ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Shopping for the Best Credit Card Deals in the U.S. - How do You Know It's the Best Deal?

Updated on November 19, 2013

Shopping for the Best Credit Card Deals in the U.S.

Looking for the best credit card deals in the U.S.? If so, you're probably like most people - the first things you look for are rebates, discounts, free travel miles, free gas, or cash back rewards. While there's nothing wrong with checking out cards that offer these perks, there are much more important things you should be checking on first to get the best U.S. credit card deals.

Here are some important features that all credit cards have and a brief explanation about what they are and why they're important.

Shop Around to Find the Best Credit Card Deals in the U.S.


Interest Rates - Interest rates are what the credit card company charges you for your purchase. The best credit card interest rate is around 9.99%. Of course, you always want to get a credit card with the lowest interest rate possible and this should be one of the first things you check, but you also need to know that there are two types of credit card interest rates - fixed and variable.

Fixed interest rates stay the same. If you apply for a credit card with a 9.99% interest rate, you can count on it staying at 9.99%. Some credit cards have variable interest rates that fluctuate with T-bill sales (I won't even try explaining that one).

If you apply for a credit card that shows the regular APR as 12.99% - 20.99%, this means that the credit card company can charge you anywhere from 12.99% to 20.99% on your credit card balance.

It's always best to try to get a fixed credit card rate. You'll have better control of your payments and know what to expect.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) - The APR is the rate of interest that includes the interest and all fees for the year. Credit card companies are now required by law to quote this rate so you have something to compare credit cards by.

Interest Rate Calculations - Your credit card company will figure the interest you owe each month by multiplying your APR times your card balance. They then divide the interest they calculate by 12 for the 12 months in the year.

The tricky part is figuring out your balance. If you have unpaid charges on your credit card, your credit card company will figure your interest one of three ways - average daily balance, previous balance, or adjusted balance. The daily average balance is the most common method.

Know Your Credit Card Basics


Application Fees - Some credit card companies charge a fee when you apply for their credit card. This isn't very common - especially for unsecured credit cards. If you are applying for an unsecured credit card and you're asked to pay a fee, go somewhere else. You can do better.

Application fees, when charged, are usually for secured credit cards. Again, you can probably find secured credit cards that won't charge an application fee so look for them first. Be careful about paying application fees. If you don’t qualify for the card, you won't get your application fee back.

Over-Limit Fees - Over-limit fees are what you're charged when you max out your credit card. These fees normally range from $20 to $30 a pop. Be very careful about this. It's an easy way to waste money and it ruins your credit score.

Late Payment Fees - Late payment fees are another fee you can and should avoid. The credit card company charges this fee to you anytime you don’t make your credit card payment on time. The fee ranges from $20 to $30. Just like the over-charge fee, making late payments on your credit card will ruin your credit score.

Cash Advance Fees - Try to avoid using your credit card for cash advances at all costs. Not only will the credit card company charge a fee for taking a cash advance, they'll also charge interest on the money borrowed until you pay it back - a double whammy.

Miscellaneous Fees - Any fee not listed above gets put in this convenient little category. Don’t be misled by the title "Miscellaneous Fees". Just because they're miscellaneous, doesn’t mean some of them can't pack a punch. Read the fine print carefully to see what the credit card company is charging you in this category. This way, you won't have any surprises.


The best way to use a credit card is to charge an item and pay it off by the end of your credit card billing cycle. This way, you can rack up on your rebates or cash back rewards, but not pay any interest.

Knowing your grace period is important. It's the time after the billing date that you have to pay your bill without being charged interest. This means you're only paying for the purchase and not getting stuck with any extra fees. Paying within this grace period is a good strategy to using credit cards wisely.


Credit card companies use rebates and other perks to lure you into taking their credit card. These rewards can be great, but be careful.

First, rebates are not to be confused with discounts. Rebates are a percentage refund on what you buy. Some credit cards tell you that you get 1% back on purchases. You do, but only if you spend a certain amount. Don’t spend extra so you can get a measly 1% back. You'll end up going in the hole and spending money you shouldn’t have spent in the first place.

Also, check to see if the rebates are something you'll really use. Do you get the rebates only if you buy at certain stores? If you only buy certain brands? If so, make sure you shop at these stores or buy those brands or the rebate is worthless. They sound good, but when you stop and think about them - not so much.


Discounts reduce the amount of your credit card bill. These are worth shopping for but only if they don’t make you spend more than you would have normally. 

Finding the Best Credit Card Deals in the U.S.

Finding the best credit cards with the best deals isn't that difficult, if you know what you're looking for. Just remember to look beyond the obvious perks and do your homework.

Read the fine print. This way you won't have any unpleasant surprises later or end up with a credit card that you won't really use. Carefully consider all these things as you shop for the best credit card deals in the U.S.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Nelson Bailey 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for the advice on credit repair on all of this blog. What I would tell people will be to give up the actual mentality that they'll buy today and fork out later. As being a society all of us tend to try this for many things. This includes vacation trips, furniture, and items we would like. However, it is advisable to separate your own wants from all the needs. If you are working to raise your credit score you have to make some trade-offs. For example you can shop online to save cash or you can visit second hand retailers instead of costly department stores to get clothing.

    • Debhsmomof4 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from New York, New York


    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Because of all of the extra rewards programs that are out there, I think that the best credit card for one person can be completely different from that for another person, but you've done a wonderful job at discussing all of the important nuts-and-bolts factors that consumers must consider first and foremost! Great Hub :D


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)