How to choose a credit card for your family
A credit card can be a handy financial tool for managing your household budget and supporting your desired lifestyle.
But with so many different credit cards on the market, how do you know which card will best suit your family?
Should you be looking for the lowest interest rate, or are rewards programs linked to travel or weekly grocery purchases more important to you?
Here’s how different types of credit cards could work for your family.
Prefer convenience at a low cost?
Some credit cards offer fraud and purchase protection, which may make them the safer option for certain purchases, such as hotel rooms, flights, products offering a warranty, online purchases and big-ticket items like household appliances and electronics.
If you like the convenience of plastic but prefer to minimise costs, you might want to consider a low fee credit card or low rate credit card. These might not come with the fancy rewards of other cards, but both are good options if you’re looking for a backup card or something for your children to use in emergencies.
A low interest rate can help you stretch the family budget to cover unexpected expenses without incurring the highest rate of interest if you’re not able to repay the balance by the due date.
A low or no annual fee credit card is also a great choice if you’re simply looking for a financial safety net. It gives you access to a line of credit when you need it, without a high annual cost.
Check out our full credit card comparison table and click on the “Annual Fee” column header to sort cards by their annual fee.
Want rewards for the dollars you’re spending?
If you use your credit card frequently, you might prefer one that’s linked to a rewards scheme offering frequent flyer points, retail gifts or cashback on everyday spending.
Rewards schemes and loyalty cards make a lot of sense if you spend big on family purchases, such as groceries, school uniforms and books, household goods and petrol. What’s more, some cards allow families to pool their points under one account to make them go even further.
Rewards cards generally carry higher fees and interest rates than regular cards. However, this won’t be an issue if you budget carefully to pay off the balance each month and use the card enough so the value of the rewards outweighs the annual fees.
When you’re comparing reward cards from different banks and credit unions, check out the partners in the rewards scheme to make sure they are stores or providers you already frequent.
Also, remember to look at the number of points you can earn for each dollar spent, as well as limited time cashback promotions and discount offers.
Need to get in control of household debt?
If you’re looking to pay off an existing credit card debt, a 0% balance transfer card might be a good option.
Some banks and credit unions offer 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 12 or 18 months, giving you a chance to get your family’s finances back on track.
Because of the long interest-free periods, these cards can also be used as an alternative to a personal loan if you need to fund a major purchase, such as a family holiday.
You’ll need to keep an eye on the expiry date for the interest-free period, because when it’s up the card will revert to the standard interest rate and you’ll start accumulating interest charges.
It’s also worth noting that applying for multiple balance transfers could negatively impact your credit score.
With so many different credit cards on offer, you’re sure to find one to suit your family’s needs and budget.
Think about how you intend to use your card and the features you want, and remember to always compare offers to ensure you’re getting the most suitable deal.
We can help you find a credit card with the features and rates you want. Search and compare credit cards now.