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Low interest credit cards: Features and benefits.
Choose from a variety of great low interest credit cards. Below is a table detailing some of the features and benefits of our most popular low interest credit cards this year. Remember: before you can find the right card, you need to figure out how you're going to use it.
As you can see above, some cards offer low interest rates for a limited time and some offer them permanently. How long will you be keeping your card?
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What are low interest credit cards, exactly?
Not all credit cards charge high interest rates. In fact, we created a category dedicated to nothing but low interest cards. If you carry a balance, a low interest card will save you a bundle on interest charges. It will also help you pay off your principal amount quicker than you would with a regular credit card.
How do low interest credit cards work?
Unlike regular credit cards, low interest cards charge very low interest rates on your monthly balances. Many low interest credit cards offer APRs (annual percentage rates) well below 10%. And whether you're booking a flight, buying a gift, or shopping online, there's nothing better than knowing you'll be paying a reasonable rate of interest if you carry a balance.
What's the interest rate on a typical low interest card?
The rates on low interest credit cards can vary a lot. They usually range from 2% to 12%. Cards with the lowest rate often only offer that rate for a limited period of time, so check the details of the card you're interested in before you apply.
Who should get a low interest credit card?
Anyone who runs monthly balances or wants a basic card. Low interest cards bring obvious benefits to cardholders who don't pay off their credit card balances every month. In other words, you can save a lot of money in interest charges with a low interest credit card. In fact, credit agency TransUnion said Canadian credit card debt averaged $3,745 per person in the third quarter of 2015, which suggests that many Canadians could benefit from lower credit card interest rates.
Low interest credit cards are also a great option if you're looking for a basic, no frills card that doesn't come with rewards points or fancy specialty programs. Many credit card experts say rewards programs actually encourage consumers to spend more money than they should anyway. But with a low interest card, you can stay focused on the dollars and cents rather than fixating on the perks, like free vacations or bonus rewards.
Can anyone get approved for a low interest credit card?
No. You need a decent credit score to get a low interest credit card. Most credit card companies view the low rates on these cards as premium offerings, so they generally don't issue them to consumers with damaged credit.
But don't let this discourage you from applying for a low interest credit card. As long as you've paid your bills on time and succeeded in avoiding late or skipped payments, you have a good chance of being approved.
What should I watch out for on a low interest credit card?
Some low interest credit cards only offer great rates for a limited time or under certain conditions. Then the interest rates reset to much higher rates. If a card's low interest period is offered for a limited time (maybe just a few months) or is contingent on a certain amount of purchases every billing cycle, it might not be the right card for you.
The best low interest credit cards usually offer their lowest rates for at least 6 months. Some offer them for a year or longer.
How do I choose between low interest credit cards?
Start with comparing the interest rates offered on each credit card. As you might imagine, low interest credit cards offer competitive rates. For example, we offer cards with rates as low as 7.99%.
Then figure out how long the low interest period is for each of the cards you're considering. Does the low interest period last for 6 months? Maybe 12? Or is it permanent?
Next, make sure the card doesn't require you to meet special conditions, like a minimum monthly spend, before your balances are eligible for the lowest rate. Avoid these credit cards unless their other perks are too good to pass up.
Finally, check if there are annual fees on any of the cards you're comparing. Low interest cards tend to target budget-minded consumers, so they usually don't have an annual fee.
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