Important factors to consider when choosing a new credit card
logo

Money Matters Blog for Cinfed Members

Helping You Choose the Correct Credit Card

Posted on January 14, 2019
Topic Categories: Consumer Help, Credit Cards

Woman looking at computer

By Milton Jones, Collections & Card Services Manager
 

Credit cards have become one of the most popular ways to make purchases. According to a 2018 survey by the Ohio Credit Union League, 73 percent of respondents stated they use at least one or two credit cards every month. And of that group, nearly 70 percent carried debt on those cards of up to $5,000
 

Credit cards can seem easy to get (some people get multiple offers in the mail every week!), but they can have a tremendous impact on your financial health. That’s why it’s important to review your options and carefully choose the best credit card for you.
 

Typically, people evaluate credit cards based on interest rates and low fees (or no fees). Perks, such as points for travel, discounts, and other rewards, can also influence someone to apply. Those factors, however, should just be part of your decision. Here are some steps to ensure that you match the right credit card to your needs. 

 

Check your credit.

Higher credit scores are more likely to be approved for credit cards with better perks, while those with lower scores may need to shop around more. It’s best to begin the research process knowing your score, rather than being declined for the credit card you want. Federal law entitles you to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every year.


 

Figure out what type of credit card you need.

There are typically two types of credit cards: those that offer rebates, and those that earn rewards. Some consumers choose cards to transfer a balance from an existing credit card. So think ahead: how will you use this card in the future? Which option is financially more advantageous for you? 


 

Consider the ease of use.

Technology allows for a much more seamless transaction process. Is it easy to set up paying from a smartphone, wearable tech or voice command? Make sure these methods are covered in terms of security as well.


 

Decide how likely you are to carry a balance.

If you know your credit card will carry debt you won’t pay off right away, you should search for cards with low annual percentage rates. Otherwise, you could end up with card payments that don’t fit into your budget and take longer than expected to pay off. Make sure you know how much you can realistically afford in monthly finance charges and shop around accordingly.  



Read all the fine print.

Thoroughly research and understand how your potential credit card will fit into your budget. You may be attracted to a card because of a zero percent APR introductory offer, but make sure you understand how long that offer lasts and what you’ll be paying in finance charges once that rate changes. Some cards include annual fees, late fees, and foreign transaction fees you should be aware of before you apply. 



 

Look to a credit union.

Many institutions offer credit cards, but as a credit union, Cinfed can offer competitive rates along with reward programs and a great list of benefits. Our commitment to member service means we’re always ready to help and answer questions.


 

Choosing a new credit card is an important financial decision. Make sure you consider all the factors in order to make the correct choice. 
 





CONTACT CINFED

Cinfed Credit Union
4801 Kennedy Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45209
(513) 333-3800
Routing #242076656

MEMBER REVIEWS

They always go above and beyond at the Oakley branch and truly care about each of their members. And, I absolutely love their kids' membership program. It makes it fun for them to learn about money... 
— Courtney Snow
Been a member since I moved to the Queen City in 1978. Cinfed has always provided customer service that other financial institutions only dream about. Thank you for almost forty years of outstanding... 
— Tim Grabenstein
I recently became a member here at CINFED and it was the best decision I have ever made. I walked in with tears and despair and left with dry eyes, a smile, and I even received a hug from the branch... 
— Melanie
Earlier this year my much younger sister passed away and with that many obligations were to be met by my husband and myself ..My sister was survived by a daughter and son. We have since then taken on... 
— Vonda
How lucky I am to have Liz Frey managing the office I use! I live in Florida but maintain Cinfed as my main banking office. Everytime I need special help a simple email or call to Liz and it is... 
— Debbie G
Emily Snyder took the best care of my two auto loans. She was professional, courteous and very knowledgeable of the available services for me. She went out of her way to make sure I felt like I was... 
— Sarah Amyotte
I have been member with Cinfed since 1986. The Roselawn Cinfed staff greeted the customer phone calls friendly and polite willing to help you with your needs. They have excellent customer service.... 
— Marian Dudley
I have been a member of CINFED since about 1981 when I was transferred from SLC, Utah with the US Army Recruiting Command and have always received excellent service and support . Hope Dee Dee is... 
— Robert Olguin
I have been a member at the Roselawn Branch for a long time and I couldn't be more satisfied with the customer service. No matter how often I come in with a question or issue and no matter what... 
— Andreya T Williams
I been a member since 1985 and can not imagine banking anywhere else. This credit union as taken care of my every need. 24/7 services is excellent.
— Edward, member since 1985
I have been a Cinfed member for years. I know I can depend on them to provide excellent service. The bill pay on line is great and every time I visit the Florence branch I am met with friendly... 
— Jan Ricks
Closed a loan in 24 hours! Absolutely unheard of! Thanks to the exceptional customer service of LeAnn Rose at the Turfway Branch! She went above and beyond by providing unexpected expedited service! ... 
— Christina Stull
I recently applied for a credit card online. I received a call from Emily Snyder explaining what needs to be done next. It was easy and Emily’s customer service was excellent. Emily is a great... 
— Johnnie Bush

NOTE: You are leaving Cinfed Credit Union's web site. Cinfed is not responsible for content or security policies of this external, linked web site.