late payment fees are a regular feature with every credit card. Keep a track of them.

Read the terms and conditions of the credit card document carefully before using the credit card.

These steps should help you get the right credit card.