How to match your credit card to your priorities

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With a million different options out there, sometimes it’s hard to cut through the noise and confidently choose the right credit card to suit your needs. In this article, we’ll work through various credit card features and who they’re most suited for.

When you want to earn rewards

These rewards can be in the form of cashback cards, air miles cards or supermarket/department store loyalty cards.

Best for: People who can pay off their card balance in full each month as not doing so may undermine the benefits of the rewards gained. If you’re a frequent traveller, air miles can really work in your favour and save you cash when you travel.

When you want consolidate more expensive debt

0% balance transfer cards allow you to move your oustanding balance from one card (or multiple cards) to a new one at a 0% interest rate for a specified time period. These cards can you help you pay off the debt on your existing credit card, which is a great option if you’re being charged a high interest rate on your outstanding balance.

Most of these cards charge a one-off fee for a balance transfer, typically up to 3% of the balance you're looking to transfer.

Best for: People who want to consolidate existing credit card debt to reduce their monthly repayments, or pay off their debt faster.

When you want to boost your credit score

A credit-building credit card can be an effective way of improving your score or starting one if you’re new to the financial world. These cards may charge a relatively high rate but if you keep up with the payments you can hopefully improve your credit score and therefore reap the benefits in the future.

It’s best to start small with steady, manageable amounts with things like your phone bill and be sure to pay it off each month. This will slowly build your score and get you in good habits of paying the balance off in full at the end of the month.

Best for: Those who have a bad credit report or have not yet borrowed money so need to develop a credit file.

When you want good rates abroad

Credit cards can be a great option if you want good exchange rates and low conversion fees. Lots of cards now offer great deals with no usage fees abroad or, at least, keep these to a minimum. However, debit cards are becoming more and more competitive when it comes to allowing you to spend abroad so make sure that you weigh up your options so you don't take on a credit card where you don't have to.

Best for: People who travel a lot or have a big trip planned.

Our articles cover a wide range of mainstream financial products and employee benefits. Terms and conditions of each product may vary depending on your provider. Please ensure you check the specific terms and conditions of any financial products and employee benefits available to you from your employer.