Which credit card is best for me?
According to surveys by the Across Lender, around 35 million credit cards are in use across Germany – and the trend is rising! But with demand, the supply also increases. The result: No matter whether you are a credit card novice or a professional; Anyone who sets out to find the right credit card today despairs quickly because of the confusing variety of colors and the comparison of additional services, conditions and the small print.
The first step on the way to the ideal credit card is therefore the answer to the question: What do you want to use your credit card for?
First, a brief overview of the situations in which a credit card is useful:
- when shopping online,
- for (online) booking of hotels and rental cars,
- for frequent travelers / frequent flyers (insurance packages in the additional services),
- to withdraw money abroad (especially non-EU) as well
- u. U. for occasional bridging financial bottlenecks.
I need my credit card especially on vacation
If you want to withdraw and shop for cash flexibly while traveling, a credit card is practically mandatory. Because: Especially outside the EU zone, EC cards are often not accepted. In this case, look for a credit card with the lowest possible international fee.
Another advantage: You can largely do without exchanging money for the respective national currency. In addition, depositing a credit card also facilitates quick and easy check-in / check-out in hotels.
Tip: Anyone who rarely travels, but would like to have a credit card just in case, prefers to use prepaid credit cards or offers without an annual fee, for example from the respective house bank.
I am a frequent flyer and / or use my credit card for business purposes
In particular, company or premium credit cards entice with additional services, such as luggage or travel cancellation insurance: ideal for frequent travelers, whether for business or pleasure.
Even if you are not traveling so often, but are looking for travel insurance, for example for vacation, you should compare the costs, advantages and disadvantages of a credit card with those of an insurance company. Sometimes the annual credit card fee is cheaper than the insurance premium. Simply compare the costs and benefits of the insurance in question with that of the credit card.
I want a credit card to be able to withdraw cash anywhere
A widespread problem: Customers of smaller banks in particular often despair of fees at the ATM. Some credit card providers close this gap: With the appropriate card, you can access any ATM without worrying about high fees.
I need the credit card to shop online
Your own credit card turns out to be almost ideal if you habitually order several pairs of shoes and clothing to try on at home, but the shop does not offer (delayed) payment on account. Would you like to keep all parts spontaneously?
No problem either. Credit cards are of course also suitable for the quick and easy use of a certain credit line. But be careful: if this happens regularly, be sure to check the estimated interest on partial payments if you only pay back the amount spent in installments.
Tip: Do you use the credit card to avoid overdrawing your checking account when making larger purchases? Then compare the credit card conditions in advance with the cost of a credit line or installment loan as a cheaper alternative.
Find the right credit card: differences in comparison
Given their differences, the different types of credit cards can initially be grouped as follows:
- Revolving credit card: A so-called “real credit card” under which the bank grants you a fixed credit that can be repaid in installments
- Charge credit card: A “real credit card” with monthly billing
- Debit credit card: credit card without credit, hence a so-called “fake credit card”, the sales made are debited directly from your checking account as with the EC card
- Prepaid credit card: can only be used after previously loaded credit, so it is also a “fake credit card”
The details in terms of functions, services, costs and fees differ from bank to bank or from credit card provider to credit card provider and always depend on which individual requirements and goals precede your desire for your own credit card.
What are the advantages of debit and prepaid credit cards?
Just like “real credit cards”, prepaid or debit cards are accepted worldwide. This means that the “fake credit cards” have a great advantage over EC cards.
In addition: When applying for credit cards with a prepaid function, there is no Credit Bureau check and the cards may already be issued to children (from the age of 12).
Tip: If you plan to top up your prepaid credit card regularly with a large balance, you should definitely apply for it at a bank based in Germany. In the event of bank insolvency, your money is guaranteed to be safe, thanks to the deposit insurance system that is legally regulated in Germany.
Visa or Mastercard: Which credit card is right for me?
When looking at the different types of credit cards, the question is also: Visa or Mastercard, American Express or Diners Club?
Important to know: Visa and Mastercard share around 90% of the market in Germany and are issued by banks and savings banks, so they can only be used in connection with a checking account. The acceptance of both systems is almost identical, whether for paying for your purchase or at an ATM.
There are slightly fewer acceptance points for American Express credit cards, also known as “Amex”. In turn, there are significantly fewer at Diners Club International. Another difference: American Express and Diners Club are always linked to an independent credit card account and belong more in the area of business credit cards. They are often associated with additional services and bonus systems, such as the use of airport lounges or discounts from car rental companies. This contrasts with a correspondingly high annual and often even membership fee.
Find the best credit card – Here’s how!
If you are clear about your individual wishes, this automatically limits the variety of offers. The next step is to compare the conditions and services of the various card systems in a targeted manner. Because the costs and benefits of the current credit cards on the market differ extremely in some cases and – depending on individual requirements and wishes – sometimes make more or less sense.
Are you looking for the best credit card in the world and can’t see the forest for the trees? With our credit card comparison you will find the best credit card – perfectly tailored to your individual wishes and requirements. The credit card comparison enables the quick and easy comparison of numerous credit card providers, conditions, costs and fees. With just a few clicks, you can filter out the credit card that suits you and, if you wish, you can be forwarded directly to the relevant provider.
Which credit card has the lowest cost?
Various credit card tests show that there are no annual fees for many classic Visa and Mastercard credit cards. In this case, you only pay the interest that may accrue, which in turn varies from provider to provider. However, your contract may include fees for withdrawals and / or credit card payments.
In addition, the greater the scope of services, the higher the credit card costs! Premium class credit cards with special additional services can cost up to $ 1,000 per year!
Overview of credit card costs
Extra costs of “real credit cards”
- Annual fee (if applicable)
- Loan interest
- Cash withdrawal (if applicable, omitted e.g. at direct banks throughout Germany)
- Card payment fees (if applicable)
Extra cost of prepaid credit cards
- Annual fee (if applicable)
- Load the map (if necessary)
- Cash withdrawal (if applicable)
- Card payment fees (if applicable)
Caution! More and more credit card providers are advertising with free credit cards and low interest rates. Reading the fine print and making a targeted credit card comparison is mandatory here. After all, basic fees for new customers often only lapse in the first year or are only calculated from a certain age.
Pay attention to the debit interest on your credit card
Most “real credit cards” that are issued by banks are so-called “daily charge cards” – a mixture of charge and debit cards. You can charge your credit card every month until a predetermined credit card limit is reached. If the bank books the amount due from the account at the end of the month, there is no interest.
In addition, the interest varies depending on the provider. It is important to know that the interest on using your credit card limit is usually similar to the overdraft interest on overdrafting the checking account. Therefore, think in advance how you will use your credit card.
Premium credit cards: for whom they are worthwhile
Whether gold, platinum or black: premium credit cards from all providers can be used like classic, “real credit cards”, but usually have a higher credit line and numerous additional services. This usually includes travel, luggage, liability or cell phone insurance as well as bonus systems and / or discounts from cooperation partners such as car rental companies, airlines or tour operators. Accordingly, the search for the best credit card with additional services is particularly worthwhile for frequent flyers and business travelers.
Who can get a credit card?
Factors that banks check when applying for a (real) credit card are:
- Legal age
- Residence in Germany (when applying for a credit card from a German bank)
- regular income
- Creditworthiness, no negative Credit Bureau entries
Various proofs are required for this together with the application form. This usually includes a copy of the ID card as well as pay slips or other evidence of regular income.
Do I get a credit card despite a negative Credit Bureau entry?
By law, banks in Germany are required to check their creditworthiness before granting a loan. In addition to the economic creditworthiness, the applicant is also checked with regard to his payment behavior. A credit check includes:
- marital status
- Number of children living in the household
- Employment relationship (temporary / permanent)
- Professional position
- Account statements (dunning fees listed there, for example, reduce creditworthiness)
- Credit Bureau information
- Bank information
With a negative Credit Bureau entry, the chances of a (real) credit card are rather poor. The solution: prepaid credit cards, the application of which completely eliminates a credit check.
The advantages of the credit card: security and flexibility
A key advantage of a credit card is the basic security factor. Because unlike lost or stolen cash, you get off lightly with a credit card. If you notice the loss, you should have the credit card blocked. If third-party expenses appear on your credit card statement, inform your credit card provider immediately. In this case too, your card will be blocked and you will usually be reimbursed for the amounts stolen.
By law, the liability of the holder of a credit card is limited to a maximum of $ 150. However, many credit card providers even waive 100% of the deductible and reimburse you for any financial damage in full. Exception: The credit institution can prove that you have “grossly negligent handling of cards and / or card data” – then you remain on the claims.
Overview of the advantages of the credit card
- Cash withdrawals possible worldwide (fees of 13%)
- ideal for online shopping and ordering items “to try on”
- more flexibility in bridging financial bottlenecks
- interest-free, temporary small loans; For example, with a credit card from the house bank
- Time and cost savings when traveling (high fees for currency exchange are eliminated)
- nationwide z. T. free cash withdrawals possible at ATMs
- In addition, some providers offer credit cards with credit interest and thus an opportunity to invest.
Already knew? Acceptance for contactless payment by credit card – without a secret number and signature – is also increasing in connection with, for example, “Apple Pay” via smartphone or smartwatch. This saves time and is also considered to be safer compared to traditional card use.
The disadvantages of credit cards: possible cost traps
In contrast to numerous advantages, credit cards naturally also involve risks, which must be weighed up individually. It can become a cost trap if you tend to make spontaneous purchases and spend the money only because the credit card enables you to do so. Even if you do not read the fine print, it can be expensive for you – be sure to find out about the costs incurred, such as fees for international assignments, debit interest and contract duration.
In addition, there is always a risk of misuse of your credit card and your credit card details. However, new authentication methods make fraudulent transactions increasingly difficult.
Tip: When shopping online, the use of a prepaid credit card reduces the financial damage of a possible fraud, since the amount is automatically limited to the existing credit.
How can I cancel my credit card or change providers?
Once you have found a suitable credit card, you can cancel your old card at any time – at the agreed end of the term. This is usually the first time after 12 months with a notice period of 3 months.
When you close your checking account, you automatically terminate the credit card contracts that go with it, but any fees paid will not be reimbursed.
Cancel credit card – how it works
- in your local branch
- in writing – taking into account the notice period, at the end of the contract period
- by telephone (as part of telephone banking)
- via online form or form (details can be found on the website of your bank or credit provider)