Credit Card Offers
Now is an excellent time to shop the marketplace for a new credit card. Very competitive rates and terms are available now. Credit card offers like these have not been seen in the marketplace in years. Interest rates as low as 0%, coupled with reduced fees on balance transfers and purchases can make a credit card an excellent way to make large purchases or perhaps pay off some lingering debt that may be at a high interest rate. While the length of th eterm associated with these special offers is usually 12 months, some credit card offers are currently offering up to 18 months at 0% interest. This makes a credit card a vaery valuable tool in managing your finances.
When reviewing different credit card offers it is important to read the fine print in the terms and conditions of the customer agreement. This is where lending institutions often make their money. It is your responsibility to become educated on the items in the agreement. Give special attention to the minimum payment, penalties for late payment, length of term for 0% interest rate, and the interest rate that is applied to the balance when the introductory period ends.
A violation of the terms of the agreement can find you facing very high interest charges before the length of the introductory term has expired. Of particular interest should be the interest rate of the credit card as this is what draws most customers to the special offer. Many credit cards are currently offering 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for a given period of time – usually 12 months. It is important to understand what the interest rate on any balance on the credit card will be after the introductory 12 months. It is often much higher in the neighborhood of 18-24%.
You will also want to look into the details of annual fees, fees on cash advances, and penalties for late payments. All of these items can carry with it a higher interest rate than 0% often advertised and can lead to out of control debt on the credit card.
Lastly, before you agree to apply for the credit card you should understand that the introductory rates advertised may not apply to you if you have less than good credit. In fact, many times, you will not qualify and while the interest rate is lower than other credit cards, it is not the 0% advertised. Read all of the material that comes with the credit card and ask a lot of questions during the application process to avoid the most common pitfalls.