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Understanding 0 APR Credit Cards

Aug 17, 2007
A 0% APR is essentially a credit card offered by credit card companies to their consumers with an 'annual percentage rate' (APR) of zero percent. However, this rate does not exist forever, and after a period that ranges between three to twelve months, credit card companies begin charging higher rates of interest. Therefore, the major factors to be considered are the duration of the no-interest period, and what would be the APR rate after the offer ends.

Advantages of owning a 0% APR Credit card:

Though 0% APR credit cards have a few catches, they can also prove to be advantageous for its users. The best way to assess these cards is by actually using one. If you pay off the monthly balance regularly, then the rate of interest will not be a major concern. Some of its main benefits are as follows:

- Cut down the interest rate: A 0% APR credit card is popular among users with heavy outstanding card balances. It helps them to slash the rate of interest incurred upon their debt.

- Travel benefits: A 0% APR credit cards offer travel benefits to its users. You could profit from this card if you travel by air frequently. Most companies provide bonus air mile benefits on APR credit cards. This could be as much as twenty-five thousand miles, merely by signing up and making your first purchase from this card. The travel facility could also be used for hotel rooms, meals and other additional alternatives. It also provides you with free gas discounts and rebates in purchasing a car.

- Cash back or reward benefits: Low APR credit cards also provide a system where you could get back a percentage of your purchases. You could get a reward of five percent for certain kinds of purchases you make.

- Paying off debt: Transferring your credit card balance that needs to be paid off to a new credit card with 0% APR would be a better money- saving solution, than holding on to the old card with a high rate of interest.

- Start up a new credit history: A 0% APR credit card can be used to establish a new credit history for a cardholder with a previous credit card debt. These cards curb the credit card usage, and initiate the necessity of spending within the budget. However, it might not be issued to people with a bad credit history.

Limitations of 0 percent interest APR credit cards:

A 0% APR credit card often comes with strings attached. Some of the major limitations are as follows:

- Usually, a 0% APR credit card offers the no-interest benefit for only a limited period, such as six months to a year.
- It might not allow you to transfer balances from high interest credit cards during the introductory 0% offer period.
- It could charge expensive fees for the process of transferring the balance.
- Some of these credit cards bear very high penalties for late payments, and automatically transfer you to an inconsistent APR rate.
- It often charges a very high interest rate once the initial offer period expires.

Therefore, although 0% APR credit cards may seem too good to be true, they do have a number of real advantages. While these promotional offers by credit card companies are useful, they need to be taken up judiciously.
About the Author
Joseph Kenny writes for the Card Guide, a UK credit cards site, visit today for introductory 0% balance transfers and start clearing credit card debt today.
Visit today: http://www.cardguide.co.uk/
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