Credit card offers flood our inboxes all day long, but when shopping for a real credit card deal – you’d better read the fine print, or you might get burned. Credit card offers are very enticing, they’ll give you a 0 APR credit card for an entire year, or a really low interest rate for a few months, but how much money are you really going to save if you accept their offer?
The truth is, there are some excellent money saving credit card offers out there, especially if you apply for a credit card online. But you need to take a few minutes and read the fine print in order to avoid these 4 financially fatal mistakes:
Make certain that you know how much the interest rate will be after the introductory interest ratehas expired. Many companies offer 0% APR credit cards and then jack the interest rates up so high that it is ridiculous. Although you may be saving money in the short term, be sure that you know exactly what the standard annual percentage rate is. If it is too, high you might apply for a credit card somewhere else, or transfer your balances before the low introductory APR expires.
If you need to consolidate credit card debt, then you should apply for a credit card that offers 0% balance transfers. Balance transfers are a super way to save tons of money on interest rates, as some credit card companies offer a 0% annual percentage rate on the balances you transfer to their card till they are paid in full. This great deal is usually reserved for consumers with excellent credit, so be sure to clean up your credit report before applying.
Balance transfers can be tricky at times, make sure that you carefully read the fine print and fully understand which part of your credit card debt qualifies for that 0% interest rate. Many times it only applies toward your transferred balances, not toward new purchases. This is where they stick it to ya, on new purchases.
Don’t apply for a credit card based on its rewards program. Credit card rewards and bonuses should only be considered as a secondary benefit, low interest rates should be your main priority.If you are dead set on applying for a rewards card, then check out some of the great travel rewards, gas rewards and cash back reward credit cards that are available online. Choose the reward credt card that best suits your needs, many offer double and triple the amount of points as their competitors, so read the fine print before you apply.
Never, ever make a late credit card payment. Making a single late payment will nullify your introductory interest rate immediately. This policy is buried in the middle of the fine print somewhere on all credit card applications. Credit card companies hide it down there hoping that you will never see it, but I want to bring it to your attention before it catches you off guard. The nice, low APR you have been enjoying and the 0% balance transfers you had been counting on could be wiped out with a single late payment.
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