When a smart consumer starts looking for a new credit card, the first thing they do is a free credit card check. While some credit card offers may look appealing at first, there is a chance that a short-term offer may not turn into long-term appeal. Doing a free credit card check can save a consumer a lot of money in interest rates and fees over time.
There are number of ways to do a free credit card check. The oldest method, and one that is still frequently used, is to look the interest rates up in business-related publications. Many of these newspapers or magazines have interest rate information for major cards in them, allowing the consumer to compare credit card rates by lender, by card or by bank. The rates can be compared by credit score or the base amount that the credit card is charging over the annual percentage rate (APR).
There are number of industry-related Web sites online that also do their own free credit card check and update their findings on a daily basis. Some sites lump credit cards together by their interest rates and allow the consumer to not only judge them by their rates, but the type of credit needed to get such a card. In this case, the consumer can not only do a credit card rate comparison, but make a decision on what type of card they can actually realistically obtain.
Finding the value in a free credit card check may require more than just looking at the basic interest rate. In many cases, the cards have an introductory interest rate, which may be extremely low for a certain period of time. It may be a good idea to review those rates and the times those rates are in effect before making a decision on which card to apply for. If the consumer is interested in transferring a credit card balance from one card to another, checking on the balance transfer interest rates may be of particular interest. All of these interest rates, as well as the cost of obtaining a credit card (in terms of yearly fees and minimum payments) can be found online.