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Compare Credit Cards

by Anna Peña

Picking out a credit card can be very confusing. You'll need to consider several factors to compare fees of different credit cards. It is important to prioritize what is important to you. To do that, it is important to understand some basic definitions. Ask the credit union for information about the credit cards it issues.

Annual fee: This is the fee you pay for having-and using-the credit card. Some card issuers charge an annual fee, some don't. If you always pay your balance in full each month, look for a card with no annual fee.

APR (Annual Percentage Rate): This is the interest rate reflected as an annual percentage. You want a low APR-say, 12% or lower. Shop around for a low interest rate, particularly if you think you won't be able to pay off the balance in full each month and incur interest charges.

Application fee: This is the fee you pay when you apply for a credit card.

Grace Period: This is the number of days you have to pay the balance in full before the interest rate clock starts ticking. If you don't pay off the balance in full before the grace period is up, you'll pay interest on all your existing and future purchases ... until you pay up in full.

Cash advance fee: This is the fee you pay when you use your credit card to get cash. It may be a flat fee (for example, $3), or it may be a percentage of the cash advance (for example, 3% of the amount you're requesting, including any ATM fees).

Balance transfer fee: This is the fee to transfer a balance from one credit card to another. It may be a flat fee (for example, $3), or it may be a percentage of the transfer (for example, 3% of the amount transferred).

Late payment fee: This is the fee you pay if your payment is received after the due date.

Over-the-limit fee: This is the fee you pay if you make a purchase that takes your balance over your credit limit. A new law states that you must authorize your credit card company to allow you to go over your limit or the company cannot charge you this fee. But if you don't authorize your credit card company to permit you to exceed your credit limit, your transaction will most likely be rejected.

Rewards Program: When you use the card, some financial institutions reward you with cash-back incentives, rebate programs, or other items. Be careful, though: Don't be tempted to spend more than you can afford to pay in full just to rack up rewards points.

Reward redemption fee: This is the fee you pay to redeem rewards, such as airline miles.

Foreign transaction fee: This is the fee you pay for purchases you make in foreign currencies-even if that purchase is charged in U.S. dollars. Or it could be a fee for online purchases from foreign merchants.

Paper statement fee: This is the fee you pay to receive a paper statement in the mail.

Published 9-2-2013

 

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¿Quieres que un representante de la credit union se ponga en contacto contigo?
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Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre su cuenta o una transacción, por favor póngase en contacto con su credit union por teléfono en vez de usar esta forma.

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