It is actually pretty easy to get 0% interest rate credit cards, although it is a popular misconception that it will take a lot of time and research. It’s almost like every bank is issuing such cards these days. However, before you take the plunge, you need to understand the basic concepts of these credit cards first.
When you look at an ad for such a credit card, it will tell you that you will not have to pay any interest on your purchases. However, it will not tell you for how long you will not have to pay any interest.
The special interest rate or zero interest rate you get is just a special promotional bonus that will be valid for only a certain period from the date that you open the credit account. After that period, you will have to pay a much higher interest rate on the outstanding amount on the card. This period can range between three months to even two years sometimes.
You will also have to check for penalty charges that may be imposed on your card. If you miss just one of the minimum payments that are due every month, the interest rate will immediately kick in. When you open such a credit account, take your time to read through the fine prints and understand the terms and conditions thoroughly. Also check the interest rate that you will have to pay after the initial period expires.
Another thing that you need to check is the membership fees. In order to transfer funds from an old credit card onto a new credit card, you will have to pay some fees. This fee is called a transfer fee. This transfer fee can be a lump sum or even a percentage of the transferred amount. If the transfer amount is too high, you may be better off just keeping the outstanding balance on the old credit card. You will also have to find out the maximum outstanding balance amount that a card holder is allowed to transfer to a new credit card. Each bank will have a different set of rules regarding this.
Lastly, remember that you are going for a balance transfer because of financial hardship. Do not make a move that will put you in a deeper mess. However, if you are using the zero percent credit cards just for purchases, you must realize that a day will come when you have to pay it all back or else the interest rate will kick in all at once.