Credit cards can be extremely useful. Many people like to use them for online purchases, for example as they often have insurance which can protect you if goods do not arrive or are faulty. People also use them so that they do not have to pay for goods immediately after they have purchased them. They can be a good item to fall back on if you are short of money.
However, credit cards do have charges. Each month you will get a bill which will give you a selection of repayment options. You can pay back the minimum amount which will usually be just the interest or a very small amount. This is usually very affordable and some people will take this option. However, if you do this, then you will be charged interest on the outstanding balance. You could pay back more than the minimum balance, but unless you pay off the whole bill, you will still have to pay some interest. If you do choose to pay off less and be charged interest, then you will need to look for a credit card which has an interest rate that is as low as possible.
There are some credit cards which have a zero interest rate. These are very useful, because you get a chance to pay back the outstanding balance without interest being added. Therefore it will not go up unless you actually spend on the card. The disadvantage with this sort of card is that the zero interest does not last for long. You may find it only lasts a few months and probably a year maximum. Once this happens it will move onto a variable rate and this could be a lot dearer than other cards out there. You could transfer to other cards, but there is often a fee for doing this and so you may lose the advantage you had over other cards which have no interest free period.
Most credit cards have a variable rate and so you can only compare which will be the cheapest at a certain time. As time goes on rates will change and the card that is the cheapest will change as well. However, unless you think switching cards will save you money, it is best to find a card that is likely to stay at a competitive rate. This could be pretty tricky to find, but you could find information which will show you the average rates of credit cards from certain financial institutions.
However, if you go with well-known lenders you may expect that the rates will stay competitive. However, because the well-known brands have plenty of customers based on their reputation, they do not necessarily need to compete with having good rates.
You can use a comparison website to compare the rates of some current lenders. This will give you a snapshot idea of who is charging what and you will be able to compare them. It is worth being careful though as not all lenders will be listed on these sites and not all sites will compare the same lenders. You may also find that some comparison websites will only list the lenders that give them the highest commission and therefore there could be a lot of cheaper lenders out there that you will not see the rates of.
Using a financial advisor could be a better idea. They have a lot of knowledge of the market and they may even have access to deals which you may not. They will be able to not only tell you where the best rates are at the moment but also who is likely to stay at a good rate into the future as well. You will have to pay for financial advice if you want to use an independent advisor but if they can find you a really good rate you could save a lot of money and therefore it could be well worth the investment. If you cannot afford to do this or are not sure that it will offer good value for money, you could always get free financial advice from branches of banks and building societies but they will only be able to tell you about their own products. It could give you a better idea of what they have available though.