Looking for the best credit card rate? You’re not alone. Millions of consumers jump from card to card trying to find a rate that’s better than the one they’re currently paying. Do yourself a favor and don’t play leap frog with the credit card companies. Here are some helpful tips for finding the best rate for you.
But He’s Got a Better Rate!
Upset that your neighbor has a better rate than you? Get over it. If you’re looking for the best rate, there’s something you need to understand…
Not all credit is created equal, and the best credit card rate for you might not be a great rate for someone else. If Mary Jane has never had a late payment or collection account in her life and Betty Sue has had a few, the girls are going to qualify for different rates.
Before you go in search of the best credit card rate out there, take a serious look at your credit situation. If there are some dings or dents, you’re going to have to settle for a higher rate than you may have anticipated.
Check Your Options
If you really want to get a feel for what the best credit card rate is, you need to know what’s out there. That means comparing your options. No, I’m not telling you to apply for every card in the world to see what terms they offer you. What you should do is check the terms and conditions of at least five or six different cards you may be interested in and see who’s offering the lowest fixed rate.
Don’t Let ‘Em Woo You
Most of us know that 0-percent interest rate is too good to last when searching for the best credit card rate. However, a 6.99 or 7.99 percent rate is probably just a teaser too.
If a rate seems to good to be true, it is. Make sure you chose a fixed rate, not a teaser rate. A teaser of 6.99 that jumps to 26.99 isn’t the best rate after all.
Know When To Hold ‘Em, Know When To Fold ‘Em, Know When To Walk Away…
There’s a great country song about knowing when to walk away (and knowing when to run). If you start out with a credit card that offers the best credit card rate, but then the terms change and the rate goes up again and again, it’s time to run.
Sure, the length of your creditor relationships has an impact on your credit rating. That doesn’t mean you should be taken for a ride. If you’re constantly seeing rate hikes, transfer your balance to a different credit card that is currently offering the best rate. Leave the other account open, just don’t use it.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Keep the above tips in mind when looking for the best credit card rate. Sure, 10 or 12-percent interest might not seem like such a great deal when you see offers for less than 10-percent all around you. Just remember, the best credit card rate for you is the best that you qualify for — not the best that the nonexistent perfect consumer with the highest credit score possible might get.