It seems that 0% APR credit cards are attracting more and more customers these days. Card ads make their way to email addresses, mailboxes, pigeon holes, magazines and even from household bills. The 0% interest for a few months is very tempting, yet caution must still be exercised when using or even applying for these cards. Some ads can be very misleading, and some are not even credit cards to begin with. So how does the customer protect himself from fraud or from false and misleading advertising? Here are a few smart steps to take to find the best 0% APR card deal:
Check the company that placed the ad
The first thing the customer must do is investigate. Look at the company offering the deal. Is it a legitimate company? Does it have its own website? If so, visit it and take a look around the entire site. Part of the consumer’s responsibility is to check the legitimacy of the company that he will have a future deal with. Before the deal is even looked at, do a company background.
Get referrals and check consumer review
Once you’ve pinned down a company or two, read consumer review on the company. Search the world wide web for forums that talk about the company or their product offers, like the 0% APR credit cards. Consumer review is important, but don’t base your decision solely on them. Some past customers are simply bitter and want to get even. Personal referrals and recommendations from friends and family are much preferred.
Don’t settle for one company
The reason why you’re searching is for you to find the best deal available in the market. Settling for the first five companies that appear in the search engine results will not get you there. It may be a bit tiring and requires a lot of effort on your part. However, once you find the best deal there is, all the efforts would be well worth it.
Check the fine print
Once you’ve found a decent set of companies, it’s time to check the fine print. Call up the companies and ask for details. Check the website and read the brochures and ads entirely. Some 0% APR credit cards are only good for balance transfers from other cards, and sometimes only on new purchases. Since these are also just promotional items, they don’t last long. Check the expiration of the 0% APR, and the new rate after. If the new rate is unreasonable, then the 6-8 months may not be worth the trouble in the long run.
0% APR credit cards, if used wisely, can offer a great convenience to the card holder. Balance transfers can consolidate the balances from his other cards and he ends up paying those without interest and as a lump sum. However, if not used properly, these cards might end up landing the card holder in a serious debt hole. That’s why it’s best to be keen and vigilant, and to investigate before signing up.