Important things to do before applying for a credit card

Because credit card issuers all have their own policies, it’s important that you get familiar with your card issuer’s policies before applying for a credit card.


What’s the credit card’s grace period?

Some consumers probably just assume that when they get their credit card bill, they will have at least three weeks before their payment will be due and the same three weeks before interest will start accruing. In most cases, they would be correct as this a grace period of at least three weeks is very common. However, there are credit cards that don’t offer a grace period. With these particular cards, interest may start accruing right away.


If the credit card has no grace period or it has a grace period that you’re unsatisfied with, it’s best to continue your credit card shopping as there are thousands of credit cards available to consumers and most credit cards have at least a grace period of at least three weeks.


What is the credit card company’s payment policies?

When Your credit card payment is due today. The minimum payment due is only $60, but you were hoping to pay off the entire $3,000 credit card balance. Perhaps you opted for a credit card with no grace period and are trying to avoid paying interest, or perhaps you’re applying for credit and want to pay off your $3,000 bill before you apply. Either way, you likely won’t be pleased when you go to your credit card company’s site to make your first payment and discover that 1) they don’t accept online credit card payments that are more than $2,000.


You go to your credit card company’s site to make a payment through the site only to find out that they don’t accept payments online.


What are the credit card company’s policies on credit limit increases?

Some credit card companies don’t allow credit limit increases and some only offer credit limit increases after a hard credit check. So, if you are planning or expecting to get a credit limit increase, it’s best to inquire about the credit card company’s credit limit increase policies beforehand. And, keep in mind that the credit card company could have different policies for certain cards.


Do your due diligence

Research the credit card company. Read company reviews to find out what their customers do and don’t like.


Treat the credit card acquisition process like a job search. The odds are that if you see a job advertisement and are enticed by the pay, you wouldn’t just apply for the job without doing your research on the company. Between researching credit card company reviews and important things like the credit card company’s grace period, credit card limit policies, and anything that you consider to be a deal breaker, you’ll save yourself from surprises and being let down if the credit card isn’t what you thought that it would.