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0% Credit Cards: Are They The Real Deal?

Posted by nick_niesen on October 29th, 2010

Whenever I hear the number 0%, I hope that it refers to the interest rate I have to pay and not the interest rate that I have to earn. There are many different credit card offers out there, and of course when you see the 0% it seems like it would be the best option. But, when you sit and think about it you might wonder why one credit card would be 0% and the other would be 26%, what's the catch?

It is not that the issuer is out to scam you. But you still need to look close. You never know what you are in for unless you read all the terms and conditions associated with the card.

0% Doesn't Mean 0% Across the Board

While there are some legit 0% credit cards out there you need to look at the fine print before you simply assume that you can buy everything with no interest. The 0% is not a blank check that you cash anywhere. If applies to some types of transactions. This isn't to say that you shouldn't take advantage; you just need to be an aware consumer and make sure that you know how the 0% works.

If you have some credit card balances that you would like to transfer than you may want to look for a 0% credit card. There are many credit cards out there that offer 0% balance transfers. The more the transfer, the higher the saving. Many people use these cards to do away with those high interest credit cards so that they can actually start making a dent in the amount of money that they owe instead of just paying off the interest each month.

Many 0% credit cards have 0% interest rate offers on specified purchases. These may be purchases at specific stores or for specific products, but depending on what you purchase these credit card offers really can save you a lot of money. You'll need to be sure to read all of the fine print on these cards to be sure that it is something that will save you as much money as you would hope.

Then there are the cards that use 0% as the way to ensnare you. Often times this 0% is good for the first six months or a year that you have a card. This is a nice way to consolidate debt, make big purchases, pay for car or house repairs, or just buy things that you have been putting off because you didn't want to pay interest. One more interesting dimension of credit cards relates to rewards and cash back.

Before you choose any one of the 0% credit cards that you come across you should read through all of the features. The prudent buyer wants to know the interest rate, not just on day one but also on later days. Do you need to pay off all of the items that you bought during the 0% time? Whether you make money or lose money will depend on how smartly you use the card.

Also See: Credit Cards, Credit Card, Fine Print, Cards Out, Credit, Cards, Interest

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