I almost made a big mistake because of some small print. I am currently in the market for a credit card with a zero percent interest rate for at least a year with no balance transfer fee. When we landscaped the back yard last year we put it on a card that was zero percent until the end of October. Since that is coming to an end soon I’m looking to move it.

Last night I got an offer that said “0% fixed APR on purchases until January 1, 2010 when you transfer a balance now!” Sweet! January 2010 is perfect, and it also said that there was no balance transfer fee if the balance transfer was done within 30 days of opening the card. I was going to apply for this card and move my $7,800 balance over.

Then this morning I was trying to figure out if I had to do the balance transfer with the application, or if I could wait to be approved and then move it over. But while I was reading I noticed that the 0% is only on purchases and is not the balance transfer at all. The balance transfer would be at 8.99% right from the start. Ouch, not what I’m looking for at all.

The big bold print on the front of the offer seemed so great but you really have to make sure you know what you’re getting into when you deal with credit cards. They have some very “creative” offers. If you’re not 100% comfortable with how to read a credit card offer I wrote a post a few months ago for Jonathan over at Master Your Card that gives a section by section explanation.

pic by: KM

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