So you’ve decided to apply for a new credit card – that’s great! Opening a new card raises your credit to debt ratio, and as long as you’re responsible with your purchases and payments it’s a great way to build your credit over the long haul. But there are tons of options out there – how will you know which one is perfect for you? We’ve put together a guide for how to choose a new credit card. Let’s get started.



Low Annual Fee



First things first – when you choose a new credit card, look for one with a low annual fee or one that doesn’t charge one at all. Fee-based cards generally have better rewards and perks, but be careful that you don’t sign up for a higher fee than you’re comfortable with. If you’re just looking for a card to make general everyday purchases, there are plenty of options with minimal to no fees. If you’re interested in a travel rewards card you may find yourself having to pay at least a small fee, but if you’re savvy you can probably pay for it using your rewards every year.



Low Spending Minimum



Some cards require you to spend a certain amount of money using the card in a given length of time. Usually these cards have some great rewards, but you can’t use them unless you’re consistently meeting the spending limit. Plan out your expenses and how you pay for them before you choose a new credit card. You’ll avoid putting yourself in a scenario where you’re buying unnecessary items to meet your card spending limits – not a good situation to be in!



Big Sign-Up Bonus



Many cards will give you a sizeable number of points or rewards just for signing up. You hear about these types of cards in the in-flight offers on airplanes when the flight attendant talks about the bonus miles you can earn as long as you apply immediately. This sign-up bonus can be a massive draw – imagine getting a free flight just for signing up for a new card! While this shouldn’t be the primary consideration when choosing which card to apply for, it certainly can and should play a role.



Additional Perks



More credit cards offer a simple rewards system where you earn one point for every dollar you spend. However, many cards have additional perks as well – extra points when you make purchases on gas, dining, travel, and more. Consider your spending habits and the kind of perks that would be most beneficial for you. If you have a long commute, maybe extra points on gas are a good fit. If you take public transit every day but also take lots of business trips, travel rewards might be a better choice instead. Read the find print on any card you are considering to determine if it’s the best choice to meet your needs. Some cards also have other non-reward perks, like travel insurance or waived foreign transaction fees. It pays to do your research before you choose a new credit card!



Navigating the Credit Card Industry



Credit cards can be complicated – but credit card processing doesn’t have to be. 360 Payments is a different kind of credit card processor – we pride ourselves on being true partners to our customers. Want to learn more? Give us a call or drop us a line on our website. We’d love to show you what we mean.



PS – Looking for the best business credit card out there? We’ve got you covered.



PPS – Travel a bunch? Here’s how to choose the perfect travel credit card.