This time of year, our mailboxes are overflowing with seemingly attractive credit card offers, and while many state CPA societies and the AICPA also offer credit card affinity programs, how do you begin to determine which card to choose and with which bank to affiliate?
According to Smart Money magazine, the way to determine the best deal is to figure out how much a card really costs you. This isn't necessarily in terms of the interest rate since many of us are what the magazine calls revolvers: those who keep balances on their cards and do not pay them off in full.
A calculator offered in the article at the link below is handy in figuring out the cost of a credit card. The goal is to obtain the net interest rate, since many offers come with lower, introductory percentage rates that eventually get increased to much higher rates after a grace period.
A related story on finding the best credit cards explains in plain English how to find a card based on personal likes and dislikes, factoring in the person who maintains a revolving balance versus the one who pays off balances each month.
If you are interested in other on-line calculators, be sure to check out AccountingWEB's own personal calculators for free.