0% APR credit cards are an appealing option for frequent shoppers that rely on having a low monthly interest rate when they cannot pay off the entire balance of the credit card in any month. But what you really need to know about 0% APR credit card offers, often times is never discussed.
For starters, the APR is the commonly-used acronym for "Annual Percentage Rate," which is the annual month-to-month rate that you can expect to get for your credit card balance. Naturally, if you frequently carry your credit card balance over from month-to-month, it is important for you to have a low or even 0% APR credit card.
How it Works
Every credit card company makes money when shoppers use the card, but do not pay off the balance at the end of each month. Because the credit card company has lent shoppers money so that they can make their purchases, the credit card company will charge interest on the balance until the entire balance is paid off. The credit card company has the potential to make a generous profit from the balances of their customers each month. Naturally, as a consumer, having a 0% APR credit card means that your balance is carried over from month-to-month without any charges applied.
Beware of High Interest Rates
It may seem like credit cards actually lose money by investing in a 0% APR credit card promotion. However, the 0% APR credit cards actually help credit card companies find customers. For example, if there is a shopper that has a high APR (some are up to 20%) and he or she is having a hard time paying down the balance of the credit card, the purchaser is in an ideal situation to transfer their balance to a 0% APR credit card for a period in which they can focus on working down their debt. The situation is ideal for someone who is in short-term debt. However, to balance the 0% APR credit cards against the credit card company's need to make a profit, as soon as a trial period expires, many credit card companies will increase their rates drastically. As a consumer, you need to read the fine print so that you are aware of the deadlines associated with this change-over.
Where to Find a 0% APR Credit Card
It may seem harder than it really is to find a 0% APR credit card. It's advantageous to find a card that doesn't require you to pay a month-to-month rate on the unpaid balance. However, credit card companies frequently enact 0% APR credit card promotional deals, so take a look around for what deals are available to you currently.
0% APR credit cards can make managing your debt very easy. While most of them do not require annual fees, it is important for you to understand what you are agreeing to before you sign a contact with a company. While most 0% APR credit cards eventually increase the rate after a set period of time, the duration of the promotional period varies by company. As with any credit card agreement, a little research and education into the details of a 0% APR credit card can go a long way towards helping you make a decision that can positively effect your finances. Choose wisely!