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Purchase credit card offers– The 10 Must read Tips for getting the best 0% card offers

Personal_Finance / Credit Cards & Scoring Apr 09, 2008 - 10:19 PM GMT

By: Mike_Gracia


0% on purchases 0% on balance transfers … sounds great – We can't loose can we – Or can we!

We have put together a small list of tips to help consumers get the most from these promotional offers. With this guide, hopefully you will learn how to sieve through the multitude of deals, and get one that's right for you.

  1. It is advisable to clear your current debts before applying for any purchase credit card that has a 0% offer.
  2. These cards serve you the best when you manage to clear the balance by the end of the 0% promotional period. This is effectively an interest free ‘loan' of sorts.
  3. Some of these cards can offer incentives, such as discounts on groceries for example. If you are careful with your spending then you can maximise the benefits you get from this.
  4. It is REALLY important to make sure you know your credit card providers definition of a purchase – Standard card activity and spending usually falls under the 0% offer, but cash withdrawals, gambling online and even purchasing gift tokens MAY NOT be considered as a purchase. CHECK this to avoid a nasty shock!
  5. The main reason most credit card companies give out a 0% on purchases offer is an attempt to entice people to spend more, and thus make money for them in the process. It is often to your benefit however to only make purchases that are necessary. This helps you to be able to clear the balance before the 0% period runs out!
  6. One other important point is that it is advisable NOT to transfer existing balances onto a 0% purchase credit card - even if it also has a 0% offer on balance transfers. This sounds odd, until you realise that any payments you make against these debts are structured in a way that means you will pay off the free debt first. This is usually the balance that you have transferred onto the card... What if you do not manage to pay off that balance within the 0% period? – Usually the debt that is left over may well result in being charged interest of somewhere in the region of 17%. This is know as a Negative Payment Hierarchy, and basically could loose you a lot of money.
  7. One trick that some people find useful in avoiding confusion is to only use their credit card for one type of purchase. Groceries for instance.
  8. Make sure you clear the minimum balance each month at least, if you fail to do this, then you may risk the loss of the promotional period, or, worse still, you could wind up with a reduced credit rating!
  9. For online payments, maybe consider one of the prepaid credit cards?
  10. Research fully into any promotional periods, including the introductory deals, interest rates and what happens if you fail to clear the balance within the promotional period. Consider this even if you think you will be able to clear it. A lot of debt arises from people not planning properly for unforeseen events.

By Mike Gracia

    © 2007-2008 Copyright Mike Gracia / - All Rights Reserved
    Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

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