Applying for a credit card

A credit card application offer
A credit card application offer

It is not uncommon to receive credit card offers in the postal mail. Such offers can be attractive because of the new features or benefits the credit card offers. Credit card companies always want new and more business so there is no shortage of offers designed to acquire new customers.

When you get one or more offers, compare the features or benefits of each offer to pick the best credit card. If, for example, you want just a rewards card pick a card that offers you the maximum rewards benefits with no or minimum charges or fees. On the other hand, it makes sense to apply for a credit card that offers no rewards benefits but offers great introductory interest rate if you are looking to save on interest rate charges. The savings can be huge depending on how much you transfer to the new card and how much you are currently paying in interest charges.

A quick tip

Don’t forget to see the back of your credit card offer or terms of the offer. This section contains important information. The section, for example, describes what happens if you make one or more payment(s) late. You may loose the benefits of the favorable introductory offer as a result. The section will also tell you about annual fee, grace period, interest rate information, and so on. It is a mistake to apply for a credit card if you don’t agree with all of the condition of a credit card offer.

When you have one or more credit card offers in front of you, look for minimally for these features (and any other applicable features or benefits):

Introductory features

  • Regular interest rate
  • Interest rate on balance transfers
  • Interest rate on purchases
  • Length of introductory period (Ask yourself: is this six months long or a year long?)
  • Any bonus offer?
  • Points/miles on purchases or balance transfers. If yes, how do your earn and how do you redeem?

Highlights of benefits of a Capital One credit card offer:

Highlights of benefits of a credit card offer

Look beyond just the introductory period! Review the same information beyond just the introductory period because the same benefits or features won’t be available after the introductory period has ended.

Also, make sure you are aware of these items for each credit card offer:

  • Annual fee
  • Charges on cash-advances
  • Over-the-limit charges
  • Grace period (in days)
  • Any reward on transfer balances?
  • Any additional fees, penalties or benefits?

Table 1 provides a glimpse into a sample credit card offer.

Table 1 a sample credit card offer features
Feature Value
Regular interest rate 0.00%
Interest rate on balance transfers 3.00%
Interest rate on purchases 5.00%
Length of introductory period 1 year
Bonus offer 5000 points on first purchase
Points 3 per $1 purchases
Annual fee $50
Grace period (in days) 25


Completing a credit card application offer
Completing a credit card application offer
Posted on 11/10/2007
by Raj Singh