I collect the credit card offers that land in my mailbox. You might think that is nuts, but I am always researching the latest come-on that my clients may be tricked into applying for, especially if they are looking for some debt relief.
Here is the latest one, no names mentioned. Just glance quickly at the overall message and get a sense of what you think they are offering. And then answer this question.
Is this offer a trick or treat?
It is designed to look like a spectacular long term 0% interest offer. Most people actively engaged in money management and seeking debt relief automatically assume they can get this 0% deal on a balance transfer from another high interest card.
But look again, read the fine print like I always do, and here is what the offer is really saying.
The 0% is NOT for balances transferred, but is for PURCHASES made on the card which adds to your debt. The interest rate on the balance transfer is 8.99% compounded daily, plus a hefty 3% charge for transferring the balance.
Read even further and you learn that the new debt you are carrying at 0% interest (the new purchases) must be paid off first, before they will apply any portion of the payment to the balance transfer at 8.99%. And of course, they always apply your payment to any finance charges first before applying what is left to reducing the principal. No debt relief there!
My opinion is that this is another cleverly worded offer, presented in a way that makes it appear that you are getting a great interest free, long-term loan. Just another trick to hook the consumer who didn’t bother to understand what is clearly stated in the credit card offer when you read what is actually there.
Successful money management includes understanding the correct actions to take with your money. Educate yourself by reading the fine print on all documents that concern your money so you clearly understand what they mean before taking action.
Sandra Simmons, President of Money Management Solutions, has years of experience helping business owners and individuals manage their money to achieve financial freedom.
Debt Relief: Is This Credit Card Offer A Trick or Treat?