For many people searching for a new credit card online, the annual interest rate, or APR seems to be the only important factor, and many will only check out low interest credit cards before making an online credit card application.
Credit card issuers also tend to advertise the low interest rate credit card more that any other kind of card.
But should low interest credit cards be the only ones on your list when searching for the best credit card deal to suit your personal requirements? Probably not. APR is not the only thing to look for when choosing your ideal credit card.
It may help if we start by understanding exactly what an APR (annual percentage rate) is and where its relevance lies. APR is quite simply the interest rate used by the issuer to calculate interest on the balance of your credit card account. This interest is then added to your monthly statement to form your new balance. Therefore a low interest credit card account would have less interest charges applied to it at the end of each monthly period, hence its popularity.
However, there are those who donýt really require low interest rate credit cards. This group are those who, for the most part will use their credit card in much the same way as a charge card, paying the full balance on the account on the due date each month. Remember that there are no interest charges added to your credit card account if you make the full balance on your statement by the due date. So it would make no difference what interest rate was applied if you were to use it in this manner. Therefore a low interest rate credit card would not be such an good deal to this group of card holders. These individuals are much more likely to be attracted by other card offers such as cash rewards or air miles rewards credit cards.
A low interest rate credit card will definitely help to slow down the rate at which your credit card debt builds up. Thus low interest credit cards are more appealing to a particular group of people, who are confident only in making part payments on their card account balance each month.
Another group of credit card applicants in search of low interest rate credit cards would be those people who are wanting to consolidate their total debt from one or more other cards onto a new credit card. In this instance a low interest rate credit card may be much more desirable, as they would typically be looking to reduce their monthly commitment, and it would make little sense to transfer the debt to a credit card with a higher interest rate attached to it.
So the need for low interest rate credit cards is felt more by a particular group of credit card holders. However, it is worth remembering that a low interest rate credit card is generally offered only to applicants who have maintained a good credit rating. Obviously the card issuers will make less profit from card holders with a low interest credit card, which means that the risks involved will be increased. This is the main reason why credit card issuers will usually only offer a low interest credit card to card holders with a proven track record in credit repayment.
Once you have made the decision that a low interest rate credit card would be more likely to suit your personal requirements, you will then need to take time to compare the other benefits offered along with these cards. Low interest rate credit cards are mainly split into two categories. There are the low interest credit cards which will often offer APRs of less than 8% on purchases. And, for cash advances the low interest credit card will often offer APRs of 10% or less. Then there are certain rewards programs attached to some cards which offer cash back rewards on all purchases, gas or even office supplies. Cash rebates are usually automatically credited to the cardholder’s statement each month, and there is no limit to the amount of cash rebate that can be earned.
There is one thing you must always do regardless of which low interest credit card you choose to apply for. Read and make sure you understand the small print with regard to the contract you will be asked to sign once your application has been accepted. Be aware not only of the interest rate (APR) attached to the low interest credit cards you may be considering, but for how long will this lower interest rate continue. Is it likely to rise to a higher rate after a given period of time? A variable rate card is often offered with a low introductory rate, but this rate can increase at any point in time. You must keep in mind that the APR is actually where the credit card company earns their profit. If they were to continue offering card holders an extremely low APR indefinitely, the chances are they would not stay in business for too long.
Remember, it is definitely worthwhile your effort in researching the various credit card options available, taking advantage of website comparison charts etc. Should you choose a low interest credit card, do the math and choose well. After all, it’s not every day you go searching for a credit card.