Credit Card Options

Options

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The type of credit card you choose or are approved for will depend on your individual situation. Your card may be standard–also called traditional–with few features, or it may have one or more of these common options, depending on your card agreement:

Premium cards offer high credit limits and often have additional features like product warranties, travel insurance, or emergency services. They may also offer rewards, such as cash back or frequent-flier miles. Read the terms of the card carefully to find out if there are any additional fees associated with the features, or to estimate how much you need to spend to get a reward.

Affinity cards offer rewards that benefit groups and organizations. For example, a charity may offer a card and may receive a portion of the revenues from that card to fund its work. Read the terms of the card carefully; you may decide it would be more beneficial to get a different card and donate directly to the organization.

Retail cards are credit cards associated with a retail store. A salesperson at the store typically will ask if you would like to apply for the card. They may offer you a discount to apply for the card, such as ten to twenty percent off of your initial purchase. Depending on the type of card, you may be able to use the retail card at locations other than the one where you received the card.

Secured cards typically require a cash security deposit. The larger the security deposit, the higher the credit limit. Usually, secured cards are used to build credit by those who don’t have a long credit history, or those who have had credit problems in the past.

You can use the Federal Reserve’s consumer credit card agreements search to get an idea of the types of credit card terms and conditions that companies offer. If you need a copy of your personal credit card agreement, contact your credit card issuer–the Board’s credit card rules require that they provide it upon request.