08/01/2022: How Choosing The Right Credit Card Can Help You Meet Your Goals

Credit cards can be incredibly useful for people who have the discipline to use them responsibly. These cards can harm your budgeting and financial management if you don’t do your research before you look to get a card to meet your financial goals. Alternatively, when you pick the right card for your situation and use it responsibly, you can unlock big savings and returns that build up over time. It’s clear how important it is to choose the right kind of credit card to help meet your financial goals. There are so many different types of credit cards, so deciding which would best meet your needs can be daunting. The key to finding the right credit card is determining your financial goals and choosing the card that will help you meet that goal.

Some credit cards can help you build or improve your credit, some have a lower interest rate, and others are better for getting rewards like cash back on purchases. Whatever your goal is, we’re here to help by giving you the scoop on how to choose the best credit card for you.

Types of credit cards and how they can help you

Goal: Build Credit

If you’re a student wanting to start building your credit, it’s a good idea to get a credit card designed specifically for students. Student cards are typically easy to qualify for and offer a lower interest rate, making them the best credit cards for students at the beginning of their financial journey. Additionally, student credit cards can often use metrics like GPA or employment status to approve your application, making it easier for students to get approved.

Hickory Point Bank’s Offering: The College Real Rewards Card

Goal: Improve Credit

If you are someone who wants to improve your credit, you’ll benefit from a secured card. A secured credit card requires a deposit to be made when you open the account. This serves as a guarantee that you’ll make the payments, since you don’t yet have a high credit score. With a secured card, just make sure you make the payment on time every month, then you’ll be on your way to improving your credit!

This type of credit card offering is great for individuals who have a very low credit score that would make it difficult to otherwise qualify for a credit card. For instance, if you have a large amount of credit report inquires, recently completed a bankruptcy, or recently violated a rental agreement.

Hickory Point Bank’s Offering: The Secured Card

Goal: Save on interest for high spending in the short term

You may want a credit card with a low interest rate if you’re planning to finance a large purchase or ongoing expenses. Many credit cards offer an introductory deal like 0% APR for the first year or two, which means that you won’t pay interest on your balance for that initial period of time. A credit card that offers 0% APR at the beginning and eases you into a low interest rate after the initial promotional period is good for those who maintain a high balance on their credit cards but still pay towards their balance on a regular basis.

Hickory Point Bank’s Offering: The Platinum Card

Goal: Earn rewards

If your main goal is to earn things like cash back from your spending, a rewards card is the credit card for you. Some rewards cards offer cash back when you purchase items from specific categories. For example, a card like this may offer 5% cash back on grocery stores for a quarter of the year, then 5% cash back on restaurants during another quarter. With this card, you would earn 5% back of the amount you spent in those eligible areas. If you already have good credit and you just want to earn back some of the money you spend, a rewards card is the way to go.

Hickory Point Bank’s Offering: The Everyday Rewards+ Card or The Max Cash Preferred Card

Goal: Pay off debt

Like we mentioned in a previous blog post, Take Control Of Your Spending With These 5 Tips For Paying Off Your Credit Card Debt, getting a balance transfer credit card is an option when you’re trying to pay off debt. Check out that post to learn the other best ways to pay off credit card debt. Consolidating your debt by putting it all on this type of credit card and then working to pay it off can be a helpful strategy. A credit card with an introductory 0% APR for balance transfers may be ideal if your goal is to pay off debt.

Hickory Point Bank’s Offering: The Platinum Card

How to choose the right credit card: Step by step

The first thing you’ll want to do is check your credit score. Knowing where you stand will help you figure out what credit limit (the maximum amount of money you can charge to the card) you can qualify for. In fact, using this One-Minute Credit Card Potential Test can give you an idea of what your credit limit may be, depending on factors like your income. When you apply for the credit card, you’ll learn what credit limit you’ll have, but this test will help set your expectations.

The next step is choosing the type of credit card based on what you want to achieve. Once you know which card you want, you can visit your trusted bank and apply for it, either in person or online. We here at Hickory Point Bank will be happy to help you with this important step for your finances. Click here to view all of our credit card offerings.

Goal Type of Card Our Recommendation
Build credit Student The College Real Rewards Card

Earn 1.5 points for every $1 you spend

Improve credit Secured The Secured Card

Free credit score access to watch it build and automatic payment feature

Save on interest 0% APR The Platinum Card

0% APR for the first 24 billing cycles

Earn rewards Rewards The Everyday Rewards+ Card

Earn points on eligible purchases, and redeem for travel, cash back, and more

The Max Cash Preferred Card

Up to 5% cash back in 2 categories you choose

Pay off debt Balance Transfer The Platinum Card

0% APR for purchases and balance transfers for the first 24 billing cycles


The best credit card for you is out there, and now you know how to align your goals with the card that will benefit you the most. Hickory Point Bank is also here to help you find the most value, so come visit one of our branches to receive the best personal service in Central Illinois!

Make sure to follow the On Point blog for more financial tips and updates.

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