People’s money needs vary over the course of their lifetime, and naturally their credit needs change too. At each stage in life, you’ll want different things from your ideal credit card; here’s how to line up the needs of your age group with the card criteria that will help you pick the best credit cards for you.
Best Credit Cards When You’re Young
The early stages of life are almost always the most financially challenging. You may still be in school, or maybe just starting to climb the ladder in your chosen career. You’ve never had to deal with real expenses before, and your income is probably fairly low.
At this point, you have limited funds and no foothold whatsoever in the credit market. You need to build credit slowly and responsibly, staying away from large purchases as much as possible and spending as little as you can for the privilege of access. That’s why your focus should be on finding cards with low interest rates and small annual fees. This will allow you to reap the benefits of credit without devoting much money to it in your small budget, as well as minimize the impact of any missed payments at a time when your income may well still be unstable.
…When You’re Middle-Aged
By now, things have probably improved for you a bit. You’re in your peak earning years, and while you should be saving a fair amount of the money you’re bringing in, you can afford to spend quite a bit more than you could when you were first starting out. Not only do you probably have more disposable income, but you’re also more likely to have savings to cover emergency expenses and splurges.
This means that a credit card is less directly useful to you than it would be if you were less established, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get anything out of one. Rather than worry about the rates or the terms of any one card, you have the luxury of being able to choose the best credit cards based on their rewards. Everything from cash back to travel points to store credit is within your grasp, and with solid finances behind you, you’ll probably be able to rack up plenty of them.
…When You’re a Senior
After so many years, your finances have finally leveled off. You likely have at least some money, but you have to be more careful with it since you may no longer have any coming in. You’ve probably downsized your house, sold off many of your assets, and overall have a lot less financial flexibility than you used to. That said, you’re actually more likely to encounter a situation in which you need a large amount of money fast – many expensive things that seniors need, such as adaptive devices, prosthetics and physical therapy, aren’t always covered by provincial health insurance.
For these reasons, it might be a good idea for you to prioritize choosing a card with a high limit. That way, you know you’ll have access to as much emergency money as possible, letting you live out your days with the peace of mind you deserve. Even if you don’t use it, you’ll always have that cushion behind you, and at your age, that’s more beneficial than any other aspect of a credit card.
No matter where you are in life, the right card is out there for you, and Bonsai Finance can help you find it. You can use our online tools to collect a long list of the best credit cards you can apply for; you take it from there.