Anyone who shops for a credit card wants the lowest interest rates available. Who doesn’t want the best deal? For many of us, the magic figure naturally is a zero percent, although we fail to notice the fine print that comes with every approved credit card application.
A zero percent is an excellent rate and you can't go lower than that. The only catch is that this interest rate isn’t fixed and usually lasts from about six months to one year. After that, the interest rates hike up. Once the introductory period is over, you could be paying an interest rate of about 19% or even higher. Definitely not a good deal. So is the low interest rate credit card just a myth?
Who gets it and where?
Actually, many banks offer credit cards at low interest rates. You might need to do a little research and shop around. Your very own bank could be offering it and all you have to do to take advantage of better interest rates is to pick up the phone and give them a call. A short, simple negotiation can lower your interest rate several percentage points.
There are also credit cards that have a low APR, but you'll have to qualify for them first before your bank issues them to you. Banks like to deal with consumers who have the lowest risk, which means you've got to have good to excellent credit rating.
If your credit history has been spotless for a few years, you can go ahead and apply for a low interest credit card. If you've had troubles in the past, you might have to wait a few years or until after your credit rating has improved.
What to look for in a low interest credit card
Generally, a credit card with an interest rate that is less than 15% is considered as a low interest rate card. The key is to look for the fixed interest rate and not an APR with an expiration period. Ads that trumpet a 0% APR don’t really try too hard to inform you that it's really just an introductory rate. You will have to find that out for yourself by simply reading the fine print.
Don’t be tempted by the promise of a 0% introductory rate if you do not foresee paying your balance within the period that the low interest rate is effective. Otherwise, you will end up paying more once the regular interest rate is imposed.
Should you have a low interest credit card?
Absolutely! A low interest credit card is a great way to save money on your transactions, especially if you regularly use your credit cards for paying goods and services. Low interest rate credit cards are also a great choice if you don’t pay your balances in full and have outstanding balances that carry over from one month to the next.
Say for example your outstanding balance amounts to $1,500. With an interest rate of only 8%, you'll only have to pay $120 in interest per annum. That's $105 less than what you would have paid if you had a credit card with an interest rate of 15%. If you have several credit cards, you definitely will feel the difference. A low interest rate card will save you money in the long run.
Even if you're considering transferring your balance to a credit card with a low introductory rate, you could still take advantage of the low interest if you can pay for the full amount of your credit card balance before the introductory period expires. You can also enjoy the benefits of consolidating all your credit card bills into one credit card with an interest rate that is light on your wallet.
Like any other credit card, a low interest credit card can be used as an effective tool for managing your money. They offer a good bargain but only if they are used wisely and you as the consumer are informed of what you can truly expect.