How to Find the Right Credit Card for You

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

The Temple of Apollo at Delphi had the following maxim inscribed in the forecourt: γνῶθι σεαυτόν, or know thyself. This saying is especially applicable in knowing how to find the right credit card for you. In order to find the credit card that is going to be the best fit for you, you need to know yourself and what benefits are going to bring the greatest advantage to you. We have compiled a short list of questions you can ask yourself to find the right credit card for you.

1. Are you looking for a specific type of card (like rewards or student)?

You should figure out from the very beginning if you want a specific type of card or if you want something very simple. If you plan to use your credit card a lot but pay it off, a cashback rewards card might be a good fit for you. If you are trying to build your credit, a student card or a secured card could be the right card for you.

2. Do you travel a lot, especially internationally?

There are a variety of travel rewards cards out there, but they are only going to be the best fit for you if you travel a lot, especially internationally. The lower (or non-existent) foreign exchange rate, the extra points on travel-related expenses, and the special travel perks (like upgrades to first-class, companion passes, and free flights) are definitely a boon if you are a traveler.

3. Does your spending tend to fall into one major category (like groceries or gas)?

If you do not travel a lot, especially not internationally, another type of rewards card might be a better fit for you. If you do not tend to spend a lot in one specific category, then a generic cashback rewards card might be the best fit. On the other hand, if you tend to travel a lot via car to see family and friends, a credit card associated with a gas station might be the best fit for you. By contrast, if you are a mom of four teenage boys, a credit card connected to your favorite grocery store might give you the most benefits.

4. Do you want any unique benefits like wine tasting or free museum visits?

There are a variety of specialty cards available to you if you are looking for a credit card that has unique benefits like wine tasting, free museum visits, or cell phone insurance. If there is a benefit that you would really like to have associated with your credit card, try googling it to see if there is a credit card that meets that description. There is a good chance there will be.

5. Do you have a specific company in mind?

Finally, you should consider if you want a specific company for your card. Some people only want a VISA, while others are okay with any company that is accepted by most major retailers. If you choose another company besides VISA or Mastercard, make sure that the company is accepted at the places at which you shop.

In conclusion, knowing how to find the right credit card for you can be encapsulated in two words: know thyself. If you know what type of spender you are and ask the previous five questions, you will have a good idea about what credit card is going to be best for you.

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Editorial Note
Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.