Clearly, there are thousands of credit cards available in the market today. Each of them is different in many aspects and formats. They also differ in what they offer, though all of them offer one important feature; a line of credit for their cardholders.
The other thing that most of these credit cards share also are the features they possess. Understanding these features can help you understand how they work and what the best card for you is. Also, it helps you get to learn what the most important features are.
So, here’s a breakdown of some of the basic features credit cards have. It may help you discern which one is the most important feature according to your needs. Continue reading to learn more about credit cards.
Most people see and hear of the term APR, but they don’t really know what it means. APR is the annual percentage rate. This is the annual interest that your card carries after your grace period. The interest is charged on purchases and balance transfers alike.
APR comes in two ways; variable and fixed. A variable APR changes from time to time depending on a number of factors, the financial market being at the top. A fixed APR, on the other hand, is fixed. That being said, it too can change under certain circumstances. However, the issuer has to inform you before they change anything when it comes to APR.
If you’ve ever taken out a loan, you know there’s a grace period you’re given before you start paying off your loan. When it comes to credit cards, the idea is the same.
When you’re in your grace period, you can pay off your balance without any charge being applied. But after it elapses or when you’re carrying a balance from the previous month, you will be charged interest. The period is usually indicated on your application form or on your monthly statements.
Most of the credit cards in the market today have a credit limit. This is the amount, or balance, you can carry on your card. It includes cash advances, purchases, balance transfers, and fees. In other words, it’s the maximum amount you can spend on the card without making any payments.
Fees & Penalties
When you hear credit cards, you often hear of fees, right? But what are these fees that are associated with credit cards? Well, there are quite a few of them. Penalties are involved as well if you don’t honor the terms of your creditor.
Most of the fees that you probably know about when it comes to credit cards are annual fees, cash advance fees, and foreign currency transaction fees. You then have other fees that you can classify as penalties such as late payment fees, over-limit fees, and others. Some of the fees aren’t advertised well, so you have to ask about them.
Most credit cards today offer rewards to cardholders. Chances are, the credit card you have has some perks. They range from travel rewards, better known as miles, to discounts and even cashback. Other cards go as far as offering complimentary insurance when you use the card to fully pay for your trips. Each card has its own set of rewards that they offer.
Contactless payment is seen as the future of payment. In the years to come, everything will all be tap and pay and lines will move along quickly. This is also becoming an essential feature of credit cards today as many millennials prefer the efficiency of this payment method.
Narrowing down the most important feature of a credit card isn’t an easy task. Ultimately, it depends on every individual credit card user. The most important feature to one person may be of little significance to someone else. This comes down to the fact that we all have varying financial needs. That being said, make sure you consider what your personal most important feature is when you are selecting a new credit card.
*Note: There are risks involved when applying for and using a credit card. Consult the bank’s terms and conditions page for more information.