Credit cards are one of the most important financial tools we have today. The main considerations in determining your score for top credit cards include: Annual percentage rate, balance transfer fees, late payments and fraud. These, and others like them, can be dealt with individually. But, when it comes to the big boys, these things get complicated fast.
If your score is good, you probably already know that the best way to raise it is to pay off the balances as quickly as possible. The most important things in determining your FICO score are: Easy payment history, low balance transfer fees and late payments. If you have trouble with any of these, it is a better idea to consider paying off the balance sooner than later, or consider transferring your debt to one of the better credit cards out there. Lowering the amount of debt you have will also help you in your quest to get a better FICO score.
Most people don’t like annual fees. Banks and credit card issuers hate them. That’s why most credit cards offer some type of cash back reward program, sometimes in the form of cash. The best part about these programs is that they increase your available credit, which will lead to better overall utilization of the available credit. If you transfer the balance from high interest rate cards to cards with cash back programs, you can instantly take advantage of the cash back to lower your overall debt load.
Balance transfer fees are expensive and can easily push your FICO score down. So, before you apply for a new credit card, it is a good idea to consider whether you need or cannot afford an introductory interest rate or cash back incentive. If you are looking into a new card because you simply can not meet your financial goals anymore, then transferring your balances to low or no-interest introductory cards may be a good idea. But if you are trying to achieve more long-term financial success, then transferring your balances will likely do nothing to help you achieve those goals.
Most people who are shopping for new cards use credit cards to buy things they can’t otherwise afford. These people generally have short-term financial goals, such as buying a car or getting a home. If these immediate financial goals are not easily met with a minimum monthly payment, then using credit cards will almost certainly not help you meet these immediate goals.
One thing that many people seem to forget about when trying to establish their financial goals is proper categorization of their spending. In other words, they tend to categorize their spending as either” frivolous” or “essential.” But how do you know which category you should fall under? Using balance transfer credit cards is very important if you want to establish long-term financial goals.
When you apply for a balance transfer credit card, you should make sure that the offer does not charge an annual fee. A balance transfer can be a good way to establish a better credit score, but if you don’t pay off your entire balance every month, then you are only really establishing credit history in a way that benefits you now rather than for the future. If this sounds like something you would be interested in doing, then look for cards that have no annual fee and offer a zero or low APR for the first six months after your introductory period is ended. Some cards even offer a low APR for the first full year after you receive the card.
You can establish a good credit score by using these cards, but you can also help to rebuild a bad credit history, too. So, you should use these cards just as much as you would a traditional credit card. And, while it is possible to get accepted for these cards, you will likely find that they are less likely to offer you a great interest rate than other cards. Because they are not credit cards, however, you won’t get as many perks, such as travel rewards, cash back or bonus incentives, but you should still be able to find a balance transfer card with good rates and good terms.