How to Choose the Right Credit Card that Fits Your Lifestyle

Can you believe that I got my first credit card at age 30? No joke and it’s true. It’s been seven months since I got it and I’m happy to say that I was able to keep it at zero balance.

Can you also believe that it took me FOREVER to finally get a credit card?

I really wanted to find some kind of program that would choose the right credit card for me. I wanted this program to analyze each credit card from different companies and have it automatically choose the right credit card for me. There were just too many big words and numbers to compare for each, it just got confusing.

Sadly, there was no awesome program out there so I had to do it the hard way. It took me about a month of research to figure out which card was the best one for me. I even spoke to anyone I knew about which credit card they have in their wallet. After all this, I still had a hard time selecting the right card for myself.

I have learned that there are too many options out there and it can be very confusing.

Since it was my first credit card, I realized that I was overthinking it. I was wasting too much time asking around and it was starting to frustrate me. I needed to keep it simple and choose the right credit card that would fit my lifestyle.

So, how do you choose the right credit card?

Here are the steps I took for myself.

Decide on How Much You Are Willing to Spend For A Card

Some credit cards charge you an annual fee. So ask yourself, how much are you willing to pay for an annual fee? Some fees could be about $100 and up and it’s paid every year. Even though this is a yearly fee, does the annual fee fit your budget?

What type of rewards are you looking for?

Do you want to build points to use for future travel or do you want cash back? If you’re the type to travel a lot, a travel card could suit you best. But if you’re like me and taking trips is such a rare treat, then a cashback card would suit you best. It all depends on what you want to get out of the credit card.

How much is the interest rate?

Keep track of your research and the interest rate for each credit card that you’re looking at. The interest rate is what you’ll be charged every month for any balance that hasn’t been paid off.

What are your spending habits like?

This question to ask yourself could make your decision as to whether you should get a credit card or not. If you have several credit cards where each one has a balance, I really recommend that you don’t get another one. The main focus for you would be to pay off all credit cards before you even think about opening a new one. I’m here to help you with debt, not add more to your debt.

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Whatever your spending habits are like, make sure they’re good habits so that you are able to keep your credit card balance at zero.

Asking yourself these questions will help you choose the right credit card, and I’m hoping you’re going to pick the right one.

Wait! What card do you end up getting?

I’m happy to say that I have the Costco Citi Credit card and I have had it for seven months. They have a zero percent interest rate for several months as a new member, because of this I wouldn’t know how much interest I would get charged. I actually don’t want to know so I will continue to keep the balance at zero.

Here are my reasons on why I selected the Costco Citi Credit Card.

  • I didn’t want to pay an annual fee.
  • I wanted cash back because cash is something that I will always need.
  • I constantly shop at Costco at least twice a month.
  • It was my first credit card and I didn’t want to overthink it.

After seven months, I am happy with my decision. The signup process was easy as well. All I had to do was go to Costco’s customer service center and they walked me through the process. Not bad for my getting my first credit card. Now keep in mind that I also had Best Buy and a Macy’s store card, but I don’t count those cards because I could only use it at the store and no where else. Those cards are completely paid off and I haven’t used it since. Oh and if you do have store credit cards that you just paid off, don’t forget to look into your balance again. You might get charged an interest fee. See my experience with Macy’s.

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What is your first credit card why did you choose it?



Helpful Resources that I’d Like to Share:

Below you’ll find my top resources for blogging, saving money & more!

Blog Resources: Here is a list of tools that I personally use for my own blog. See all the courses I took to improve how I blog and the list of plugins that help keep my blog running smoothly.

Save Money on Groceries: This has been such a struggle for me since day 1 and I always go over budget with grocery shopping on certain weeks. But as long as I stick with my plan, I have my shopping list, and I leave the boyfriend home then I’ll be fine.

$5 Meal Plan: This has been such a time saver for me! This relates to my resource above on grocery shopping. I struggled with meal prepping because I just don’t have the time to spend looking for recipes. I decided to try this out because I have seen popular bloggers mention it and curiosity got the best of me. The system sends me recipes and a shopping list weekly. The recipes are so easy to cook and it helps me save time.

Personal Capital: Do you know what your net worth is currently? Instead of logging into many accounts to track my net worth, I rely on one service. Personal Capital tracks your investments, expenses, and savings. The best thing about this? It’s free!

Free Printables: I went a bit crazy and created a bunch of my own printables that I use for myself to help keep me organized. I also find some amazing printables online that I’d like to share with you. You access everything if you sign up below. I’ll send you the password and the library is yours to enjoy!

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Hi! Welcome to Mommy Finance. I'm a full-time working mom of one. Finance can drive anyone crazy and I try to keep it together. Join me as I write about budgeting, money and family.
Join Me On

Hi! Welcome to Mommy Finance. I'm a full-time working mom of one. Finance can drive anyone crazy and I try to keep it together. Join me as I write about budgeting, money and family.

Comments (15)

  1. Credit Cards have a bad rep! Im all for a Credit card when I pay no interest and have funded a ton of trips with my rewards!

    My first credit card was a Burdiness (The Macy’s of Florida back in the day, until Macys bought them out). I just wanted to build credit at the time. My first real card was a Capital One with no type of rewards because they were the first to send me a “pre-approved” offer. I actually still have that card with its original $500 limit lol.

    Its good you’re liking the Costco card… Warehouse clubs didn’t work for me lol. I would end buying things I normally wouldn’t buy, and buy them in bulk too…
    Gabe A. @ The Shiny Dollar recently posted…Money Saving Tip: Using A Credit CardMy Profile

    1. I haven’t heard of Burdiness before but I did have a Macy’s as my first store credit card. It was a great way for me to build credit lol. Costco is only good to buy certain things in bulk. Other things I need to go to the store for. Sometimes I waste money walking in there with the bf. He always gets things that spoil fast. It’s just us 3 and I hate when things go to waste lol.

        1. I rarely shop at Target. I try to avoid it as much as possible. I would always go for couponing trips but I noticed I buy things I don’t need because it’s hard to avoid all the cute stuff they have lol. Is Amazon Pantry worth it? Just wondering about the shipping costs to Hawaii.

          1. Well I believe you need Prime which is already $99. After that, if you order 6 qualified items you don’t pay for shipping. Thats the only way id order. I like Prime so I don’t mind paying for it, but I hate paying for shipping. If you can do those things, the prices are usually pretty good.
            Gabe A. @ The Shiny Dollar recently posted…Basic Step 4: How To Cut ExpensesMy Profile

          2. It sounds so convenient! I wonder if shipping will be free to Hawaii if I were to get that. Shipping is always ridiculous going to Hawaii. It’s not fair sometimes lol.

        2. I rarely shop at Target. I try to avoid it as much as possible. I would always go for couponing trips but I noticed I buy things I don’t need because it’s hard to avoid all the cute stuff they have lol. Is Amazon Pantry worth it? Just wondering about the shipping costs to Hawaii.

  2. I love credit cards! Especially no fee credit cards. I’m amazed you are a ‘credit card virgin’! I had my first card at age 18 or something like that lol. They can be addictive (especially the points). You can ‘churn’ credit cards for flight rewards etc. There are great cards in the US compared to Canada for credit card churning. Sounds like you picked a great card, can’t go wrong with cash back.

    1. LOL! I never thought of myself that way but I guess you’re right! Yeah I preferred cash back over the flights. Flight rewards sounds tempting but I hardly go on vacations because money is needed for that lol.

  3. Credit cards are great, you have to use them the right way. I think of it as a short term loan where you keep using up the money the credit cards provides me then I pay it back in full every month. That’s what every consumer should do with their credit cards. Then you reap up the rewards the credit cards gives you via cash, points, and/or rental car insurance.
    All of my CCs have no annual fees but if I traveled more then I would look into those CCs that have frequent flier miles that has an annual fee.
    I have the same card too, Citi Costco. I love the cash back rewards they offer, it fits well for me.
    Kris recently posted…If You Are Not Investing in the Stock Market, Do It Now Not LaterMy Profile

    1. I agree, credit cards come with a lot of responsibility but it does have its perks when done the right way. I pay mines once it’s posted lol. Thanks for commenting Kris!

  4. Great article Melanie! You have a great blog too! As a new blogger, I’m impressed and inspired!

    I see you’re into coupons and credit cards with cash back. I also own the Costco Citi card but I only use it for gas and at Costco.

    I wrote a few blog articles highlighting my favorite coupon strategy (20% off at Bed Bath and Beyond) and my favorite cash back credit cards (such as $250 sign up bonus and 6% cash back on groceries). Check them out on my blog if you get a chance!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Kyle!

      I try to save in any way that I can. Now that I got two additional expenses to pay each month, my budget got super tight. I don’t want to dip into my savings as much as possible so I think I can learn a thing or two from your site 🙂

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