Save money with a low-interest credit card
Rising inflation has put pressure on family finances driving up the price of everything from groceries to utility bills to a tank of gas. Cash-strapped families are taking a close look at their spending habits in search of pennies to pinch. One big opportunity? Credit card debt.
One way to fight inflation is by paying off your credit card balances, but not everyone can do that. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who is carrying a credit card balance, now is a good time to examine the interest rates and fees you pay on your cards and look for ways to lower those.
When comparing credit cards, it’s important to compare the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on each card, not the periodic interest rate. Both may be listed on the monthly statement and in advertising, but only the APR is a true apples-to-apples comparison.
To make matters more confusing, many credit cards have multiple APRs. There may be one for purchases, another one for balance transfers, and yet another for cash advances. Figuring out how much you’re actually paying in interest on one of these cards can be frustrating, but it’s worth the effort to try. Understanding how APRs work is important to developing a complete picture of your card options. The more knowledge you have, the better you’ll be at comparing credit cards and evaluating which is best for you.
APRs represent only one aspect of making informed decisions about credit cards. You should also consider the fees and penalties on each card. Typical credit card fees include the following:
- Annual fee—A yearly charge for having the card.
- Balance transfer fee—A fee many card issuers charge to transfer your balances, typically 3-5%.
- Cash advance fee—A service charge you pay when you use your credit card to get cash. It could be a percentage of the cash advance amount or a flat fee.
- Penalty interest rate—A usually very high interest rate charged when a borrower violates the card’s terms and conditions; for example, they are late making a monthly payment.
- Introductory APR—A very low, short term APR offered to entice a borrower to apply for the card and/or transfer balances to it. When the term is up, the APR will rise to the card’s current rate. If the borrower violates the card’s terms and conditions, perhaps by making a late payment, the penalty interest rate will replace the introductory rate.
With multiple APRs, and looming penalties and pitfalls, who could blame you if you threw up your hands in frustration and settled for the card you have instead of looking for a better one?
It doesn’t have to be that way. Oregon State Credit Union’s Visa® Value and Visa® Rewards credit cards are a great choice for anyone looking for a card with a lower APR, and low-to-no fees and penalties. Our cards have:
- No balance transfer fee
- No cash advance fee
- No penalty interest rate
- The same interest rate for cash advances as for purchases
- No temporary intro rates
- No annual fee on Visa Value cards, and low-to-no annual fee on Visa Rewards cards depending on Member Merits membership category
You’ll pay just one, affordable APR for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. Not paying all those other fees and penalties could potentially save you hundreds of dollars a year. It’s worth your time to compare your current credit card to an Oregon State Credit Union Visa card to explore how much you could be saving. Learn more, then apply online or drop by your local branch to start saving.