Choosing a credit card that suits your needs

Credit card offers are practically everywhere these days: television commercials, online ads, even offers mailed directly to your house. If you decide you're in the market for a new card, how do you determine which one is right for you? All of the choices might make the decision seem overwhelming, but these simple steps can help you sort through the clutter:

  • Read the fine print. The terms and conditions of a credit card can greatly affect the cost of using it. Some cards, for example, offer a fixed Annual Percentage Rate (APR) while others offer a variable APR. Further complicating the matter, some cards may offer a low introductory APR that quickly escalates after a set period of time. You should also be aware that some cards charge an annual fee, which should be weighed against any and all rewards offered.

  • Consider the rewards. Many credit cards offer the cardholder rewards in exchange for continued use of the card. These rewards can range from cash-back options, airline miles or even points that can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, merchandise and more. Be sure the card you choose offers an incentive that you would use and find valuable.

  • Review your money management options. Many cards offer convenient payment tools that allow you to see, track and manage your spending. Some of these payment tools even allow you to track your credit card, debit card and checking account all in one place, giving you greater control and insight into your finances.

  • Check for additional perks. Options like 24-hour customer service, paperless statements, balance transfer opportunities, rental car insurance, travel assistance and fraud protection are just a number of the available service perks that warrant consideration. The availability of such benefits can make it easier to narrow down your decision.

If you have questions about your specific situation and what type of card might be appropriate, feel free to contact PNC today. PNC financial professionals can talk through your options with you.