Although the essential purpose of all credit cards is similar, the benefits and uses of credit card products can very much from one company and one card to another. Comparing credit cards and selecting the best option is much more complex in today's 'borrow and spend' society. It involves much more than simply deciding to get a credit and searching for the best interest rate available.
The process of comparing credit cards is incrementally greater with the tools and resources available through the expansion of the internet. It is now much easier for consumers to compare credit companies, learn about deceptive credit techniques, and find the best products and rates.
Interest rates are only a piece of the comparison puzzle. There are several different types of credit card products common to the consumer market today. Many companies offer some type of introductory or promotional offer to entice borrowers to their products. These include zero per cent balance transfers and zero per cent introductory purchases for initial periods of time.
Again, since these promotional offers are something common, there are still more specific credit card features to consider when finding the most appropriate product for your needs. Most companies offer products with different benefits and name them gold, platinum, silver, standard, or similar names.
Some cards are intended for regular card users who maintain some balance on their cards. For users who maintain balances month-to-month, a low standard purchase rate is important. Other card users do not maintain balances over time and do not keep balances past their grace period. These users do not benefit greatly from a much lower rate, so they prefer other perks. Credit card reward programs are designed to offer incentives for regular balance payers to make purchases. Occasionally, the card company would prefer the user maintain some balance in order to recoup interest payments.
The key with getting the right credit card product is to carefully compare credit cards. This is easy to do with online brokers and credit card sites. Consumers can complete questions that explore their spending habits and credit card goals. This allows search programs to pull together the right card products for consideration. Much of the details that make a credit card the best choice for a given consumer are found in the fine print. Length and impact of promotional terms is vital. Long-term goals with the card also offer direction when reviewing the details of a card's benefits and costs.