These days there is so much competition for credit cards you probably receive offers in the mail daily, if not multiple per day, and send them straight to the trash/recycle. You have to give the credit card companies credit, they try to make their card standout over the others and get you to apply. Keep in mind that when you do apply, it will put an inquiry on your credit report and ding you a few points, so be sure that you do your best to decide on a card before you apply.
Interest rates are the most important part of credit cards, and considering you’re going to be making charges or transferring a balance, the rate has to be appealing, the lowest you can find, otherwise you rip the offer up right away. Credit card companies will send you offers showing rates at say 4% APR, but if you look closely enough, it shows “as low as”, and will change based on your credit approval. You could even have great credit, but having perfect credit still only get that advertised rate. While it’s tough to know what you’ll get approved for, double check your credit score and report before you apply.
Elite Status Cards
Whether it lists “gold”, “silver”, or “platinum” on the offer, it’s giving the allusion that you are in this elite club by having this credit card. I’ll let you right now, that it’s just a bunch of garbage. It doesn’t matter what the name states, but as long as it has low APR, rewards, and no annual fee, those are the only important aspects of deciding on a credit card. It doesn’t matter if you’re one of few or a dime a dozen, your credit card status means absolutely nothing.
Now rewards are probably my second area of importance besides interest rate. Since you will be using this card for probably all purchases, it’s good to get a little back in return. Some cards offer rewards points that you can redeem for gift cards later, others offer straight rewards dollars that you receive a check back every year, but take a look at the fine print. Sometimes in order to receive the rewards that was advertised you need to hit a certain spending limit, and depending on your budget it may not allow for, so rewards are no longer a factor and should resist applying.
With the amount of offers that do come in the mail, credit card companies need to separate themselves from the rest, otherwise it’s just junk mail and will get thrown away. I see some that have a completely blank envelope, which gets you to open to ensure you’re not missing important mail, while others give words such as “confidential” or “special offer” on the envelope that get you to open to think that this offer is specifically for you, when actually you being pre-approved for this offer means nothing considering they will have to pull your credit anyways when you apply.