Sneaky Costs Hidden In 0% Credit Card Offers
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) says some credit card companies are luring consumers with 0 percent or low-interest offers for specific purchases or balance transfers, then hitting them with surprise interest charges.
When you get offers for balance transfers, deferred-interest offers or convenience checks, read the fine print carefully.
You may find that while you don’t pay a fee for the balance transfer or purchase, you could accrue other charges.
If you accept a special offer, some credit card companies will start charging you interest on all your new purchases. That means you lose the interest-free “grace period” you enjoy when you pay off your balance by the due date each month.
“The only way for these consumers to avoid interest charges on new purchases made with this credit card is to pay off their whole statement balance, including the promotional balance and the new purchases, by their monthly billing due date,” CFPB officials explained.
More Credit Card Tips From CFPB
Avoid The Interest
If you carry a balance, you can still take advantage of promotional rates and avoid unexpected interest by not making new purchases with the card until you pay off the entire balance.
Make Payments On Time
If you make payments late, your interest rate may rise.
Shop For The Best Rate
Carrying a balance on all your credit cards? Compare the interest rates among your cards to find the best deal for new purchases.
Need help getting your credit in order? Let me know and I'll refer you to a loan officer who can take a look at where you are and make recommendations for improving your credit score.