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How to find the right credit card for you

Ever wonder how to find the right credit card, given all the choices? Break it down by asking yourself: What will I use credit cards for? What features and benefits do I value most? Will I pay off the balance each month?

Here is a walk-through of how different lifestyles, spending habits and financial goals might fit with certain types of credit cards. You are likely to find that more than one situation describes you.


What questions should I ask about rates, fees and features?

Rates and fees are an important part of the decision process. The law requires that this information be clearly displayed in a comparison box or chart in credit card agreements, on credit card sites and in mail promotions. Also consider any special features that might help you decide.

Make sure you ask about:

  • Annual fees. Some cards charge a fee every year, which can vary by the issuer and the additional benefits you receive.
  • Annual percentage rates (APR) may vary by the type of card transactions you make (regular purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers). Depending on the transaction type, interest may start being charged on different time frames (e.g., immediately vs. at your next statement).
  • Additional fees and penalties. Transactions in another country may carry a service charge, and late or missed payments may generate penalties.
  • Limits on discounts, warranties, purchase protection and rebates.
  • Security features like fraud protection.
  • Extras like mobile apps that allow you to manage your card’s security and make payments on the go, free FICO® scores and alerts for payment reminders.

Now that you know more about how to match your wants and needs to different credit card categories, rates and features, and how to assess your personal spending, you should be well-equipped to find the right credit card—or combination of cards—to suit your needs.

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Bank of America and its affiliates do not provide legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.