Any credit card holder who routinely carries a balance should ensure that a low interest rate is their priority when selecting a credit card. Although credit card interest rates are on the rise again there is still a plethora of excellent zero percent offers available. However the majority are restricted to those applicants who can demonstrate an excellent credit history. Nevertheless it is possible in most instances to find a lower APR by either switching cards, approaching the current issuer or improving ones credit.
In order to obtain the lowest interest rates it pays to work to improve ones credit score. Those who already boast a high score should consider some of the cards available which offer long term zero percent APR’s on purchases and/or balance transfers. Leading card issuers with good offers include Citi Bank, Capital One, Discover, Bank of America and American Express. For those will slightly less stellar credit scores Capital One has some zero percent offers for those with just fair credit although they do levy an annual fee.
Low interest rates make sense for anyone with a balance to pay down. The cost of transferring to a balance transfer card effectively brings the zero percent APR up to around 4% when the balance transfer fee is taken into consideration, but this still gives an excellent opportunity to clear down debt or accrued balances quickly.
Existing card holders also have the option of simply requesting that their current card provider lowers the existing interest rate. Most card issuers will be prepared to do so in order to retain customer loyalty, and a simple telephone call may facilitate a cut in rates. To ensure a positive outcome from this approach it helps if the card holder is aware of any current promotions which the lender is featuring, or is up to date on a rival card issuer’s promotion. It helps to comparison shop online before approaching the lender.
Those who know that their credit has improved since signing up for a card should draw attention to this. Once a rate is lowered it is worth asking for another review six months down the line. If a cardholder is denied a lower interest rate by their existing card issuer it is recommended to try again, at least monthly, as persistence can pay dividends.
If a cardholder’s credit score precludes them from switching to a new low rate card, or the existing card issuer refuses to lower the current rate, attention should be concentrated on improving credit. Establish a solid history of paying on time, reduce credit to debt ratios, and pay more than minimum payments. Preferential interest rates are offered to those who consistently manage their credit cards responsibly. Once a good credit history is established it becomes far easier to gain lower rates.