Most Google Credit Card Questions Answered by an Expert


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Credit cards are a popular way to fund a variety of expenses, from $ 20 gym memberships and $ 100 birthday gifts to tuition and home renovations.

But no matter what you use your credit card to pay for, it’s always important to do your research to make sure you know how to use one responsibly. There is a ton of information out there and analyzing it all can seem overwhelming.

So, Select compiled a list of the most popular credit card questions on Google and asked expert Brian Stivers, founder of Stivers Financial Services, for answers. Here’s all you need to know:

Q: How do credit cards work?

Needles: “A credit card is basically a loan from a bank where a lender agrees to allow you to borrow up to a certain amount of money on the condition that you repay the amount you borrowed.

“You can talk about it in relation to a debit card. With a debit card, you spend money that you already have in a bank account. But with a credit card, you borrow money that you don’t have from a bank, and you agree to pay it back over time. The longer it takes you to pay it off, the more it will cost because of the interest. “

Q: How many credit cards should I have?

Needles: “There is no single answer for that. For some people the answer is zero because if you can’t properly manage a credit card it can do a lot of damage. It can put you in debt and damage your bank. credit score, so if you don’t feel comfortable with a credit card, it’s okay not to get one.

“On the other hand, there are a lot of people with a dozen or more credit cards because they like the reward points. In truth, most people probably have two or three credit cards. way, they have this card that they use on regularly and then they can have a second card to give them extra wiggle room in an emergency.

“The best way to figure out how many credit cards you should have is to understand your own spending habits. If you’re someone who has a regular balance, you probably shouldn’t be focusing on getting more credit cards to get more rewards; you should focus on paying the balance as soon as you can. “

Q: What is a secured credit card?

Needles: “I generally recommend that your first credit card be a secured credit card. A secured credit card works like a regular credit card, except that you put down a security deposit to get it, which can be $ 200 or more. $ 250 (sometimes you might be able to This is a good alternative to a regular credit card, especially for young people who have just entered the workforce and can deposit a few hundred dollars for set their credit card limit.

“They are low risk because the limits are small and serve as insurance if you ever need to miss a payment. A secured card can be a great stepping stone to getting a regular credit card.”

Select the best secure cards to suit a range of consumers. The Discover it® secure credit card, for example, has no annual fee, and you can earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $ 1,000 in combined purchases each. quarter and 1% cash back on all other qualifying purchases.

The Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, on the other hand, does not offer cash back, but some applicants may deposit a deposit of just $ 49 to qualify for a $ 200 credit limit.

Discover it® secure credit card

On the secure Discover site

  • Awards

    Earn 2% Cash Back at gas stations and restaurants up to $ 1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, get unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

  • Welcome bonus

    Discover will match all of the cash back rewards you’ve earned at the end of your first year

  • Annual subscription

  • Introduction APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fees

    3% introductory balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see conditions) *

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Information about the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® was independently collected by CNBC and was not reviewed or provided by the card issuer prior to publication.

  • Awards

    This card does not offer cash back, points or miles

  • Welcome bonus

  • Annual subscription

  • Introduction APR

    N / A for purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    26.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fees

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

Q: How can I get a credit card?

Needles: “If you have a secure card and manage it well, the bank that issued the card to you may ask if you want to get a regular (or unsecured) credit card.

“When you don’t have a lot of credit, the best place to apply for your first regular credit card is often a bank where you already have some type of account established, such as a checking account or savings account. They can be more likely. to extend you a credit card. ”

Of course, you don’t need to apply for a credit card from a bank you already use. You can apply from any lender, but you should do your research to make sure you apply for a card that you are sure you are approved for. Some banks offer credit cards for people with fair credit, for example. Others offer cards that are best suited for someone with excellent credit.

If you’re not sure where you are at, check your credit score first, then fill out a prequalification form to see what offers you may be eligible for.

Q: What is an APR voucher for a credit card?

Needles: “It varies, but it’s important for people to understand that when you’re just starting out, you won’t get the lowest APR you see on a card. It is important to understand where you stand with your credit score so you can adjust your expectations accordingly.

“The average rate on a new offer is around 19%, but interest rates can typically range from 15% to 23%. If you have really good credit, there are cards you can get with a lower interest rate, but if you’re just getting started you should be prepared for higher rates. ”

If you’re worried about accepting an interest rate that is in the upper end of the typical range, you may want to consider credit cards with introductory 0% interest rate offers. The Citi Simplicity® Card and US Bank Visa® Platinum Card are two cards that offer generous introductory periods, so you may have a year or more to pay off your balance before you have to pay interest.

Citi Simplicity® Card

  • Awards

  • Welcome bonus

  • Annual subscription

  • Introduction APR

    0% for the first 18 months on purchases and balance transfers (balance transfers must be made within 4 months of opening the account)

  • Regular APR

    14.74% to 24.74% variable

  • Balance transfer fees

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

Q: How do I pay off credit card debt?

Needles: “The best way to tackle credit card debt is up to you – paying off debt is all about motivation and what gets you going. If you are someone who is motivated by small wins, so pay off the cards with the lowest debt balances, and celebrating that accomplishment before moving on to those with higher balances can be a big deal.

“But the best place to start, anyway, is with a budget. There is no way to make a meaningful plan to tackle debt unless you know how much is coming in and out. come out regularly. “

Q: How do I cancel a credit card?

Needles: “Let’s start with the fact that you don’t necessarily have to cancel a credit card. Instead, you might want to consider downgrading. The classic example of a downgrade is someone has a credit card. rewards with an annual fee that they no longer use, so rather than canceling that card, they call the issuer and request that their account be downgraded to a version with no annual fee. This saves you money. money without closing the credit card and triggering the consequences of closing the card.

“But if you want to cancel your card, you need to contact the issuer and let them know you want to cancel it.”

Q: Can you buy a car with a credit card?

Needles: “There may be limits that car dealerships set on how much you can finance with a credit card. To get big reward points, the biggest question you need to ask yourself is, what are the extra fees involved?

“Often times when you buy a car, pay tuition, taxes, or other unusual credit card purchases of up to several thousand dollars, those transactions often come with fees that replace the value you pay. would get these rewards. If you have a credit card that gives 2% cash back and you want to use it to pay for your child’s tuition, but the college charges a 2.5% transaction fee for the using a credit card is probably not a good deal. “

Q: What is a credit card with balance transfer?

Needles: “A credit card with balance transfer allows you to transfer your current card balance to a new card, often at a lower interest rate. But what makes these cards so popular is that many will give you a period in which you don’t earn interest. at all on that transferred balance, and it can be very important.

“There are many cards that offer a 12 or 15 month interest-free offer on transferred balances that can save you a lot of money in interest and really cut down on the time it takes to pay off debt if you do. ‘use wisely.

“Keep in mind, however, that a fee is generally charged each time you transfer a balance.”

For pricing and fees for the Discover it® Secure Credit Card, click here

Editorial note: Any opinions, analysis, criticism or recommendations expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the editorial staff of Select and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise approved by any third party.

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