3 must ask questions to maximize your 0% APR credit card return

Duran Mueller
Apr 4, 2007
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As the competition between various credit card companies is increasing, they are adopting more attractive offers to acquire new customers. Though not new but 0% APR credit cards are also in the league of such offers. APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate - which in simple terms is the interest charge by companies on outstanding credit card balance. So a 0% APR means no interest is charged from the credit card holder.

0% APR credit cards come with many flavors:

0% APR for the life of credit card

0% APR for a limited period

0% APR offers for some services and a different APR rate for other services.

A credit card holder should face the fact that this kind of offer is only a marketing strategy and won't last for long. This is because that a credit card company is there to make money for their services and the APR is their leading money spinner. The 3 must ask questions listed below will surely help you get a perspective on your 0% APR credit card and make an informed decision.

1. How long will the 0% APR offer last?

If it is not for the entire life of credit card how long is the 0% APR offer going to last. Some credit card companies give this offer for 6 months, some 1 year and some for even more than that. If other things are the same the one with the longest 0% APR offer should interest you.

2. What APR will be charged after the introductory period expires?

What will the credit card companies charge you when the 0% APR offer expires should be your main concern. Because the credit card company has already losing revenue by giving you a 0% APR credit card offer it could try to compensate with a higher APR after the intro period expires. Compare this APR with the APR's of other credit cards which offer similar services. You shouldn't get ripped because you fell into a 0% APR credit card trap. This feels bad afterwards.

3. What are other fees and benefits of the credit card?

0% APR coupled with a high annual fees and other charges could wipe out the savings you intend by taking a 0% APR credit card. Also ensure the APR on cash advances, purchases, and balance transfer. If a 0% APR credit card offer tries to compensate for the loss in revenue by charging exorbitant APRs on other services its better to avoid it. Knowing about the different features and benefits is also helpful.

The idea is not to get ripped off by the credit card companies and get maximum benefits on the 0% APR credit card. The credit card companies sugar coat their offers to lure new customers but, it is in the interest of credit card holder to ask right questions and get complete facts before applying for any 0% APR credit card.