Credit is going to play a major role in your life, whether you want it to or not, really. So that means that it’s important to make smart decisions about which companies and brands you pick so far as your credit card goes. Overall, they act the same and perform the same function, but there are definite differences to account for when it comes down to specific details.
So five of the major ones that you’ll come across regularly include Discover, Chase, Visa and Mastercard, American Express, and Bank of America. How you run into these brands may differ depending on where you live and what kinds of web pages you browse, but having a basic understanding of their major benefits will help you make some financial decisions.
Using a Discover card means that you’ll be using one of the most trusted brands of credit in the world. They are typically extremely transparent, and they’re also known for fantastic consumer backing and customer service. If you’re looking to improve your credit from a base score, using your Discover card and paying it off every month will help you to do exactly this.
The benefits of a Chase card often come most directly if you have a Chase bank account as well. They link up directly, and a lot of the functionality that makes this relationship excellent comes from the fact that your checking, savings, debit card, and credit card can all come from the same company. Chase has been known to put fees on certain types of transactions in the past, but if you make sure to understand what the rules are, it can be an excellent service, and some of the direct deposit benefits are the best in the business.
Visa and MasterCard
We’ve all seen the Visa and MasterCard commercials over the years, and as far as culture goes, the first card that most people get is associate with those two brands. They’re accepted without hesitation most places, can be set to optimize many different kinds of financial situations, and typically come in variations to allow you different types of benefits for use (airline miles vs. cashback, for example).
American Express cards tend to be in a slightly different category than the other credit cards. People in the upper echelons of society tend to gravitate more toward this card because of warranties and protections offered as part of purchases, especially when it comes to travel. Talk to a banker about this potential if you travel around the world a lot.
Bank of America
And finally, there’s the Bank of America credit card brand. This is one of the easiest cards to get, with very little vetting and a very low rejection rate. If you want credit, Bank of America will give it to you. The one thing you have to be careful of is the interest rate associated with it, because they do tend to accept higher risk applicants.