to alleviate your debt.  2. Do I have the credit to qualify?
The better the benefits, the more hoops you have to jump through to qualify for certain credit cards. Credit cards with attractive reward programs or cashback rewards require a higher credit than more standard credit card varieties.
If you have bad or reasonable credit, you may only be eligible for lender or secured credit cards. If you have good to excellent credit, you can easily qualify for any credit card you want. But if you do not have the correct score, you may not be eligible for the desired card.
3. Will I bring a balance?
Although running a balance is not necessarily a bad thing, paying your credit cards every month shows lenders that you only spend what you can afford.
There are some cases where you & # 39; I have to carry a balance. For example, if you make a large purchase, you may need extra time to pay it off (but beware of high interest rates). If that's the case, you might want to explore a 0% APR Introductory Offer instead of a travel or cashback rewards card.
Remember that even with a 0% introductory offer, you are still responsible for minimum, timely payments each month.
4. Where will I use this the most?
Think about what you use your credit card for daily, weekly and monthly. Cashback rewards credit cards (such as Chase Freedom Unlimited), for example, reward you by sending cash directly to your bank account or by giving you a statement credit.
Cashback cards are a good idea if you use them often in restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations. But the cards themselves vary enormously in how much they reward you for where you shop. Some have higher bonuses and rewards for eating out, while others give you a better rate when you shop at wholesale clubs. (This is where some people deal with gaming credit cards, using different cards for different purchases, a practice that is only suitable for judicious budget managers.)
If it is for travel, you can look at a general travel reward card or a ticket for a specific airline or hotel. Many of these cards issue rewards in the form of points or miles that you can redeem on future journeys (albeit with restrictions or blackout dates). How you use the card determines which card to get. Also consider whether the annual payment outweighs the benefits.
5. Are there annual costs?
Annual costs for cards can vary, especially as credit card offers often change. There may be annual costs that are as low as $ 35 or as high as hundreds of dollars.
An annual fee is not a bad thing if you think the benefits outweigh the costs. For example, if your rewards or extra & # 39; s pay more than the costs, then you are at the top. Many cards also offer sign-up bonuses that quickly reduce the annual fee. Make sure that you investigate how you will use the card and that you assess whether the annual fee is worth it. You can then decide whether the card is suitable for you.
Some secured credit cards charge an annual fee for use, so if you plan to use one to build your credit, you may have to pay for that luxury. The aim would be to build up credit and then switch to an unsecured credit card with benefits that balance an annual fee (or no annual fee at all).
6. Will it increase my credit score?
With wise use, credit cards have the ability to boost your credit score. But not all credit cards report to credit bureaus.
If you want to build up credit, a card that does not report to credit bureaus means that your score will not increase for responsible use. For example, Apple Card does not report to credit bureaus. Although this card and others find it convenient to use, they do not help your credit grow. This may not be a bad thing if you have excellent credit, but if you don't, it can keep you from building up yours.
Disclaimer: The information in this article, including program functions, program costs, and credits that are available through credit cards to apply to such programs may change from time to time and is presented without warranty. . When evaluating offers, check the website of the credit card provider and view the terms and conditions for the latest offers and information.