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The annual percentage rate, or APR, varies from card to card. Usually cards for people with limited credit carry high APRs, and cards for people with excellent credit have low APRs. The terms and conditions of any card you apply for must disclose the APR of the card, although sometimes you will see something like this:

  • APR is 10.99%, 15.99% or 22.99% depending on creditworthiness

If you see that, it means you have to apply for the card to find out what your APR will be. If your credit is excellent, you will most likely qualify for the lowest APR in the range. Instead of turning down an applicant with poor credit, many issuers will grant them a card at the highest rate. That’s not a problem if you pay off your balance in full each month since you won’t be subject to interest.

If the card you’re applying for has a promotional APR for 6, 12, 18 or 21 months (or another number of months), the terms and conditions will list the ongoing APR that applies after the introductory rate ends. Always make your payments on time, or the promotional rate will end early.