Tips for Getting the Best Credit Card Rates

Although credit cards are not actually a necessity in todays world, they can certainly make things more convenient for most people. Having one or two credit cards makes it easier for you to book hotel rooms or buy airline tickets, and with Internet shopping being as popular as it is today, credits cards are great for that too. Before you fill out the first credit card application that comes in the mail, however, you need to think about the various pros and cons of having a credit card, and you need to do a little research to find out what credit card company is going to offer you the best interest rates. You may think that interest rates dont matter that much, but you should think again. Interest rates can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year, and the lower the rates the better those yearly numbers are going to look. Here are a few tips for getting the best credit card rates:

1. Shop around That seems obvious, but some people are so eager to have a credit card that they pounce on the first offer that comes their way. Remember, shopping around for the best credit card rates can save you a tremendous amount of money each year. There are a lot of credit card companies and a lot of credit cards to choose from - it wont hurt to take a few days or weeks to do your research. Youll thank yourself later.

2. Know what your credit score is Why do you need to know what your credit score is? Wont the credit card company find that out when they process your application? Yes, they will find out what your credit score is, and if the score is inaccurate (and not in your favor), you may be charged interest rates that are higher than you deserve. Before you apply, make sure your credit score is correct, or you may be paying for someone elses mistake.

3. Negotiate What? Negotiate with credit card companies? Absolutely. Credit card companies want your business thats why you get all those applications in the mail. Call credit card company A and tell them that credit card company B is offering you lower rates, and see what they say. Of course, it doesnt always work, but youll be no worse off than you were when you started. Also, if you already have a credit card and have been making your monthly payments promptly for a year or more, call them and negotiate lower interest rates based on your payment history. Many credit card companies offer that option for good customers.

4. Dont max out the credit cards you have When you get a credit card, it is never a good idea to charge up to your maximum limit. Not only do other credit card companies look at this when you apply for their cards, so do other types of loan companies, including mortgage loan companies. It doesnt matter if youve always made your payments on time it makes credit card companies nervous when they see that kind of spending, and you may not get their best rates.

5. Pay all of your bills on time Most people know this, but it isnt always easy to do. A good payment history, on any type of loan, means being able to qualify for a low-interest credit card. If your payment history doesnt look too good right now and you can wait on that credit card, try your hardest to make all loan payments on time for a few months to a year, and then apply for the card. You will be pleased with the rates you are offered.