Think you’re ready to take the plunge and get your first credit card? Or maybe you’re thinking about switching from your current card to a new one. Whether you’re a credit card newbie or a seasoned pro, it’s always wise to ask a few important questions before you sign on the dotted line.
After all, you’re carrying a lot of financial responsibility with a credit card and you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Therefore, here are essential questions you should ask before getting a credit card.
46 Questions you should ask your potential credit card issuer:
- What’s the interest rate?
- What are the fees associated with the card?
- Is there a grace period?
- How long is the repayment period?
- Is there a balance transfer fee?
- Is there a fee for cash advances?
- Are there fees for foreign transactions?
- What is the annual fee?
- How much is the annual fee?
- What’s the late payment fee?
- Does the card have an introductory APR offer? If so, how long is the introductory period?
- Are there any introductory offers for this credit card? If so, what are they?
- Does the interest rate change after an introductory period?
- Is there a penalty APR on this card? If so, how much is it?
- Does the card offer rewards?
- Is there a points program?
- How can I redeem my rewards or points?
- What are the restrictions on redeeming rewards?
- What are the terms and conditions of the rewards or points program?
- Does the card offer any perks or benefits? If so, what are they and how can you redeem them?
- What’s the maximum credit limit for the card?
- How often do you have to make a minimum payment to avoid paying interest on your balance?
- What’s the minimum payment?
- What happens if you miss a payment or pay late?
- When is the due date?
- Is there a grace period?
- How can I access my account information?
- Where can I use my card?
- Does this card have any special features or benefits?
- What’s the customer service number if I have questions or problems with my card?
- Who do I contact if I suspect fraud on my account?
- What should I do if I can’t make a payment on time?
- How can I cancel my account if I decide I no longer want it?
- Is there a transfer fee?
- What are the issuer’s policies for balance transfers?
- Can I transfer my balance to another card?
- Is there a foreign transaction fee?
- What’s the foreign transaction fee?
- Can I avoid paying interest on my purchases if I pay my balance in full each month?
- How long does it take for my payment to post to my account?
- To which credit bureau will this credit card be reported?
- Can I get cash back on my purchases?
- How will I receive my cashback?
- Is there an annual fee for the cashback program?
- Can I add authorized users to my account?
- What are the benefits if I add an authorized user?
26 Questions you should ask yourself before getting a credit card:
- How much debt do I currently have?
- What’s my credit score?
- How do I build credit?
- How do I know if I’m ready for a credit card?
- What type of card should I get?
- Do I want a rewards card?
- How much should I spend each month on my credit card?
- What’s the interest rate on my credit card?
- What’s a grace period?
- When is my payment due?
- Can I pay my bill online? By phone? By mail?
- What happens if I can’t make a payment on time?
- Are there any fees associated with this credit card? Annual fee? Late payment fee? Balance transfer fee? Foreign transaction fee? Cash advance fees?
- What’s the APR for cash advances and transfers?
- Can I qualify for a 0% APR introductory offer?
- Can I get another credit card for this account?
- Does this credit card have fraud protection or extended warranty protection?
- Does this credit card come with travel insurance?
- Is there roadside assistance with this credit card?
- What perks are associated with this credit card (e.g., concierge service, airport lounge access)?
- Can I afford the monthly payments?
- Who’s the issuer of this card (e.g. Visa, Mastercard, American Express)? Is this important to me? Why or why not?
- Is there a limit to how much I can spend in a day/month/year?
- Is there a limit to how much I can withdraw in a day/month/year from ATM?
- How often do I receive statements from this credit card company, and how are they delivered (electronic statements, paper statements)?
- How can I contact customer service (24/7 phone, online chat, social media)?
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it better to have a credit card or a debit card?
In general, a credit card may be preferable for those who want more flexibility over their money and for those who have a good credit rating and can pay off their balance in full each month to avoid accruing interest.
On the other hand, a debit card may be a better choice for those who prefer to keep their spending within a certain budget or don’t want to incur debt. Ultimately, the best decision depends on your individual circumstances and financial situation.
Should I pay off my credit card after every purchase?
Some people argue that it makes sense to pay off your balance immediately after you make a purchase, as you won’t accumulate interest and will keep your credit utilization low. Others believe it’s better to leave some of your balance on your card and use the money for other financial goals, such as retirement savings or paying off expensive debt.
The decision of whether to pay off your credit card after each purchase depends on several factors, such as your overall financial situation, spending habits, and financial goals.
What is the biggest risk of having a credit card?
The biggest risk with a credit card is the possibility of incurring large amounts of debt. Credit cards are an easy way to spend money, and it can be easy to get carried away with spending too much.
In addition, many credit card holders don’t pay off their balance in full each month, so they end up paying interest on the money they borrow. This can add up quickly and lead to serious financial problems.
To avoid these risks, it’s important to use your credit card only when you know you can afford it, and to pay off your balance in full as often as possible. That way, you can enjoy the convenience and benefits of a credit card without getting into too much debt or paying high fees.
What should you not do with a credit card?
You should never share your credit card information with others, as this can lead to fraud and identity theft. You should never use your credit card for purchases you can’t afford because running up too much debt can have serious consequences for your finances. You should never use your credit card for illegal activities like buying illegal drugs or money laundering.
Whenever you’re considering debt, it’s important to do your research and ask lots of questions to make sure you understand all the terms and conditions. With so many different credit cards available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, it can be hard to know where to start. Hopefully, this list of questions will help you narrow down your options and find the best card for your needs.
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