How to choose the right credit card


Kaleigh Steinorth

Kaleigh Steinorth

Blog author Kaleigh Steinorth

Kaleigh Steinorth writes for PolicyGenius, a digital insurance brokerage trying to make sense of insurance for consumers.

Published October 22, 2014|2 min read

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In this post we help youReduce the risk of getting the wrong credit card

Thinking of applying for a new credit card? All of the options can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for. To make the process easier, we put together this flow chart to help you find a credit card that matches your needs and preferences.

How to build your credit:

1. Get your hands on a copy of your credit report

Looking at your credit reports will help you figure out which accounts are holding your score back. The more you know from the reports, the more you can focus your efforts where they're needed. Settle accounts that are past due, and talk to any debt collectors, if you have been sent to them, to come up with a strategy. You can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major reporting bureaus once a year at

2. Get new credit

You might be scared that opening another credit card will damage your score, but opening a new card and using it responsibly will help you develop a positive payment history. If your score won't let you open a card with a major bank, try a card from a local bank, or a secured credit card. Don't get a prepaid credit card either. While it might seem like a safe option, it won't do anything for your credit score because it won't be reported to credit bureaus (which is what you need for your score to improve).

3. Pay your bills on time

It seems like stating the obvious, but this is the only way you're going to improve your score. Use your credit card strictly for normal expenses you can afford - like gas, groceries, or anything else you already purchase every month. This way, you will only be purchasing items you already can afford. If your credit score is low because of past credit card debt, use this card as a chance to not repeat the same mistakes. Only make small purchases you can afford, pay your bills on time, and your score will rise.Photo credit: Wonderlane