Zero APR Credit Cards: What they dont want you to know

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Prior to the Credit Card Act of , credit card issuers could slap you with penalty APRs if you had a single late credit card payment , even if the late payment was on a completely different card.

Who Really Benefits From 0% Balance Transfers

The passage of the law has curbed this practice, but it hasn't eliminated it entirely. While one card issuer cannot charge you a penalty APR because you made a late payment to a different credit card issuer, it can penalize you across all of your cards with that issuer if you make a single late payment.

For example, if you have three credit cards with the same card issuer and you make a late payment on one of them, the issuer could enact a penalty APR across all three cards, even though you've only ever paid late on one card. The simple way around this is to make all your payments on time and avoid charging anything to your cards that you know you can't pay back in full at the end of the month. But if you're already in credit card debt, this is something to be mindful of.

This can be a good way to get your debt under control, but you should know that it's not free. Make sure you read the cardholder agreement and understand exactly how much the balance transfer will cost you before going through with it. Cash advances also have fees, which may be either a dollar amount or a percentage of the advance you're requesting.

In addition, cash advances may be subject to their own, higher APR, and they begin accruing interest immediately, unlike purchases. This can lead to a slippery slope of credit card debt, so think carefully before going through with it. Credit card issuers are in a very competitive business, and staying profitable means keeping customers happy. If you have good or excellent credit -- typically considered a score of around or above -- and you don't like something about your credit card, you could easily take your business elsewhere.

To prevent that, card issuers are willing to negotiate with you on things like APR, credit limit, payment due date, late and annual fees, and even rewards. Your negotiating power is tied to your credit score, and those with poor credit or a history of late payments may find card issuers less willing to work with them. But if you've been a responsible borrower and have a good credit score, it's worth calling the card issuer to see what kind of deal you can get. Outline what you want and don't be afraid to bring up comparable cards to demonstrate what you think you deserve.

Highlight your loyalty to the card issuer if you've had the card for a long time. If you still don't get what you want, consider making good on your threat and switching to a different credit card. Penalty APRs are not just steep — they can also last for months. Your credit card company might not review your case for six months.

What You Need to Know About 0% APR Credit Card Offers

If your record after your late payment is perfect, the card company might knock you back down from the penalty APR to the regular APR. But in the meantime, you will have racked up a lot of interest charges. Doing so helps your credit score. You might not have to choose between the two. Do you have balances to transfer? But shopping for a credit card can often involve compromise. The answer will depend on your situation. Applying for a credit card causes a temporary dip in your credit score. What do we mean by that?

The window you have to transfer your balances is usually 45 days. The clock usually starts from the day you open your account, not from the day you activate the card. Some charge balance transfer fees and annual fees, while some do not. Some offer rewards and some do not. That means maximizing rewards and minimizing fees. Meanwhile, you can use a points or cash-back card for regular spending to get credit card rewards. We have some tips that can help you reach this goal.

Of course, paying what you owe in full and on time every month is a big part of maintaining a high credit score. This ratio, known as the credit utilization ratio, is an important part of your credit score. You know you want to make a big purchase, or you know that money will be tight in the months to come.

Does that mean you should close your other credit card s? The answer depends on your circumstances. Credit score requirements vary from card to card. You can dispute any errors you find with the credit bureaus. If the credit bureaus agree to remove the damaging records that are on your report in error, your score will go up. All things being equal, longer is better. Applying for a new credit card usually causes a temporary dip in your credit score. Credit bureaus look askance at consumers who have too many applications for new credit in a short period.

They see recent credit applications as a sign that a consumer might be desperate for credit because he or she is spending above his or her means.

Who Really Benefits From 0% Balance Transfers

Credit card fees can add up quickly. In general, a credit card cash advance is an expensive way to get your hands on some cash. That interest is applied right away, without a grace period. That depends. Want to be sure you choose the right credit card for you?

Taking stock of your financial needs is a good first step. Are you anticipating a major expense that you might struggle to afford? Is a decrease in your income making it hard to keep up with bills? For one thing, you can avoid getting a credit card cash advance. With normal purchases not cash advances , your bill will go to statement at the end of each billing cycle.

Doing so will keep your credit score high.


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Ideally, no one would carry a monthly balance but we all know how easy it is to wind up with credit card. Click between states and the national map to see the places that have the highest credit card debt relative to disposable income. Methodology Our study aims to find the places with the most revolving credit card debt. To do so we identified places where people need credit cards to cover basic living costs. To find these places we first determined the disposable income for major U. To calculate the disposable income we took the median household income and subtracted basic needs average food, childcare, medical and housing costs for a household with two adults and one child.

We then considered the average household credit card debt as a percentage of the remaining discretionary income for each metro area, in order to find the places that have the highest credit card debt relative to disposable income. Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday Card, please click here.

Keep in mind you may see some reader comments referring to older offers below. Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser.

Our pick for a longer 0% APR period

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