What are the Best Charge Card Features to Look for

The best charge card is one that most accurately meets your personal or business needs. Since each borrower will have unique needs, there is no one-size-fits-all charge card. You should shop around to make sure your charge card gives you the most of what you need. Evaluate a card based on the following criteria to see if it is a good option for you.

Appropriate Limits

Your limits need to be high enough to meet your approximate needs. In general, higher limits are better. High limits allow you to keep a low balance even if you use your card frequently. A balance under 10% on your credit card will help keep your credit score high. A balance that is too high can lower your credit rating.

Having limits that are too high for you to manage is also not a good plan. You should be able to pay down your limits at any point from your emergency savings fund. This will prevent you from going into default if you lose your job or experience a financial emergency.

Manageable Monthly Payments

The minimum monthly payment on most credit cards is very low. You should be able to manage this payment despite any other issue arising in your finances. If you cannot meet the minimum monthly payment on months you have other expenses, such as medical bills or holiday gifts, then your minimum payment is too high. Having the option of only paying a small amount is what makes credit cards so flexible and manageable over time.

Lowest Interest Rates Possible

Credit cards as a rule have higher interest rates than other forms of debt. That does not mean you should be facing 20% and higher rates. You should always aim to keep the rates low, and you should be aware of the variability in your rates. If your lender raises rates frequently, this may be a sign the lender is attempting to take advantage of your loan. Instead of just accepting rate increases, ask why the rates rose and what you can do to get them lower again.

Simple Bill Pay

You should be able to easily pay your credit card bill. Today, that means having the option to pay the bill online. If you have difficulty understanding your statement or making your payment on time due to processing delays, you should look for a better method. Most banks offer credit cards directly associated with your banking account. This means you can simply transfer funds from one to the other when you need to pay a bill. 

Accepted at Most Retailers

A credit card is worth very little if it is not accepted at a majority of retail establishments. This used to be more restrictive, but retailers now commonly accept most major forms of credit cards. You should be aware of any special rewards, points or deals your credit card offers at the retailers you use most. Though these benefits may seem small, smart shoppers will learn to maximize the rewards to quickly gain perks simply through routine spending. 

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