Web Extra: Shopping For a New Credit Card

With all the hubbub surrounding the credit card industry’s new focus on slashing customers’ limits and raising their rates, more people are thinking about taking back control of their credit by shopping for new cards. So how can you make sure you pick the right one?

In Monday’s Web Extra, John Ulzheimer has a credit-card shopping primer:

First, make sure you choose a card that reports to all three credit bureaus. This is especially important if you’re replacing a credit limit that was cut on a previous card. Your credit score won’t improve unless your new card reports to all three agencies.

Go small, Ulzheimer says. Only the large credit card issuers are cutting credit limits, closing accounts and raising interest rates, he says. Credit unions and smaller, regional banks are not. Consider getting your new card from one of these providers instead of the big names.

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Shop stragically. Find out which credit bureau holds your highest FICO score, then find an issuer that uses that bureau as their primary credit report provider. That way, you get the best rate they have to offer and put your best, most credit-worthy foot forward.