There’s a lot that goes into comparing credit card offers. You know the right one is out there, but that doesn’t mean you’ll find it immediately. It could take you several days or longer of searching to find exactly what you’re looking for. And there’s nothing wrong with that. You’re making a big financial decision so you don’t want to get ahead of yourself.
While patience can go a long way in helping you avoid mistakes, knowledge of what you’re doing can also work in your favor. Here are a handful of mistakes to avoid when comparing credit cards:
1. Choosing without comparing
You stumble across a credit card offer online and assume that it’s “the one.” And for that reason, you complete an application, wait for an approval, and assume that you made the perfect decision.
Rather than take this approach, compare a minimum of three to five offers. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, continue your search. Don’t put a time limit on making a decision. This can put unnecessary stress on you, which leads to mistakes.
2. Neglecting to pinpoint your wants and needs
Don’t start the search process until you have a list of your wants and needs. In other words, decide what’s most important to you and conduct your search accordingly.
For example, if earning cash back is a priority, you only want to search for offers in this category. Or perhaps you want a balance transfer credit card.
Some potential points of focus could include:
- Type of credit card
- Interest rate
- Online account management
- Safety and security
A list of wants and needs will guide you during the search and comparison process. You may be surprised at how much more efficient this makes you.
3. Forgetting to read user reviews
It’s good to visit credit card offers directly on the issuers’ websites. However, they’re only going to tell you the “good stuff.” They’re not going to compare the pros and cons. This is why you should read user reviews during your comparison.
You can’t believe everything you read online, but you can search for common threads to see if a particular offer is lacking in a specific area. With the help of the internet, you can find thousands upon thousands of credit card reviews within a matter of minutes.
Don’t let these potential mistakes scare you away from finding the perfect credit card. Instead, use this knowledge to ensure that you don’t go down the wrong path. You’ll know it when you find the right offer, and at that point you can take action.