Winning The Credit-Card Game

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Winning The Credit Card Game


Some banks are eliminating the standard 25 or 30-day grace period
within which you may pay your bill within being charged interest. This is the
normal grace period before interest kicks in. But this is slowly changing.
For example, some banks are offering extremely low fixed rates, but without a
grace period. These cards will charge you interest from the date it processes
your charge slip.

If you usually pay your bills in full within the normal grace period,
it is best you avoid no-grace-period cards. The 25 or 30-day grace period is
more financially significant for you than a lower interest rate. However, if
you carry a balance each month, you're better off with a lower interest rate.
In this case, a lower interest rate can save you more money than a grace
period would.

Most banks and thrifts charge interest from the day they process your
charge slip when you use your card to get cash. In addition to this, some
cards are now assessing cash advanced service charges based on a percentage
of the amount received. It used to be that service charges were based on a
fixed fee, regardless of the amount of transaction.

If you avoid interest charges by paying off your bill each month, seek
out a card that offer very low interest rates plus a grace period on
purchases. Some institutions periodically offer cards with no fee for the
first year as a promotion.

Don't be lulled into getting "premium" credit cards such as
"gold cards" and Premier VISA. The only significant premium with
these cards is the extra amount you pay in higher annual service fees.
Besides the fancy finish of the card, the only other benefits you get with
premium cards are travel insurance and the extra protection if your card is
lost or stolen. Since by law, you are only liable for up to $50 if your
regular credit cards are lost or stolen, the zero liability you are getting
from premium cards is hardly worth the extra money.

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