Understanding Credit Card Terms

By: Devin Gilliland

When it comes to getting a , what may appear to be the best option at first may not work out like you expect. That is why getting your head around the industry jargon and terminology can put you in a better position to work out what will be the best deal for you. Before you choose to use a credit card service, we advise customers that they should initially project how much they are going to spend and how they are going to pay it back, they should then use that information to calculate what service provider will charge the least for financing their purchases. You may be surprised to learn that the provider you initially thought to be the cheapest, may not be when you analyze the finer details of their terms and conditions.

Interest Free Period

An Interest Free Period relates to the amount of time when the APR will be zero. This is more often used as a means of attracting new customers, but will almost certainly only apply to a limited period of your contract. Please also note that it is unlikely and uncommon that this will apply to cash withdrawals.

Introductory Rates (Specials/ Introductory Deals)

Should you be offered a special introductory rate then this means that the rate does not apply for the lifetime of your contract with the service provider. They may offer an introductory rate of 0% APR but this is merely to make you reliant on their service, however watch out because they may charge for other elements such as cash withdrawal. Please note that a wise credit card user may make use of an introductory offer to their advantage.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The amount of additional money you will pay per year on the amount that you borrowed. If for example you borrow $1000 over 1 year, then you will pay an additional $100 if the APR is 10%.

Transfer Rate or Balance Transfer Rate

This is the rate that a credit card provider will charge to clear your existing debt (in whole or in part) if you move your debt to their service. This can often provide advantages for customers because the credit card provider is willing to invest a large amount of money to attain a new customer.

Minimum Repayment

Minimum Credit Card Repayment relates to the minimum amount of your debt that you will have to pay back at the end of each month. This is often in the region of around 4% of your total debt, so therefore although you may not be able to pay all your debt off at the end of the month, please ensure that you are able to pay at least 4% before you complete a purchase.

Rewards and Cashback

This is a system offered by some providers that reward those who choose to spend money using their card. This can sometimes be in the form of Cashback which means that you may get actual cash to spend, or in some cases your cash may be given in the form of a reward where your money will be tied to a particular retailer or given in the form of a gift for example.

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