Choosing the Right Credit Card

Choosing the Right Credit Card to Achieve Your Goals

If you’re thinking about getting a credit card, there are a lot of considerations to keep in mind: annual percentage rate (APR), rewards points, credit limits — the list goes on. But it’s just as important to consider your financial goals.

Choose from the following goals: which one describes you best? 

You Want to Pay Down Debt


If you're carrying some credit card debt already and want to transfer your balance, a low interest/low fee card is the best choice for you. The same holds true if you want to be able to carry a balance — for instance, if you're about to make a big purchase, such as furniture,  a computer or appliances. 

A card with a low APR might guarantee low or even no interest for a limited introductory period. It might also offer low interest rates for a longer period of time – but beware of balance transfer fees that can eat into your savings. Low interest rates are essential for those who are struggling to pay down debt. That way, you can put more money toward paying off the principle, and less money toward paying off interest. Why pay interest when you don't have to?

We recommend the BECU Visa, which offers an APR as low as 9.15% and 0% for 12 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fees. The national average on credit card interest rates is 17.41%.*

It's Simple: You Want More Cash


You'd like to save more money and have more cash on hand. After all, who doesn't? If this describes your main financial goal right now, a card that focuses on offering cash-back rewards may be the best fit for you. This type of card offers a percentage back on pretty much every purchase you make — and that adds up quickly. 

For those who want more cash today, we recommend the BECU Cash Back Visa, which gives you 1.5% cash back with every purchase.

Your credit card choice should reflect your financial goals. Make sure to choose the option that's best for you. 

You Want to Travel 


If you're passionate about traveling, you already know just how expensive it can be. Between plane tickets and hotel rates, a trip becomes unattainable. 

A credit card that offers travel rewards brings the world within reach. With these types of cards, you can earn cash back or points for eligible purchases. Use the points toward plane tickets or other travel expenses, or save your cash back toward your next trip. Meanwhile, you're saving money, because these cards often include features such as no fees on cash advances, and no foreign transaction fees. This keeps the costs of travel low, no matter where you are. 

If you're a frequent traveler — or want to be — we recommend the BECU Cash Back Visa, which gives you 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases with no foreign transaction fees. Plus, there's no annual fee.** 

You Want to Build Credit 


If you have challenged credit, no credit, or a limited credit history, it can be difficult to buy a house, obtain insurance, purchase a vehicle, or even rent an apartment. Opening a credit card can help you build strong credit to secure those future purchases. 

A secured credit card is ideal for anyone with no credit, limited credit history, or bad credit. When you start an account, you are generally asked to offer some sort of guarantee that you can pay it back — proof that you own a house or a car, for instance — so be prepared to do so. 

Secured credit cards may be the only cards available to those with a troubled credit score — and are a simple way to build or rebuild credit. Contact BECU to learn about our product offerings for members with lower credit scores.

You Want a Card That Shows Your Pride 


Your credit card should represent you. That's why a card that shows pride in your alma mater or your company can be a great choice. Even a standard BECU credit card demonstrates your support for credit unions and their cooperative business model.

Want to showcase that pride wherever you buy? Check out BECU's Affinity Partner Visa Cards. We currently offer partnerships with the University of Washington and Boeing. 

*According to https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/rate-report.php as of 1/3/2019.

**Subject to program terms and conditions. See the BECU Visa Guide to Benefits for complete details.

Credit Card programs, services, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.  Contact BECU for the most current information.