How to compare credit card rates and fees

Not all credit cards are created equal – in fact, there’s almost an endless array of options to choose from.

It all comes down to what you’re looking for, so when it’s time to compare credit cards, it’s important to think about what you value most. Here are a few things to consider.

How do you plan to use your credit card?

If you plan to put all your monthly bills (power, internet, phone etc) on your card, it would make sense to choose one that offers rewards for payments. These perks differ from card to card, but most will offer rewards points that can accumulate and be spent on anything from flights, to magazine subscriptions to wine at a later date.

For those looking to use it to pay for a larger item, and therefore have money owing on it for some time, a card that offers a low interest rate may be best suited to you.

Do you need an interest-free period?

Some cards will offer an interest-free period, usually for anything from six months to a couple of years. This can be a huge help for anyone looking to use a credit card to finance a large purchase, then pay it off before the interest-free window ends. In this case, it’s important to consider the rate after this time is up, as it can be higher than average. Similarly, there may also be a higher annual fee.

Credit cards without interest-free offers often work better for anyone planning to use them regularly over longer periods of time, as the long-term interest rates tend to be lower.

Have you considered credit card fees?

A particular card may seem to offer it all – a low rate, great rewards and perhaps an interest-free period to start. But have you looked at the fees? When everything else seems too good to be true, find out how much you are expected to pay as an annual fee, for late payments, exceeding your credit limit, and for cash advances.

It’s important to weigh up these fees during your decision, as they may make the card a little less attractive that it first seemed.

Low rate credit cards are often the most financially sensible option, especially when they come with added perks such as interest-free periods on new purchases and zero per cent interest rates on balance transfers. If you need further help in finding the right credit card for you, don’t hesitate to call the team at Beyond Bank for advice that works for you.