Low Rate Credit Cards – Finding the Best Low APR Offers

When looking for low rate credit cards there are several factors that must be considered. First and foremost, the card must be identified as a fixed or variable rate offer. Another important factor is whether or not the advertised rate is an intro APR or the regular interest rate.

Other things to look for include a balance transfer option, if you currently carry a high interest rate balance with another issuer, and, of course, the fees. Fees can come in many forms and must be taken into account because they are very much a part of the cost of having credit extended to you.

So let’s break it down, first starting with interest rates. When it comes to unsecured cards they come either as fixed, meaning that the interest rate is locked in, or variable, which means that the issuer can raise, or lower(good luck with that), the interest rate at their discretion.

More and more banks are moving towards issuing variable rate cards because of the new credit card reform legislation. The legislation states that issuers cannot raise rates on fixed cards but they can raise the APR, otherwise known as the annual percentage rate, on variable rate cards.

That is an important consideration to keep in mind when comparing low rate credit cards. Many come as 0% intro APR offers. Usually they last for 6 months, but sometimes they can be for as long as 12 months. It is imperative that the consumer knows what the interest rate will be when the intro period ends.

As mentioned earlier fees can and do play a large role in the cost of owning a credit card. There are annual fees, balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, penalty fees and so on. Fees are becoming more and more prevalent as credit card issuers look for new ways to generate profits from account holders.

In order to find the most suitable low rate credit cards for you it is suggested that you take advantage of a quality comparison website. There you will find categories dedicated specifically to low interest rate offers. This will make it easy and convenient to compare them side-by-side.

You should also be able to easily see what the main card details are without having to read through a lot of fine print. Do not just brush over the bullet points casually before you apply either. Take the time to read the disclosure statement so that you’ll understand the important details, features and benefits.

The better your credit history is, the lower your interest rate will be. If you have excellent credit then you will pretty much have your pick of any card on the market. It may benefit you to get a recent credit report to make sure there are no errors on it that are lowering your credit score.

Credit Card Balance Transfer Offer – What You Need To Know

If you’re looking to reduce your monthly debt payments and free up more cash, then a credit card transfer to a lower interest rate may be a good option. There are many different types of balance transfer offers available. The sheer number available can be overwhelming and sometimes just the thought of selecting the perfect one is daunting. The actual task can seem impossible.

To make this task a little less overwhelming, it helps to understand this type of card. It’s also important to know the different types of balance transfers available on charge cards.

How Does This Type of Card Work?

To begin to understand balance transfer credit cards, you need to know how they work.

The way this type of plastic money works is fairly simple. If you have a balance on one credit card, you can sign up for a new card and then transfer the original amount to it. Most charge card issuers are happy to accept your plastic debt from another company. They want your business and will make the idea of a money transfer as appealing as possible.

Low interest rates and rewards perks are some of the benefits used to entice new customers. But you should be aware that even with all these great sounding bonuses, balance transfers can end up being very expensive if they’re not done right.

Exercise Caution

The most common balance transfer offer is the one where you’re offered a super-low introductory rate on transfers. An example of this type of card is the Blue from American Express. It has an introductory transfer rate of 4.99%.

The Blue from American Express, unless some other cards, fixes this interest rate for the life of the balance. Some other credit cards may increase the interest rate after the introductory time frame ends, which could last anywhere between six to 15 months. For this reason, it’s always important to read the fine print to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want.

You should also remember that not everyone qualifies for the advertised low interest rates. While the advertised rate may be appealing, the reality is that only a few with exceptionally stellar credit scores will qualify for the posted rate. The best way to increase your chances of qualifying for the lowest rate possible is to make sure you make your minimum payments on time for all your current charge cards and other debts. If you can pay more than the minimum, then you should do that.

Another thing to watch out for are hefty transfer fees. Some charge cards will make you pay for the privilege of transferring your balance to them. A few issuers charge fees that are a percentage of the transferred amount, while others cap fees anywhere from $35 to $80.

Howard Strong, author of What Every Credit Card User Needs to Know warns that companies often have sneaky conditions. “You need to be extremely cautious,” he has been quoted as saying. You’ll have to decide for yourself if transfer fee is worth the interest rate you qualify for. Do the math. A 5% transfer charge fee will mean that you’ll pay an additional $50 for every thousand dollars you transfer.

Avoid the cards that charge hefty fees.

After the Transfer

So, you’ve done your research and found the perfect card for your needs. You’ve gone through the application process, been accepted for the interest rate you can live with, and are waiting for the balance transfer to go through.

The biggest mistake too many people make while they wait for the transfer to take effect is that they forget to continue making minimum payments on their old card/cards. If you do not make your minimum payments, this could have a negative impact on your credit score. A single late or missed payment is all some credit card issuers need as an excuse to increase your interest rates. Once the balance has been transferred, close your old ones so you’re not tempted to continue to use them. Then begin paying as much as you can on your new card so that you can eliminate your debt.