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Best Online Credit Card
 Jul 26, 2004

There are many great credit card options available these days. And, with the Internet, you do not have to wait for the best offers to come to your door. Instead, you can do your research online and then apply, via the Internet, to the card that suits you best.

Comparing credit cards online

There are many Web sites that offer comparisons of credit cards. You can find out which cards are likely to match your needs in terms of credit limit and features, as well as find out which cards you are most likely to qualify for. Indeed, some comparison credit card Web sites will give you an idea of what company will issue you what card depending on your credit score and whether or not it is your first credit card. Using these tools can ensure that you do not waste your time (and a credit inquiry) applying for a card that you may not qualify for.

Doing your research ahead of time can help you narrow down your choices. Here are some items that you should consider when deciding which credit card to apply for online:

Interest rate. Find out about the annual interest rate. Check to see what kind of billing is used, and how the company compounds the interest charges. Also, you can compare the introductory rates and time lengths. Choose a credit card with a longer period and a lower rate.

Fees. You also want to use the Internet to compare fees. Some credit cards charge higher fees than others. Also, some cards charge annual fees and application fees, while other credit card companies do not. You want to look for a credit card that has the lowest possible fees.

Credit limit. Compare the limits credit card companies are offering. Keep in mind, though, that the limits advertised may not be the limit you end up getting. But you can also find out how easy it is to apply for a credit line increase once you have had the card for a while and showed yourself responsible. It is best if you can apply for the credit limit increase online.

Reward program. Find out what sort of rewards are being offered. Many cards these days offer flexible rewards that you can use for a number things, including travel, merchandise, cash, statement credit and more. Make sure that the reward program the card has fits your needs and your lifestyle.

Customer service. You want a credit card company that offers good customer service. See if there is online support (via live chat) and a toll-free number that you can contact. If you travel a lot especially overseas make sure that there is a number that can be reached when you are in other countries. You need access to customer support 24/7, in case an emergency comes up.

Online account access. For most people, this is very important. You need to be able to look at your account anytime you want. This can help you keep tabs on your transactions, and catch identity fraud early. Make sure that you can pay your bill online, as well as set up automatic withdrawal, should you want it. You should also make sure that you have access to rewards via your online credit card account access.

Applying for your credit card online

After you have chosen the best credit card using online research, you can usually apply for your credit card online. Be aware that you may have to provide some or all the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Social Security Number
  • Phone number
  • Employer information
  • Household income
  • Other debt obligations

Because of the sensitive nature of this personal information, it is important that you take proper precautions when applying for a credit card online. Here are some of the things that you should do in order to protect your personal information as you get a credit card online:

  1. Make sure you have Internet security software.
  2. Make sure your browser is secure and uses encryption.
  3. Make sure that the credit card company site is valid and reputable.
  4. Ensure that the credit card company site is secure.
  5. When you are finished, make sure to completely close the browser window.

One of the great things about applying for a credit card online is that you often get back an almost instant answer. This way you know immediately whether or not you have been approved. Your card then arrives within a few weeks.

You can get a great credit card online if you do your homework, and if you prepare to protect yourself.

Related Article: Credit Cards - fine print >>

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Here" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on issuers website.