To compare credit card terms, think about how you will use your credit card. Do you expect to

  • Pay your montly bill in full?
  • Carry over a balance from month to month?
  • Get cash advances?

Once you have decided how you will use your credit card, you can use this checklist to compare cards. Information about most of the features is given in the disclosure box that must appear in all printed credit card solicitations and applications.

Card Name ________  ______  _______
       
What are the APRs? ________  ______  _______

For purchases?

________  ______  _______

For cash advances?

________  ______  _______

For balance transfers?

________  ______  _______

If you pay late?

________  ______  _______
       
What type of interest does the card have? ________  ______  _______

Fixed or variable? Tiered?

________  ______  _______
       
How long is the grace period? ________  ______  _______

If you carry over a balance?

________  ______  _______

If you pay off the balance each month?

________  ______  _______

For cash advances?

________  ______  _______
       
How is the finance charge calculated? ________  ______  _______

One cycle or two?

________  ______  _______

Including or excluding new purchases?

________  ______  _______

Average or adjusted?

________  ______  _______

Minimum finance charge?

________  ______  _______
       
What are the fees? ________  ______  _______

Annual

________  ______  _______

Late-payment

________  ______  _______

Over-the-credit-limit

________  ______  _______

Set-up

________  ______  _______
       
What are the cash advance features? ________  ______  _______

Transaction fees

________  ______  _______

Limits

________  ______  _______
       
How much is the credit limit? ________  ______  _______
       
What kind of card is it? ________  ______  _______

Secured? Regular? Premium?

________  ______  _______
       
Does the card offer other features? ________  ______  _______

Rebates

________  ______  _______

Frequent flier miles

________  ______  _______

Insurance

________  ______  _______

Other

________  ______  _______

 

Source: FRB

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