How to Choose a Credit Card

Choosing a credit card is overwhelming! With so many options available, how do you pick the best one for you? While credit cards aren’t one-size-fits-all, no matter what you’re looking for, there’s probably one out there that’s a good fit for you.

Know your credit score

Before you even start comparing options, you should know your credit score. This will help give an idea of what cards you’re eligible for. The higher your score, the better your chances of being approved – especially for a credit card with rewards, a low interest rate, no fee, or other perks.
How do you want to use your credit card?

Credit cards are designed for different purposes. When you’re choosing a credit card, it’s important to know what things you want out of it.

While only you can change your credit score by establishing a good credit history, there are certain cards that are designed to help you rebuild credit. There’s lots of ways credit cards do this, so even if you know your credit score isn’t great, don’t be afraid to research your credit card options.

Man Tossing Credit Card

Say you have a credit card that you’re carrying a balance on. A balance transfer card or one with a low introductory APR may be right for you. Make sure to read the fine print when you’re choosing a credit card that has these features – there are often associated fees or interest rate changes built into the program, and you want to make sure that you’re confident that you can responsibly use your credit card in the long term. 

There are lots of credit cards that give you incentives for how you use your credit card. Sometimes they’re designed around travel, cash back at certain types of stores, or payments made. The bottom line is that each one is different, so decide what would be the best for your life.

Some credit cards are designed with a specific user in mind, like a business owner. These might have additional requirements or fees, but they also may have specific benefits or rewards that help you specifically. For example, a business credit card might have an unusually high credit limit, better purchase or fraud protection, or higher credit card rewards at office supply stores.

happy woman with credit card

Narrow down options

Once you’ve decided how you want to use your credit card, narrow it down to the one that you’ll apply for. It’s best to just apply for one at a time. While it’s tempting to apply for more than one credit card, you run the risk of getting approved for multiple cards (when you only need one). Applying for multiple cards can also result in multiple hard inquiries on your credit report, which can lower your credit score.


Either way, once you’ve gone through the process of researching and choosing a credit card, you’ll have the tools you need to decide which card is best for you.


The Perfect Card for

Not-So-Perfect Credit

The Total Visa Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Obtaining Your Card: The USA PATRIOT Act is a federal law that requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify and record information that identifies each person who opens a Card Account. What this means for you: When you open a Card Account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth and other information that will allow us to reasonably identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents at any time. 


*Card use subject to available credit; for security reasons, card may not be used at automated fuel pumps, for gambling transactions or at merchants outside the United States.


^^See Total Card Visa Rewards Program Terms & Conditions for details.

1 Cardholders who keep their balances low and pay their credit card bill on time every month typically do see an increase in their credit score.

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