Is A 0 APR Credit Card Legitimate?
You see all the ads for 0 APR credit cards all around you today. However, are they for real? The truth is yes, they are for real, however, this special 0% APR does not last. You can find all kinds of credit card companies offering a 0 APR credit card for people with excellent credit. Many credit card companies are now offering 0 APR credit cards as part of their incentive program to get you to apply and begin using their credit card for all their purchases. However, there are downsides to some of these offers.
Although they are advertising a 0 APR credit card, the 0 percent APR is not for the entire time that you are a cardholder. You will have to pay close attention to learn how many months they are offering this “special 0% APR”, you can find them for 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months and if you are lucky for 15 months. However, now you must check if the offer also includes all new purchases and balance transfers. One company may offer 0% only on balance transfers. If you are using one of these 0 APR credit cards, you will find that you will have to pay the normal interest rate for all new purchases and all money that you pay monthly will be for paying off the original balance, so you will get stuck paying the higher interest rate on your purchases.
It goes something like this … say you did a balance transfer of ,000. This money will not incur finance charges. But then you make a purchase of ,000 and this money will incur finance charges. You then pay off the ,000 before you think you will incur any finance charges, however, the ,000 is applied against the original ,000 balance transfer. So now you will have ,000 on the original balance transfer without any interest being charged but the ,000 in additional purchases is being charged the regular APR, which tends to be pretty steep. Therefore, you may find that it really was not worth the money to use this 0 APR credit card after all.
Another downfall to the 0 APR credit card is that if you do not pay off the entire balance transfer before the introductory offer expires, you may find that you are paying a higher interest rate than you were with your other credit card. Reading all the terms and conditions can aid you in making an educated decision about a 0 APR credit card and whether it is for you.
As such, many of the 0 APR credit cards may sound appealing, however, after the introductory period ends on these offers, the ongoing interest rates and other fees tend to be higher than average, so you may find yourself between a financial rock and a hard place. Just because you can find a 0 APR credit card and get approved this does not mean that you are necessarily going to enjoy a financial life of luxury. Remember, however, there are other fees that are applicable so the credit card issuers are still making tidy profits with annual membership fees and fees for balance transfers. So as usual, it always pays to read the fine print.
About the Author: For more on what to watch for in 0 APR credit card, Robert Alan recommends that you visit CreditCardAssist.com.