Use this credit card calculator to compare the long-term costs of credit cards that...show more instructions
How To Compare Credit Cards For The Best Deal
Searching for credit cards can be an exhausting process – especially when it comes time to compare them.
Once you’ve narrowed down your top choices, you’ll want to compare their long-term costs – quickly and easily.
The Credit Card Comparison Calculator does just that, saving you time and money. But there’s more to consider than just the numbers. So, here are a few tips to help you find the best deal that fits your specific needs . . . .
Understand Your Credit Card Needs
How often will you use your credit card? If you are you going to use your credit card for most of your expenses and you pay off the bill every month, then choose a credit card that has a rewards program or that offers cash back deals.
If you carry a balance every month then save some dollars by comparing credit cards that have the lowest interest rates so you can pay off your debt as soon as possible.
If you’re an avid traveler, apply for a “gold” or “platinum” credit card as these cards allow you to accumulate points that you can convert into free air miles. With these credit cards, you may also enjoy the traveler’s lounge at the airport or benefit from their free travel accident insurance.
Related: 5 Rookie Financial Planning Mistakes That Cost You Big-Time (and what to do instead!) Explained in 5 Free Video Lessons
Classic, Gold Or Platinum: What’s The Difference?
Think of “classic” credit cards as basic credit cards. The interest rate is generally higher compared to platinum and gold cards.
Gold and platinum credit cards are usually issued to consumers with elevated financial status and good credit standing. These credit cards usually offer extra services to cardholders, such as:
- Higher credit limits
- Lower purchase rate or balance transfer rates
- Zero or waived annual fees
- Free insurance benefits
- Free travel abroad
- Zero percent interest on purchases
- Cash back or other rewards programs
Remember: Credit cards should not jeopardize your finances. Compare credit cards using this calculator and shop wisely!
Understand Your Credit Card Agreement
Before you decide which credit card to use, carefully read the terms and conditions of the agreement. Understand all your credit card charges. If you are unsure, ask your credit card representative. You may need to know:
- The minimum payment for the credit card.
- Are there any other levies aside from the monthly interest charge?
- What will happen if you cannot keep up with your monthly payments?
- Is there a penalty for paying off your debt early?
- Is there a fee for going over your credit limit?
- From which date will you start calculating the interest?
- Is there a fee for card replacements?
Responsible Credit Card Use
Don’t get trapped by irresponsible credit card spending. Remember: Credit cards are tools that can be used to better your credit or devastate your finances. Here are a few commonsense tips to use credit cards responsibly:
- Always pay off your balance every month (or at least be in the process of paying down your debt).
- Track your credit card spending as necessary to ensure you’re able to pay every upcoming bill.
- Avoid unnecessary costs by taking full advantage of our Credit Card Comparison Calculator – use it every time you’re considering a new card to get the best deal. The less you spend in fees the more you can spend toward paying down your debt.
Credit History Matters
When applying for a credit card, your credit history matters. Make existing credit card payments on time and avoid default. Proper credit card management leads to lower interest rates and higher credit limits – not to mention more accepted credit card applications.
Compare credit cards – it’s well worth the research. Our credit card comparison calculator will handle all the time-consuming calculations and show you the long-term costs of using each card thus giving you the information you need to make a wise decision.
Terms & Definitions For Comparing Credit Cards
- Balance – The amount of money owed on a credit card.
- Fixed Monthly Payment Amount – The amount of money applied to the balance on a monthly, consistent basis.
- Credit Limit – The maximum amount of money that can be borrowed at any one time using a credit card.
- Grace Period – The period during which you won’t pay interest on your credit card balance even if it is past due.
- Minimum Payment – The lowest amount that you are required to pay each month to keep your credit card account in good standing.
- Balance Transfer – The process of transferring your credit card balance to another credit card.
- Cash Advance – A service allowing cardholders to withdraw a certain amount of cash from an ATM, bank, or other financial institution.
- Annual Fee – The amount you pay every year to your credit card company for maintaining your credit card.
- Annual Percentage Rate – Also known as the annual interest rate, it is applied to your credit card purchases that were not paid in full each month.
- Introductory Annual Interest Rate – A temporary interest rate – usually lower – that is applied to the balance for a certain term.
- Term for Introductory Rate – The number of months that the introductory annual interest rate is applied to the balance.
- Balance Transfer Rate – Interest charged to the outstanding balance of your old credit card that is transferred to your new credit card.
- Cash Advance Rate – Interest charged when you draw cash from the ATM using your credit card.
- Over-Limit Fee – The amount you need to pay for charging more than your credit limit.
- Compounding Period – How often the annual percentage rate is applied to accrued interest.
Related Credit Card Calculators For Debt Payoff
- Credit Card Minimum Payment Calculator: How long will it take to pay off my credit card and how much will it cost me if I make only the minimum payments?
- Debt Snowball Calculator: How fast can the rollover method get me out of debt and how much will I save?
- Credit Card Interest Calculator: How much of my credit card payment is interest and how much is principal?
- Credit Card Payoff Calculator: How long until I pay off my credit card debt using a variety of payment strategies? Includes printable amortization schedule.
- Credit Card Payment Calculator: Which repayment strategy will cost the least and get me out of debt the fastest?
- Debt Payoff Calculator: How much must I pay each month to be out of debt by any selected date?
- Debt Consolidation Calculator: How much will I save by consolidating my debts into one loan versus paying them individually?
- Debt Reduction Calculator (With Amortization Schedule): How fast can I get out debt and how much will I save by adding a fixed amount to each monthly payment?
- Debt Repayment Calculator: How fast can I get out debt and how much will I save by adding a one-time additional payment to principal?
- Debt Calculator: How long will it take to get out using my current payment plan?