Standard Credit Cards

A standard credit card is simply defined as a credit card that has no affinity program, rewards program or other specialty designation attached to it. This is a basic, no frills credit card that doesn’t offer any perks. So, with all of the choices out there, why would you choose this type of credit card over a card that can get you a free airline ticket, free movie passes, or a discount at your local car dealership? Because standard credit cards will sometimes have a better interest rate or more lax qualifying criteria, making them generally more accessible to customers, while also providing some decent features. Find some of these basic products in the list below.

But you may want to check out other options in the following locations:
Best Credit Cards
Top Credit Card Deals
Best Prepaid Debit Cards

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What is a Standard Credit Card?

A standard credit card is a simple basic card that does not have a specialty designation attached to it. There's nothing special about it -- for instance, it's not a gas, travel or general rewards card. It’s not affiliated with specific retailers or charitable organizations. So now that you know what a standard credit card is not, here’s what a credit card without the bells and whistles normally gives you.

  1. Easy To Get. Many card applicants may have started off with debit cards, then moved on to store or special merchant cards, just to start beefing up their credit. But after some time, they may be ready to graduate to a general regular credit card that has a well known card brand behind it. You may want to switch from a Macy's to an IBERIABANK just to get your foot in the door with this particular issuer. Many customers may decide to use the standard card as a stepping stone to fancier cards in the future.
  2. Attractive Interest Rates. Because a standard card doesn’t have other gimmicks to use to attract customers, it has to appeal to your good financial sense. A standard credit card will usually have a lower interest rate than a rewards, student or affinity credit card. There are no free merchandise or services to give away, reducing the product cost to the lender and allowing it to pass the lower cost on to its customers. Plus there is less risk here than with a college student credit card.
  3. Credit Limits and Eligibility Based on Creditworthiness. Standard credit cards don't target a particular demographic and tend to have a broader policy when it comes to determining who is or isn't eligible to receive a credit card. This is not to say that individuals with bad credit will easily qualify for a card, but that credit blemishes do not automatically rule out a potential customer. There are also no hard and fast rules for the assignment of credit limits on standard credit cards. Limits are based on your credit history as well as your job stability and net income. Obviously, the better your credit score and the higher your income, the higher your limit will be.
  4. Low Fees. A standard credit card may have a few static monthly fees such as an annual fee or account maintenance fee; however these fees are generally pretty low and serve to help the lender keep your interest rate as low as possible. While there are cards on the market that may offer a lower interest rate than a standard credit card, these cards are usually reserved for individuals with excellent credit and above average income.

So, what makes a standard credit card a better choice than other credit cards in the marketplace today? It’s their no-nonsense approach to managing credit. These cards offer a great value for their convenience and are accessible to a greater population than many other credit card products, thanks to a more liberal lending policy. Standard credit cards are an extremely sound financial “next step” for individuals who are just starting out and have established a good payment history, or who have had bad credit in the past and are now graduating to unsecured credit card products.