Choosing the right credit card for your own needs is not easy. In addition to the different variants, there are a variety of offers from different providers and banks.
This guide gives you an overview of the various aspects that you should consider when choosing a credit card.
Three common credit card variants
Before you take a closer look at the conditions of the different credit cards, you have to decide on a basic type. There are three different types available:
Chargecard: With this credit card you enjoy the greatest possible flexibility. A credit line is granted, which can be two to three months’ salary. This means that four or five-digit sums can also be paid with this variant. The amount due must be paid to the bank by a certain deadline, usually in the middle or the end of a month.
Debit card : Compared to the charge card, the debit card is closely linked to the current account. You can therefore view this variant as a second Visa card and withdraw cash with it at low cost abroad. When making a payment, the bank account is debited immediately, which is why you must have a credit balance there.
Prepaid credit card: This model has the advantage that it is usually available without a bank account. However, the range of functions is limited: Before you can make a payment, you must top up the prepaid credit card. This card is interesting for people with negative Credit bureau.
Tips on choosing a credit card
There are numerous providers and an infinite number of credit cards. As a consumer, it is difficult to keep an overview of the map jungle. These questions will guide you on the right path:
How much can the fees be?
Some publishers waive annual fees, but the service is significantly lower. Others demand relatively high sums of over 100 USD a year, but offer interesting additional services. Think carefully about how much you want to pay for your credit card. If you only need them for a few purchases on the Internet, you should rather look for a cheap model.
With some providers you can pay free of charge within the EU, a fee is payable at the ATM. In addition, sales and foreign currency fees may apply, so you should compare providers. Sometimes the spouse receives a free partner card, which could be an important advantage.
What do I need a credit card for?
This question is closely related to the fees: even a prepaid credit card is sufficient for Internet purchases, while a “real” charge card is recommended abroad. The disadvantage of a debit card is that there must always be enough money in the account. Otherwise the payment will be refused, causing unnecessary problems.
Which additional services are necessary?
Those who like to travel benefit from the international insurance of some credit card providers. The more you pay, the higher the benefits. There are also discounts and bonuses, sometimes a personal service. It is worth comparing the individual offers here, since the services of the publishers vary enormously. If you are lucky, you will receive a premium service and will not have to pay any extra.
The services are integrated with many credit cards:
- Travel insurance: Travel cancellation insurance is practical if you have to cancel your vacation spontaneously. In addition, you are insured by a foreign health insurance against expensive treatment costs.
- Rental car insurance: Some providers increase liability to cover fully, in addition, legal assistance in the event of accidents is included.
- Shopping insurance : With this insurance you can shop online without any risk, since purchasing and transport are completely covered.
- Discounts: Fly cheaper or fill up cheaper, the providers are extremely creative with their bonus programs.
- Services : If you lose your credit card, this is not a problem, as the emergency service will make a booking for you. You also get access to airport lounges and special events.
Most of the additional services are included in this list. In order to reduce fees, you should avoid using unnecessary services.
Where can I use my credit card?
Of course, the credit card should have enough acceptance points. In a way, it depends on which countries you want to travel to, whereby MasterCard or Visa are welcome everywhere. Some banks offer a package of both cards, which gives you the greatest possible flexibility.
Generally there are hardly any differences between these two card institutes. It is rather small subtleties, such as another bonus program, that you have to pay attention to. In some countries, an ATM with a Visa sign can be found more quickly or vice versa, but this is rather a rarity.
A backpacker has different credit card requirements than a businessman. You should take this into account when comparing offers and, above all, take a close look at the fees: Pay only for the services you really need! Often a more expensive offer turns out to be cheaper because you benefit enormously from the additional services.