A credit card is not a one-size-fits-all product. Here’s how to choose the most beneficial card for you based on your spending habits, goals, and credit score.

Know Your Credit Score

  • Many credit card issuers offer cardholders free FICO scores.
  • Experian, Equifax and TransUnion (the three major credit bureaus) sell credit scores.
  • Federal law allows for one free copy of your credit report from each of the three major bureaus every 12 months. Get yours at AnnualCreditReports.com

Determine Which Card Fits You Best

  • To improve your credit score, consider a credit-building card. This is often a secure credit card, which you open by paying a deposit. It’s easier to qualify for and can help you build or repair your credit if used responsibly.
  • A rewards credit card is a good choice is you pay off your balance in full every month and never accrue interest. These cards give you points, miles or cash back on every dollar you spend.
  • If you plan to use your credit card to pay off a major expense over time, a card with a 0% intro APR and ongoing interest rate may be an ideal match for you.

Narrow Your Selection

Credit Building:

  • No annual fee
  • Your payments are reported to the three major credit bureaus
  • Free credit score tool

Rewards Card

  • Delivers the highest rewards for the category you spend the most on
  • Low required spending limit
  • The annual fee is worth it based on the perks offered

Low Interest Card

  • Length of the 0% APR period
  • Low (or no) late fees or penalty APR
  • Offers sign-up bonus or ongoing rewards

Once you have selected the best credit card for you, make sure you manage it with care. Make payments on time, pay more than the minimum, pick the right due date for payments and use the perks that come with your card.


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