Searching for a Cheap Credit Card

by : Hannah Callen

With over 300 credit cards on the market today, searching for a cheap credit card can seem like an understandably bewildering task. Luckily much of the hassle has been removed by the host of financial service comparison sites popping up on the net, on an almost regular basis. These sites work by presenting all the information that you may need to know about the credit cards available on a few simple web pages. At the same time you will be swamped by adverts about anything from mortgages to life insurance! Thankfully the ease that these websites offer to those searching for credit card deals far outweighs this small inconvenience.

Price comparison sites aimed at comparing the best credit cards will list all of the information that you need to know in order to make a decision. You can also link straight to the card provider's site for more details or to apply for the card. Things really don't get that much simpler. There are literally hundreds of such sites available, and simply typing 'cheap credit cards' in your favourite search engine will bring up the most popular. Some of the most informed sites, those offering the best advice, are ones that are designed to accompany television shows, or so-called 'money experts'.

The first thing that you will want to take notice of when searching for a cheap credit card is the card's 'annual percentage rate', or APR. This is the amount of interest that you will have to pay back on the balance of your card. These rates vary but can be anywhere in the region of 10 - 20%; some are even lower. However, it is important to remember that there are two types of APR: the fixed and the variable, the most common being the variable APR. This means that even though the APR seems low at first it will change with interest rates.

Another good thing to look out for are any introductory offers such as 0% on balance transfers and 0% interest on purchases. Both of these types of offer are for limited periods but can both be invaluable dependant on how you intend to use the card. The 0% balance transfers are ideal if you are searching for a cheap credit card that you can move an exist balance on to. The reason why people do this is because they can avoid paying high interest rates on money that they have borrowed, and therefore repay the amount faster. On the other hand, the 0% interest on purchases is best if you want to buy something immediately - as long as you know that you are going to be able to pay for it within the offer period.

Other offers can make card that appear not as cheap as others more beneficial in the long run. These are often connected to specific individual lifestyles, or for people that use cards in specific ways. For example, there are cash back credit cards that give you a lump sum 'cash back' payout at the end of the year, dependant on how much you have used the card. Effectively everything that you buy receives a discount. This is good if you are the type of person that makes regular repayments, in full, at the end of each month. Other cards offer, for example, free Air Miles - great if you're a frequent flier.

Two other offers that are worth mentioning when searching for a cheap credit card are 0 percent offers on purchases, and cards that offer a lower interest rate, if you spend over a certain amount, in a set period. A number of companies are now offering 0% on all purchases made, for a limited period, after sign up. This is all very well and good as long as you are intending to use the card carefully - basically, don't go on a shopping spree unless you have the means to pay it back in a timely fashion. Other companies are offering a lower interest rate as long as you spend a certain amount each month, others are offering an interest rate that gets lower dependant on how much you spend on the card. Once again, it's all very well as long as you don't go nuts!