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Flow chart: What type of credit card should you pick?

According to EMS1 data, EMTs are 1.23 times more likely than other consumers to have a credit card. Are you selecting the correct one?


A recent EMS1 survey indicated that EMTs are 1.23 times more likely than the general population to carry a credit card. Not all credit cards are created equal, so if you’re considering a credit card, it’s important to choose wisely.

Follow this simple guide to see which type of card might be best for you.


3 credit card characteristics to consider

Regardless of which card you pick, it’s always important to consider these factors:

Annual percentage rate (APR) – If you struggle to pay your credit card off each month, it’s especially important to pay attention to APR. A credit card with 15 percent APR means that each year you’ll be charged 15 percent, or .041 percent per day (15 percent interest divided by 365 days). Compound interest means the interest is added to your balance, which makes what you owe grow at a faster rate, according to Investopedia – so the longer you wait to pay a balance, the more you’ll owe in the end.

Annual fees – Cards with annual fees may offer better rewards, but if you leave a rolling balance, your interest will offset the rewards and you’ll be paying an annual fee for no reason. Consider whether the rewards are worth the fee.

Credit limit – Leaving a rolling balance of more than 30 percent of your credit card limit will affect your credit score. Make it a priority to pay off your debts every month.

Do you have a favorite credit card? Was it issued through a credit union or a larger bank? Leave a comment below if you have credit card related questions you’d like to see answered.

The EMS1 Lifestyle content series is written for the off-duty EMT and paramedic. Here you’ll find content on everything from the latest automotive and entertainment trends to tips and tricks for financial planning – all written from a first responder’s perspective, with an eye toward what makes you unique even when you’re not at the station.