Better Watch Out for Zero Interest Credit Cards

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Important Tips to Remember While Purchasing Zero Interest Credit Cards

Have you glanced at “junk mail” or advertisement letters that arrive in your postal mail – or maybe you’ve seen advertisements in the phone book, or information posted on internet and blog pages that says; “Get your zero interest credit card today … or a catchphrase may go something like this: if you need to make a purchase that you’re not ready to pay off right away; well, there’s no need to waste money paying high interest rates … and in fact, you can avoid interest payments until 2015 – or 2016!”

According to a recent CardHub.com report, the average credit card now offers 10.29 months with no interest on balance transfer, and 10.13 months with no interest on new purchases.

All these tantalizing offers sound enticing, don’t you think?

There’s no surprise, that credit card companies are pursuing potential customers 24-7 by offering different percentage rates, and the biggest offers are zero interest rates, if an individual applies. When people see these offers they automatically think of the immediate purchase they can make. What the offers don’t explain upfront is: to get a zero interest credit card, a person need outstanding credit – i.e., a credit score of 720 or above to get the best deals. If a person has a score of approximately 600, the odds are, they qualify for a lower interest rate, but not at the zero level.

“The primary benefit is financial,” says John Ulzheimer, a nationally recognized expert for CreditSesame, Ulzheimer specializes in credit reporting and credit scores. “If you’re carrying credit card debt on an existing card, then it’s likely the most expensive debt you’ll ever service.”

“Interest rates on general credit cards,” Ulzheimer explains, are around 15%, and on retail cards the average is around 24%. “If you can move your balance from those cards to a zero interest card then you have bought yourself time to work down the debt and save a bundle of money in interest costs at the same time.”

Ulzheimer further said, “The downside is if you are irresponsible enough to move a balance on the preexisting card again, this means you’re in debt twice over and the chances of getting another zero interest card to save the day are slim.”

Dealing With Banks’ Credit Cards

An article in Daily Finance advises consumers to first consult with the bank where they have accounts for good deals on credit cards. Daily Finance goes on to say that a consumer should take down the information on the back of each card they have, and look up the issuer’s website to see what deals they’re advertising to new members. Then make a call to speak with someone in charge of advertising deals on credit cards. The article stated that a consumer should ask, if they’ll extend to you – a loyal customer – the same zero percent offers they’re making available to those who aren’t yet paying a monthly bill. You might be surprised by the results. See [Daily Finance]

Credit expert John Ulzheimer agrees with the news article assessment.

“Most large banks have a zero percent credit card product at any given time. If you’re doing business with a big bank already then they’ll likely have zero interest options for you to explore.” Top banks that usually provide zero interest credit cards are:

(1) Bank of America

(2) Capital One

(3) Chase

(4) Citibank

(5) USAA

Just remember the zero interest card is only given to customers with outstanding credit of at least 720 – but if a person has a score around 600 or 650, they don’t face extremely high interest rates, but rates that are decent.

We’ve done the research and put together a list of the top cards with 0% intro APR periods so long you won’t pay any interest until 2016.

citi simplicity

Citi Simplicity

Can you say 18-month 0% APR? It’s true, you’ll enjoy no interest on balance transfers and purchases until 2016, providing plenty of time to pay down your balance. Plus there are no late fees, no penalty fees and no annual fee. Overall this is a stellar pick for anyone looking to save money on interest fees as they work to decrease their balance, or someone who’d like to make a large dollar purchase now and not worry about paying interest until next year.

diamond preferred

Citi Diamond Preferred Card

Offering an 18-month 0% APR period on balance transfers and purchases, makes this card a winner. And after the 1.5 year zero interest period is up, you’ll enjoy a low ongoing APR. Plus there’s no annual fee to worry about. Even if you don’t have any balances to transfer, this card is still a great way to make purchases now (summer holiday anyone?) and pay no interest until 2016.

discover

Discover it Card – Balance Transfer

When you combine a terrific 18-month 0% intro APR with cash back rewards, it’s hard to go wrong. Although the 18-month 0% intro APR is just for balance transfers, you can also take advantage of a 6-month 0% intro APR on purchases and the low post-intro APR rate. Plus you’ll earn 5% cash back on categories that rotate quarterly and 1% cash back on everything else. Did I mention there’s no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees? This means you can make purchases outside the U.S. without worrying about extra fees, which is a nice touch if you’re traveling internationally in the future.

discover chrome

Discover it chrome – Balance Transfer

Featuring an 18-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers, generous cash back rewards and no annual fee, no overlimit fee and no late fee on your first late payment, this card is a stellar all-around pick. You’ll also appreciate a 6-month 0% intro APR on purchases and no foreign transaction fees. All this and great cash back rewards – 2% cash back (on up to $1K in combined purchases quarterly) at restaurants, at gas stations and 1% cash back on all other purchases. With this card you make a large purchase now, earn cash back on that purchase, and pay no interest until 2016. And if that purchase happens to be outside the U.S. you won’t pay any foreign transaction fees, which is a great way to save money while traveling abroad.

This card doesn’t quite have the incredible 18-month 0% APR the other cards do, but it’s still a strong contender:

chase slate

Chase Slate

With a 15-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases AND the honor of being the only 0% intro card that doesn’t charge balance transfer fees, this is our top-ranked balance transfer card. Zero balance transfer fees can add up to serious savings, as many cards charge up to 3% of the amount you’re transferring. Chase Slate allows you to transfer your balances from other credit cards without paying a cent, and gives you the time you need to start paying down the balance. Although the 15-month 0% APR period won’t take you into 2016, it’s still a great card to help you manage any credit card debt you may currently have or to make large purchases now that you don’t want to pay off until next year.

For more information on zero interest credit cards, google “zero interest credit cards” or zero interest credit cards from banks.”

As an analyst and researcher for the PI industry and a business consultant, Clarence Walker is a veteran writer, crime reporter and investigative journalist. He began his writing career with New York-based True Crime Magazines in Houston Texas in 1983, publishing more than 300 feature stories. He wrote for the Houston Chronicle (This Week Neighborhood News and Op-Eds) including freelancing for Houston Forward Times.

Working as a paralegal for a reputable law firm, he wrote for National Law Journal, a publication devoted to legal issues and major court decisions. As a journalist writing for internet publishers, Walker’s work can be found at American Mafia.com, Gangster Inc., Drug War Chronicle, Drug War101 and Alternet.

Six of Walker’s crime articles were re-published into a paperback series published by Pinnacle Books. One book titled: Crimes Of The Rich And Famous, edited by Rose Mandelsburg, garnered considerable favorable ratings. Gale Publisher also re-published a story into its paperback series that he wrote about the Mob: Is the Mafia Still a Force in America?

Meanwhile this dedicated journalist wrote criminal justice issues and crime pieces for John Walsh’s America’s Most Wanted Crime Magazine, a companion to Walsh blockbuster AMW show. If not working PI cases and providing business intelligence to business owners, Walker operates a writing service for clients, then serves as a crime historian guest for the Houston-based Channel 11TV show called the “Cold Case Murder Series” hosted by reporter Jeff McShan.

At NewsBlaze, Clarence Walker expands his writing abilities to include politics, human interest and world events.

Clarence Walker can be reached at: [email protected]