A credit card is a payment card issued to users (cardholders). The card issuer (usually a bank) gives the cardholder a credit limit to use for purchase or paying bills. The cardholder can also borrow money for payment to a merchant or as a cash advance. Today, most of the banks and other financial institutions offer credit cards with different plans and terms, allowing customers to choose one according to their needs. The most popular choices among the credit card customers are Visa credit cards, followed closely by MasterCard credit cards. Here, we talk about various major credit cards available for customers.
VISA Credit Cards
VISA, based in San Francisco, California, USA, is one of the major credit card companies, and it represents most the credit available today. You can get credit cards straight from Visa or through a branded local financial organization. Visa offers non-reloadable and reloadable versions of credit cards. Visa reward credit cards enable users to earn rewards on every purchase they make.
MasterCard Credit Cards
MasterCard is a multinational company, well-known for its debit and credit cards. MasterCard credit cards are accepted worldwide as a form of payment. Standard MasterCard, Gold MasterCard, Platinum MasterCard, World MasterCard, and World Elite MasterCard are the various types of credit card offered by this company.
Discover Credit Cards
Discover credit cards were primarily issued in the U.S. by the Discover Bank. Discover credit cards were some of the first to introduce the concept of a rewards program for credit cards. Initially, rewards were usually in the form of credit towards certain purchases or even frequent flier miles. Cardholders also had the benefit of earning cash back by paying the balance. Discover Open Road Card, Discover Motiva Card, Miles by Discover Card and Escape by Discover Card are some of the cards issued by Discover.
American Express Credit Cards
American Express is a diversified global financial services company established in 1850. After Diners Club, American Express was the second company to introduce credit cards. It was in 1959 this financial institution issued plastic credit cards, which was the industry first. There are various card categories American Express offers, which include Classic Cards, Flexible Payment Cards, Air Travel Partner Cards and Hotel Partner Cards.
With all the choices among credit cards today, how do you choose which is the right one for you?
- Decide on how you will use the credit cards. Start with one and you may not need anymore.
- Are rewards really that important to you and worth sacrificing a lower interest rate?
- Read the fine print. Find out if the card has a universal default clause.
- Make sure you are aware of the penalties and fees for a late payment and for going over limit.
- Make sure you check the rate that the card will charge once your introductory period is over.
Universal default is something you should check before agreeing to own a card. About half of the banks that issue cards still have this clause. That means if they check your credit report and find that you are behind somewhere else, they can double your rate, even if there is no overdue. Visa credit cards and MasterCard credit cards issued by Citibank no longer carry this clause, but some other cards do.
Also, if cards like Discover credit cards offer an introductory rate, find out what the regular rate is. Before you apply for and agree to own any American Express credit cards, make sure of the payment terms.
Rewards Credit Cards
Reward credit cards will give you incentive in the form of flyer points, gift certificates or cash back. There are different types of rewards credit cards offered by the credit card companies like travel credit cards, hotel rewards cards, cash back credit cards, airline miles credit cards and gas credit cards. On every purchase you do with these credit cards, you will earn points.
Bad Credit Credit Cards
If you have a bad credit history and want to re-establish, then a bad credit credit card is all you need. These credit cards are intended for people who cannot buy a credit card through the normal means. They work similar to the major credit cards; the only difference is you have to deposit an amount equal to the credit limit of the card.
A credit report, otherwise called as credit history, is a record of transactions with the financial institutions. It includes borrowing, repaying, late payments, as well as bankruptcy.