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Bank credit cards: Compare and contrast

There are so many different types of credit cards that you can apply for that it makes it difficult to know which is the best one. With so many banks now offering zero percent balance transfer cards, it can make it harder to know how to compare each one. Here are a few things that you should look out for.

Check the rate on balance transfers

While comparing the percentage rate on balance transfers is something that you need to consider before you apply for a credit card, it’s not the only thing. When looking at the percentage, you should also look at how long the balance transfers are at zero percent. Some will offer an amazing 15-month, but others will only offer six-month. Barclaycard Platinum is able to offer 22-month at zero percent interest on balance transfers. Check the fee for making the transfers However, you also need to consider the fees that are included on those transfers. Most credit transfers are charged for. The Barclaycard Platinum card has a 2.9 percent fee. While this is fairly high, it is definitely not the highest. The Halifax Balance Transfer Credit Card has a 3.5 percent fee, and the transfer period is exactly the same as Barclaycard’s! Around 2.9 percent is the average for many companies, but you may be lucky enough to find one at 2.5%, which is what the Barclaycard Gold Card offers.

Consider the rate for purchases

Not everyone wants to make balance transfers on their card, they’re more interested in the charge for making purchases. Most cards will offer an introductory rate of zero percent for a short period, such as three months. However, the Natwest Platinum Credit Card offers zero percent for six months and the Tesco Clubcard Credit Card has a 15-month introductory offer. Do you gain anything for using the card? There are some that will offer cash for using the card in selected stores. However, you need to make sure that you clear the balance each month, because the interest rates on the credit card will be more than the reward for using it.

The APR is important

The interest that is added onto your payments is something that you should look into. While you may think you’ll pay off the balance before your next statement, there are times that you won’t be able to afford to. Consider after the introductory period While many cards will offer an introductory offer of zero percent APR for purchases and balances, that offer will disappear. The higher the APR, the more interest you’ll pay on the card. Most cards currently have an offer around 15% APR. All the figures mentioned are taken from August 2011, and are subject to change.

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