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Understand Your Finances

Chase executive shares tips for choosing the right credit card

When it comes to personal finance, there's always something to learn. In this series, Unexpected Insights, Chase asked some of its internal thought leaders for tips that consumers can use when managing their money.

It seems like everywhere you turn, someone is offering a credit card. With all the perks and interest rates available, it can be difficult to sort out what's the best option. In this video, Pam Codispoti, President of Chase Branded Cards, talks about what to look for in a credit card.

Picking the right card for you

"Customers should pick the card that best meets their needs, and use their credit card responsibly," Codispoti says, "It's all about balance. A credit card can offer you a great way to pay for things and to earn rewards while you're doing that." Codispoti says consumers should think about credit health in the same way they consider and monitor their physical health.

"You have to be physically healthy in order to do all the things that you want in your life, " she says. "In a very similar way, you have to have strong credit health to do the things that you want."

She encourages people to know their credit score and, if it needs work, to get on track to improve it through paying down debt or prompt payment of balances.

Starting with a card that matches your needs

Customers who are new to credit, will often go with a basic credit card that offers attractive rates. This allows them to create a history of good performance in terms of using the card and paying their bills.

"As they evolve in their life and their credit improves, they may find themselves eligible for other cards that will better meet their lifestyle," Codispoti says. "I think that consumers need a credit card to help them with their lives, but the type of card they need will change and evolve over time."

Evolve to take advantage of rewards

"If you're someone who travels a lot, find a card that will reward you for that, and perhaps waive foreign transaction fees," Codispoti says.

If you don't travel a lot but you have a busy life and family and want to watch your expenses, a cash back card might be a good option.

Ultimately select a card that makes sense

"For consumers, a credit card is more than just a payment device. It's a way for them to do the things they love," Codispoti says. "In many cases, they view that card as a little bit of a badge, of who they are and what they stand for. The emotional connection is equally important as the rational value of the card," she says.

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