Check the APR
The APR helps you understand how much it could cost you to use the card. The APR rate is one way to compare how much using a credit card will cost. So if the APR on a card is 17 per cent and you spend £1,000 on it, the interest and charges will mean that you are spending £170 on top of your debt. In the end, then, you will be paying back £1,170. Don’t forget there are other types of fees to take into account such as balance transfer fees or late payment charges.
Our credit cards page shows you the main eight kinds of credit cards. Let’s look at each of these in turn.
The first kind are known as zero percent balance transfer credit cards. They could be useful if you have a credit card already and are being charged a lot of interest on the balance that’s outstanding. Once you’ve done your zero percent balance transfers the new card will not charge you interest on the amount you transfer for a set period of time, say 12 or 24 months. However, it’s worth noting that most cards will have a balance transfer fee that will be applied when you move the balance over.
There’s a second sort of zero percent credit card, which won’t charge you interest on what you spend for a set amount of time. After that point you will start being charged interest, so if you do run up a debt on the card it could become expensive.
Other zero rate credit cards may offer you both of those things – zero percent balance transfers and also offering zero interest on your spending. You need to check the details carefully so that you know exactly how long the offers last for, and there may be other terms and conditions.