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Zero Interest Credit Cards Explained

Zero per cent cards and Zero per cent balance transfer offers are good ways to reduce the burden of debt. With a zero per cent interest rate card, obviously the big attraction is being able to borrow cash for free. This means you can finance that brand new flat screen for no charge whatsoever. You should be aware however that such deals are for a limited time only usually approximately six months, so you should pay off as much debt as possible before the offer expires. This means if you spend $3000 on a television, make sure it is paid off at the end of 6 months.

Zero per cent balance transfer deals in contrast allow you to pay off existing debt rather than racking up new debt that is free of charge. The basic principle of a zero per cent balance transfer is that the credit card company allows new customers to transfer outstanding balance onto the new credit card and charges the customer zero per cent on the balance transferred. In theory if you are disciplined, you can pay down debt for the duration of the offer period without incurring additional interest rate charges.

This sounds great, but you should remember that zero per cent deals are usually for a limited time only, so you need to be aware how long the offer is for and pay as much of the outstanding debt as possible before the offer period expires, otherwise the rate gets hiked and interest starts accruing and your debt will increase quickly. This is true for both zero per cent interest rate cards, and zero per cent balance transfer deals. Also be aware that there is typically a 3 per cent charge on balances transferred so if you do take up a balance transfers offer, it is not completely free of charge.

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