June 19, 2024

Bucks Blog: No-Interest Card Offers Making a Comeback

Recently, I got something in the mail that I haven’t seen in awhile: an offer of a credit card with a zero percent introductory rate that stretched for 18 months — for both new purchases and balance transfers.

Apparently, I’m not alone. In fact, if you have a strong credit rating and are in the market for a new card — or perhaps have a big purchase you want to pay off over time, with no interest costs — now may be the time to consider applying for one.

Odysseas Papadimitriou, chief executive of the credit card site Cardhub.com, says in his quarterly card report that in the aftermath of the recent recession, card companies are competing heavily for customers who have excellent credit.

Consumers with good credit can benefit from more generous introductory offers, including longer zero percent interest periods for both purchases and balance transfers, lower regular interest rates and higher initial cash-back offers.

For instance, the average zero percent introductory rate for transfers now remains in effect for more than 10 months — or about 2 percent longer than at the end of last year.

Of course, you have to weigh the impact on your credit score of opening another credit card. And balance transfer fees haven’t gone away; they still average about 3 percent unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2012.

Card delinquency rates have fallen as the economy has stabilized, and this has allowed card issuers to pass along savings to the strongest customers, he said.

More details are included in CardHub’s first quarter 2013 Credit Card Landscape Report, which surveys interest rates, rewards and fees in the credit card market.

Have you receive any zero percent offers recently? Are you considering applying for them?

A version of this article appeared in print on 04/27/2013, on page B4 of the NewYork edition with the headline: Credit Cards
Offering 0%.

Article source: http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/22/no-interest-card-offers-making-a-comeback/?partner=rss&emc=rss

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