For a credit based economy like ours, credit cards are nothing short of a lifeline. After all, people do not mind buying in a “purchase today pay tomorrow” format. Credit cards give us a reason to smile but a reason to be sad too. If you use them judiciously, they can ease your liquidity burden a lot. On the other hand, if you use them carelessly, they can increase your revolving debts and throw you into a debt trap. Apart from using credit cards prudently, it is also important to choose them with care.
Zero APR cards and balance transfer credit cards are often believed to be the best. They offer great introductory rates, minimum processing fee and surcharges, and levy lenient late fees if you make your payments late. Balance transfer credit cards allow you to shift all your outstanding balances from other card companies to the new company.
Balance transfers can boost your morale a great deal. This is because they allow you to put all your separate loans into one loan. When the number of debts decreases, a person feels at greater ease. Also, most of the balance transfer credit cards offer an interest free period. If by some means, you can pay the amount within the specified period, the credit card companies do not charge you anything. This is not all; you get loyalty bonuses to retain their services too.
In short, these are advertising techniques to draw the attention of consumers. However, they do not aim to fleece the consumer but help him in his tough financial hours. In general, your new credit card company will benefit you the most by helping you pay off high interest loans, rather than giving you the opportunity to take out new cash advances. Thus, one can conclude that those consumers who do not take cash loans from their cards are likely to benefit most from such cards.
Credit card companies throw a lot of incentives at consumers to attract their attention. An introductory low rate is one such incentive. It allows a consumer to save money, as he does not need to pay the interest amount that he would otherwise have paid. If he can clear the principal balance on his purchases within the specified period of time (clearly mentioned in the introductory plan), the companies do not ask him for any extra amount.
If one remembers the exact expiration dates of the introductory rates, he can keep jumping from one to another to make interest free purchases. A consumer can also choose to put the amount in his savings account and earn interest on the money. He can do a fair bit of saving this way if he pays attention to the introductory rates.