There are credit cards, and there are credit cards - and then again there is a 0 percent APR credit card. You may feel that with 0 percent APR, the credit card companies offering such credit cards need not mention the 0 percent - after all they are not charging anything. In fact, they do. 0 percent APR does not mean that this percentage will last indefinitely - as long as you possess the card. In fact, 0 percent APR has a very limited life, and the sooner you learn about this, the better it will be for you.
0 percent APR credit card is a great marketing technique to draw people like you, interested in acquiring a new credit card, into their fold. Remember, there are no free lunches, and this promotional gimmick works this way:
Often, the 0 percent APR is applicable only to balance transfers. You still have to pay the charges built onto the card. The 0 percent APR credit card is normally available for an introductory period of six months to eighteen months; following that the APR increases significantly. The 0 percent APR lures you into taking cash advances on the card. These are later charged a higher APR. This offer may also come with an annual fee for the privilege – nullifying any gain you may have foreseen.
On the face of it, the promotional offer of a 0 percent APR credit card may work for you, unless you have a credit history not worth mentioning, then you are in deep trouble.
How To Work 0 Percent APR To Your Benefit Credit card issuers use the annual percentage rate (APR) to calculate what interest they should charge you. 0 percent APR means you only repay the amount due, and no interest or any other fee. If they do not charge any interest on a 0 percent APR credit card, what is in it for them?
Such cards are enticements, and the users tend to forget that they are only for a limited time. They get into the habit of charging everything to the card, and continuing doing so, well past the introductory period, which could be anything from 6 months to more than a year.
Once you do that, you realize with a shock that the APR has shot up from 0 percent to, say, 20 percent, in a single billing period! If you want to benefit from using your 0 percent APR credit card without having to pay any interest, do so within the introductory period. Be aware of this period, and stick to it. You can always cancel this card after paying all your dues, well before the period is over, and switch to another card!