Unfortunately, some offers that sound too good to be true probably are. The amazing benefits you see in the bold lettering aren’t always what you get once you understand the fine print.
To sort out the credit card deals from duds, take a closer look before you apply. Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson shows us some of the tricks of the trade for cutting through the credit card hype.
Here’s more detail on tricks of the credit card trade …
1. Rates that aren’t guaranteed
One of the big draws of new credit cards: a low interest rate. But what you might not notice are the subtle caveats to that prominently shown special rate. Some offers will have “as low as” printed in small letters in front of the APR. You might also see asterisks and superscripts that refer you to the fine print, where the text explains the best interest rate is available only to applicants with the best credit. In other words, the rate they’re using to lure you in isn’t necessarily the one you’ll get.
The best defense? Read the fine print, especially the “Rates and Disclosures” information. It’s not exciting, but it will reveal what, if anything, is actually guaranteed. Banks are legally required to furnish this information in the easy-to-read format shown on the Federal Reserve’s website. And if you’re uncomfortable applying for a card when you have no idea what the ultimate rate will be, don’t.