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Today's Family Magazine

How to choose the correct credit card for you

Oct 23, 2018 12:04PM
In an Ohio Credit Union League 2018 consumer survey, 73 percent of respondents stated they use at least one or two credit cards every month. Of those who regularly utilized credit cards, 39 percent carried up to $1,000 in credit card debt.  Another 30 percent owed between $1,000 and $5,000.  According to the Ohio Credit Union League’s Quarterly Performance Summary (2nd quarter, 2018), the average credit card balance held at Ohio credit unions was $2,142.

Don’t let stress over choosing the best credit card deter you from using plastic to pay.  Here are tips for finding the perfect credit card.
  • Check your credit.  Higher credit scores are more likely to be approved for credit cards with better perks, while those with lower scores may need to shop around more.  It’s best to begin the research process knowing your score, rather than being declined for the credit card you want after searching.  Federal law entitles you to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every year.
  • Figure out what type of credit card you need.  There are three main types of credit cards, according to NerdWallet.  Consumers can choose between cards that help improve limited or damaged credit, cards that save money on interest, and cards that earn rewards.  Additionally, some consumers choose cards to transfer a balance from an existing credit card.  Be sure you’re choosing the card most beneficial to your current situation.
  • Decide how likely you are to carry a balance.  If you know your credit card will carry debt each month, you should search for cards with low annual percentage rates.  Otherwise, you could end up with card payments that don’t fit into your budget and that drag out longer than expected.
  • Look to a credit union.  The unique business model of credit unions allows them to offer competitive rates on credit cards, along with reward programs.
Learn more about how a credit union can help you make a savvy credit card choice, by visiting www.asmarterchoice.org to find a credit union near you. 

Looking for a credit card with no annual, no cash advance, and no balance transfer fees? Call Cardinal Credit Union at 440-266-2200 to see if their card will help you save money and attain your financial goals.  They are open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Lake, Geauga, Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, Summit, Portage, Mahoning, Trumbull, or Columbiana counties.  Cardinal also offers free financial counseling.

Visit www.cardinalcu.com for more information.