Are 0 Percent APR Offers Even Worth It Anymore?

If there was one offer that we just can’t seem to resist when it comes to credit cards, it’s definitely those zero APR cards. In essence, it sounds like a good plan — you sign up for the card, you have the right to charge purchases without having to worry about that pesky interest. In short, you’re getting borrowing privileges for free. A lot of people like this, because they’ve probably been thinking about a large purchase that they’ve always wanted to make but just couldn’t find the time to set aside the money. Now, with a zero APR card, you don’t have to. Sounds great, right!

Right…until you start looking at that fine print. The fine print usually always kills the party, because it’s way too difficult fir the credit card companies to just give you a straight deal. It seems like everything has to be done in a way that really doesn’t move you forward, which is really a shame.

However, there are things that you can do in order to really make sure that you get the best deal possible.

First and foremost, having the right credit score is a must. You might think that you would be a shoo in for a great rate, only to find that the credit card company has decided that changes in your credit report indicate that you won’t be able to qualify for that zero percent rate anymore. Unless you’re checking your credit score every month, you won’t notice these changes until it’s too late — and you have to apply for a card, of course.

That’s when it gets tricky. You might think that the practice of changing things around after you’ve gotten all excited is illegal, but it’s not — subject to credit approval is the final word here. You might be able to make soft appeals if you really feel that you deserve the card, but the credit card company isn’t obliged to fulfill your request — the final word rests with them, not you. The only recourse that you really have is to take action and see what you can do.

On the plus side, if you qualify for the credit card with no interest rate, you really do have zero interest due within what’s usually known as the intro rate. The first six months to a year of owning the card you usually won’t have to pay anything. It’s usually what happens after that sweetheart time is up that makes consumers mad. They think that they beautiful interest rate that they enjoyed would be there when the card adjusts and that’s simply not the case.

Now, you might think that you want to use that initial period for a balance transfer, and that’s what a lot of people do. However, it might not be your best choice, either. You will still need to make sure that you really look at all of your options — you might have to pay a big balance transfer fee, and that could wipe out any savings that you can expect to receive.

No matter what you do, you definitely want to make sure that you pay all of your credit cards and other debts on time, every time while you have the card. There is a universal default that kicks in — that means that you will be at risk for a credit card interest rate hike if you default on any of your bills. This is something that throws people off guard — especially when they realize that they’ve been paying their new zero percent APR credit card off every month — the default rate can be pretty high, and it makes the card not worth having otherwise. If it’s the first time and your credit history is pretty spotless, you might be able to negotiate for better terms. However, if you’re like most of us with credit problems, universal default is pretty problematic.

Overall, there are plenty of different things that you’re going to have to think about when you try to figure out whether or not zero percent PAR card offers are worth it or not, but this guide should help get you back on track!