Credit Cards Fine Print


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Credit Card Applications » Research » Guides » Cardholder Benefits » Credit Cards Fine Print

Credit Cards Fine Print

Updated: April 9, 2013

The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

There are a number of different circumstances in a person’s life where they might encounter the phenomenon known as fine print. When a person does a credit card search on the internet there is usually a disclaimer in fine print at the bottom of the website listing the search results in order to inform people that the specifications are not promises of anything. There are also different times during a person’s search for credit cards where fine print will be presented to them in things like advertisements for different credit card deals. When a person fills out credit card applications online once again they have to face the specter of fine print. It is all over the place and indeed is quite inescapable and because of that there are times when people just have to muster their strength and sit down to work their way through all of the fine print.

While there are definitely situations where a person really needs to read the fine print there are rarely ever people that do. It is one of the more interesting sociological aspects of the human race but for whatever reason the human mind just seems to shirk away from reading the fine print. This is quite interesting when you consider that the fine print is the reason that credit card companies make money in the first place. Many people apply online for a credit card believing that the company is being honest with them. There is no way a credit card company can be completely honest about its product and still make money in the process. Therefore, the fine print solution is the one that has been presented by many different credit card companies and it is the solution that you are going to have to deal with. It is quite possible for you to go ahead and ignore the fine print, submitting your application and getting online credit card approval. However, if you do this, make sure that you are completely aware that if you get hit with a nasty surprise about your credit card later on down the road, you have nobody to blame but yourself.

Credit CardsFine Print

There are a number of different factors that are affected by the fine print and understanding these factors will perhaps make you more inclined to read the fine print.

Interest Rates: Information that is vitally important regarding the interest rate of a credit card will be contained within the fine print. Lowest APR credit card advertisements will proudly display a 10% interest rate but when you examine the fine print you will find out that it is indeed an introductory interest rate. After a few months worth of introduction the interest rate will frequently skyrocket to the industry average of around 20% and you’ll be worse off because of it. This is just one example of the important information contained within the fine print that you should really be looking out for. Additionally, interest rates might fluctuate with the market conditions and if they do that here the only place you are going to find out about it is in the fine print.

Fees: Information regarding the fees will also be contained within the fine print. Many people understand the concept of an annual fee and while the annual fee information might be front and center for people to see (especially if they are looking at credit cards with no annual fee) there is going to be information regarding other fees that is going to be contained within the fine print. What does your credit card do when you miss a payment? What does it do when you accidentally make a payment that is less than the minimum? Is there any consequence to going over your credit limit on the credit card? These are questions you should be able to answer about your card before you apply for it and if you are unable to answer these questions then perhaps that more than anything else is an indication that you really need to be reading the fine print. Many credit cards advertise themselves as a no fee credit card; especially make sure you read the fine print on these!

Your personal finances are your own affair and indeed in the game of finance nobody is going to help you except yourself. If you don’t take the time to do the proper amount of research, nobody else is going to do it for you. The information is right there waiting for your perusal. It is contained in small text at the bottom of the page. All the information about the different credit card rewards, interest rates, fees and everything else will be contained within the fine print. As previously mentioned it is your prerogative if you want to skip this section but if you do be prepared to pay for it later on down the road.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
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