Get back to basics with a cheap card

Hand holding credit cards

It's time to forget all the frills and sign up for a cheap, basic credit card.

You won't find a lot of splashy advertising or come-ons in your mailbox for these kinds of cards.

Credit card companies would much rather sell you a status card that claims to cater to an exclusive clientele or a reward card with the promise of free travel or luxury merchandise.

Those heavily promoted cards come with hefty annual fees, above-average interest rates and miles or points that won't add up very fast if you don't have a hefty work-related expense account.

In this economy, you need a card that costs as little as possible to keep in your wallet, and that means one that charges 12% APR or less on purchases and no annual fee.

Take a minute to compare the low-interest credit cards in our database of the best credit card deals.

If you have excellent credit, search for the Simmons First Visa Platinum card, which has an interest rate of just 7.25% and no annual fee.

If your credit is good, but not great, consider the Citi Platinum Select with an introductory rate of 0% for six months, a regular rate as low as 11.99% and no annual fee.

Whatever card you choose, the strategy is the same: Spend as little as possible for the privilege of carrying the card.

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