Choosing the right card for you

This example shows how to save money on interest.


It definitely pays to get a credit card with a low interest rate, and to pay off your bill as quickly as you can. Why? Each month, the credit card company will send you a bill, or statement, showing the amount you’ve borrowed. If you pay off purchases by paying your first credit card statement in full, you’ll pay no interest, plus you’ll have your full credit limit available to use again; but if you decide to repay over time, you’ll be charged interest on the unpaid balance each month (the amount you still owe). With interest, the total amount you end up spending on things may be quite a bit higher! That’s why it’s always a good idea to shop around for the credit card with the lowest interest rate you can find. Compare these two examples. In both cases, customers used a credit card to purchase a computer with a $500 price tag. But see how the difference in the interest rate and how quickly they repaid affected the total amount of interest each customer paid.
When comparing credit cards, look at the Annual percentage rate (APR). APR is a measurement that takes into account a loan’s interest rate, term, and fees to illustrate the total cost of credit expressed as a yearly rate. The lower the APR, the lower the total cost of borrowing.
The basics of credit cards Choosing the right card for you Responsible use of credit cards How to read your credit card statement Credit card safety