Credit Cards (US)
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When you’re looking for a new credit card, it’s important to understand the different types that are out there. This way, you can choose a credit card that fits your needs. So which type of card is best for you? That depends on your spending habits and financial situation.
There are several cards out there that will fit the most specific needs, but they are not available to all. That is because to get a good rewards credit card, your credit score must be in good standing. But don’t worry if your rating is not quite there yet. There are also a great number of cards that can help you put your finances back on track as well.
We’re here to help you make the best possible decision for your financial life and choose a credit card that fits your everyday needs. So first, take a step back and think about what you expect from a credit card and what it can add to your wallet.
Knowing what you’re looking for can save you a lot of time to choose a new credit card. Another crucial step in this process is also knowing where you stand credit-score wise. That is because most rewards credit cards are available for people with good/excellent credit ratings.
If you’re not sure what your score is and why it matters so much when choosing a credit card, we can help. Keep reading the content below to get a better understanding on the matter! That way we can assist you on picking the best card based on your score and your financial needs.
What is a credit score?
A credit score is a number that lenders use to help them decide if they should give you a loan or credit card, and how much interest they should charge you for them. Your credit score is based on your credit history, which is the record of how often you have repaid your debts on time.
The higher your credit score, the more likely it is that you will be approved for a good card and that you will get a lower interest rate. You can improve your credit score by making sure all of your bills are paid on time and keeping your debt levels low.
Different types of credit scores
When you apply for a credit card or a loan, the lender will check your credit score and credit history to make sure you’re not a risky borrower. They can do so by accessing your financial profile with the help of credit bureaus such as Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Your score level determines whether or not the card you applied for is available to you. It also impacts your initial credit limit and the rates you’ll have to pay either monthly or annually.
Check the table below to understand the different ranges of credit scores.
|SCORE LEVEL||CREDIT STATUS|
|0 – 300||Limited Score|
|300 – 629||Bad Score|
|630 – 689||Fair Score|
|690 – 719||Good Score|
|720 – 900||Excellent Score|
Once you figure out where your credit score stands, it’s much easier to find a card that will suit your needs. If you have a low rating, you can opt for a secured card to help you repair your credit. Secured cards require a security deposit, which will work as your initial credit limit. Make sure the issuer reports all your monthly payments to the main credit bureaus so you can improve your score faster.
As your credit score increases, you’ll be able to get better card offers to match your profile. Therefore, it’s important not to carry a balance and always pay your bill in full every month. Consumers with good and excellent scores can qualify for most credit cards, and will get better rewards as well.
Important things to consider when choosing a credit card
Finding what you believed to be the perfect credit card for you and having your application denied is not fun. However, there are many reasons why these things happen.
First of all, most credit cards attend to very specific audiences. By understanding your financial background and where you stand financially, you’ll be able to easily see why you couldn’t meet the issuer’s requirements.
That is why it’s so important to know and understand your current credit score. Because then you can analyze it and narrow down all the options available to you. But even if your score isn’t perfect, it doesn’t mean you have to settle for any card that comes your way.
Before filling out an application form, ask yourself what you’re looking for in a credit card. For example:
- Where do my credit score stand as of now?
- What is an essential feature I must have in a card?
- If my score is low, which secured option is the best for me right now?
- Does this card charge too many fees? Is the APR too high?
- Does this card offer rewards or benefits that will help me save money?
- How does having this card will improve my daily life?
- Can I pay off my balance in full every month?
By answering these questions and with a better understanding of how your credit score works, you can start looking at card options that fit your financial profile.
How to find the best card for you?
Now that you know more about your credit score and your financial status, you can choose a credit card that will best fit your everyday needs. Once you know what and where to look for, picking a good card becomes much easier.
Different cards offer different perks, such as:
If you’re struggling with a damaged credit score, these are the best alternatives to help you achieve healthier finances. There are many issuers in the market with reasonable offers for people who need a helping hand. If you are a student over the age of 18, consider applying for a student credit card to build a solid score.
To make sure you’re choosing a card that will truly help you repair your rating, pay attention to these key factors before applying:
- A card that doesn’t charge an annual fee;
- Monthly reports to the three main credit bureaus with no additional cost;
Rewards credit cards
There are many credit cards out there that offer rewards on purchases. Even secured credit cards can provide cash back rewards for their customers. With these cards, you’ll earn a percentage of what you spent and can redeem that value for miles, cash back, statement credit, gift cards and more.
Earning rewards on purchases is a great feature, but it’s best to pay attention to these factors before you apply:
- Does it charge an annual fee? How much?
- Is there a sign-up bonus?
- What is the rewards rate?
- Are there any fees that will chip away at your earnings?
- How easy is it to redeem earned rewards?
Cards with intro offers/welcome bonus
These types of cards are usually reserved for people with good/excellent credit scores. Since there are many options to choose from, the issuer offers an intro bonus in order to attract more customers to sign-up. There’s a big variety of welcome bonuses around, ranging from free miles to generous cash back offers.
0% introductory APR
Cards with 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers are a great way to consolidate debt and give you some breathing room for long-term expenses. The issuer usually adverts the offer as part of the perks for signing-up. However, be aware that as soon as the intro offer expires, you’ll have to pay the regular APR charged by the company.
Choose your credit card
After reading our tips, you’re more than ready to choose a credit card that will fit your everyday needs. Remember to pay attention to your credit score while picking a new card. If you need to build credit, go for the best secured card you can find.
If you already have an established credit score, choose a credit card with rewards that will benefit you in the long run. Finding a card with cash back and miles that don’t expire is a good way to rack up those earnings.
Either way, be sure to read and understand the terms and conditions to whichever option you choose. That way you can make an informed decision and take full advantage of everything your new card has to offer. Also, to build a solid score or to remain in good standing, pay your bill on time and in full every month.
And if you’d like more tips on how to improve your rating, follow the content below. In it, we’ll tell you how you can achieve and maintain an 800 credit score.
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