THE 3 THINGS TO KNOW:
- Check the interest payable on the debt owed to the bank
- Check the costs of blocking or replacement in case of theft or loss
- Compare credit card offers and find the best solution for you
Cards and debit cards: find the best one Compare CARDS
Orienting yourself in choosing the best credit card is not always easy, given the many offers and types available on the market. Here are 5 useful tips to choose the solution that best suits your needs and save money.
1.Compare offers online
To find out the costs, features and advantages offered by a credit card , you can use online comparators and choose the one that best suits your spending habits. Some information must be entered in the appropriate formats such as , for example, the use made of it (private or business), the type of card (standard or premium), the monthly limit of use, the type of refund (the balance if in a lump sum or in installments).
Once the data has been entered, a list of offers appears which allows you to compare the various offers by choosing the one that is deemed most advantageous on the basis of certain items. These include the cost of the annual fee , the maximum monthly ceiling available, the commissions applied when withdrawing cash and the maximum amount that can be withdrawn daily.
2.Search for free solutions
Competition has prompted credit institutions to launch a series of competitive offers which include zero-cost solutions, i.e. without an annual fee. However, to look for the most advantageous offers, other indicators must also be evaluated , including the commissions to be paid when withdrawing cash in Italy or abroad. No-fee credit cards are offered above all, but not only, by banks that operate online .
The annual fee can range from €35 to over €100 . To find the cheapest credit cards, the simplest and fastest method is once again to use online comparators, always keeping in mind one’s consumption needs.
3Check the interest on the debt owed to the bank
Credit cards offer the possibility to spend by deferring payment and repaying the debt in installments and to withdraw cash. But these services have a cost which translates into interest applied to the sums to be returned, exactly as with loans, because the debit to the current account is not immediate. Before applying for a card, it is therefore advisable to evaluate the amount of these costs.
As far as cash withdrawals from ATMs are concerned, the commissions can range from a few euros to substantial percentages such as 4% of the amount withdrawn. If you use your card to withdraw large sums, it may be less expensive to use a credit card with a fixed fee rather than a percentage one. For a withdrawal of €1,000 , with a commission of 4%, you would spend €40 more, against the average €2 provided for the fixed commission.
If the commission on the cash withdrawal is greater than 3/4% of the sum, the Good interest rate is to be considered high .
Also pay attention to the interests that are paid when using revolving cards , i.e. those that allow you to repay the debt in installments. For this type of card, which is configured as real loans, the APR (annual percentage rate of charge) must be considered which, at times, is higher than the usury thresholds communicated periodically by the Bank of Italy. For orientation, it is good to know that the interest rate paid for revolving cards is on average around 20% .
4Check the costs of blocking or replacement
In the event of theft, loss or cloning of the card, you must call the toll-free number indicated on the contract and ask for it to be blocked immediately in order not to risk it being used illegally. From this moment on, the owner is relieved of any responsibility.
If the card has been used improperly before the blocking request, the holder, by law, can be charged a maximum cost of 150 euros . The call to request blocking is free , as is generally the cost of replacing the card with a duplicate which, however, has a different number from the blocked card.
In the event of an emergency, many companies allow you to request the rapid issuance of an emergency replacement card , or to request a cash advance , generally upon payment of small sums, which usually are around €25 .
5If you often travel abroad, look for ad hoc solutions for transactions in non-euro currencies
When cash is withdrawn abroad in countries with a currency other than the euro , in addition to the interest rates applied in Italy, an additional commission is paid which varies on average between 2 and 5 euros , in addition to the exchange costs envisaged by the interbank agreements between different countries. For those traveling abroad there are solutions that provide additional services (for example insurance in case of loss of the plane ticket) which, of course, have a cost.
If you are frequently abroad, it may prove useful to opt for a credit card which, for a higher annual fee, already includes numerous services designed to meet the needs of this type of clientele. Thus, they range from discounts on flights and hotels , to customer loyalty programs that allow them to have free travel , up to packages that include travel insurance and related services. Also in this case, all the characteristics of the card must be evaluated to choose the most advantageous.