Believe it or not, 0% APR credit cards aren’t for everyone. In fact, there are three main situations in which using a 0% card is probably a bad idea.
If you always pay your monthly bill in full. You’ll save more money with one of the market’s best rewards credit cards if you don’t plan to carry a balance from month to month. And even if you do need a 0% credit card for big-ticket purchases that will take longer than a month to repay, you should still have a rewards card for everyday spending.
If you’ll spend more than you would otherwise. Spending can easily get out of hand without interest to worry about. But remember, you have to pay your full balance at some point. And if you do spend more than you can afford to repay before regular rates take effect, interest charges will quickly erase any prior savings.
If it’s a 0% store credit card. All of the major store credit cards with 0% intro rates use a dangerous feature called deferred interest, according to a 2016 WalletHub study. Deferred interest means that if you’re late with a monthly bill payment or you fail to repay your full balance during the 0% intro period, interest will retroactively apply to your entire original purchase amount at the card’s regular rate – like the 0% offer never existed.
Finally, it’s worth noting that you might not even be able to get a 0% credit card if you have fair, limited or bad credit. So checking your credit score for free on WalletHub is one of the steps in determining whether a 0% APR is in the cards.
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