Know Your Credit Card’s Introductory Offers
by Dan on July 3, 2012
Credit card issuers know how to entice consumers into getting a shiny new plastic: great deals and offers and irresistible discounts. Most of these are introductory offers that are valid only during a limited time. And there are some that offers a little bit of extra to new cardholders. Want to get the best rewards? It’s simple. Shop around before you decide which card to apply for and make sure you understand the type of introductory offers available. Below are some of them.
0% or Low Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
This is by far the most common limited-time feature credit card issuers offer. Every card has an APR or the rate at which you’re required to pay for using the credit card. Ask the issuer how the APR is calculated (daily, monthly, or annually), which items the APR applies to (new purchases or balance transfers), and how long is the offer valid (3 months, 6 months, or full 12 months).
Intro APRs are often written in bold noticeable letters but pay attention to the small asterisks appended to it. You’ll mostly likely find that the offer comes with a set of conditions. Read the fine print to determine what they are and how much you’ll pay once the regular APR kicks in.
Additional Rewards Points
Rewards credit cards offer special introductory offers to the avid shopper, the frequent traveler, and the high life connoisseur. There are often a bulk of conditions cardholders have to satisfy before they can get the bonus offers. Issuers, for instance, may require them to charge a sizable amount of money before they earn the extra rewards.
Waived or Discounted Annual Fee
Cards that don’t offer zero or low intro APRs still lets you save money through waived or discounted annual fee instead. Like APRs, introductory annual fees are often waived in the 12 full months. Once the offer period is through, you can still negotiate to have your annual fees waived by calling your card issuer. Tell them that you spend enough with your credit card to justify the zero annual fee.