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Reader Question: I signed up for a 0% rate credit card but was charged interest. What gives?
Posted By Ron On October 5, 2011 @ 1:34 AM In Credit,Reader Questions,Tips & Techniques | Comments Disabled
Be aware of the differences in zero percent credit card offers so you aren’t disappointed when you get your first bill.
I received this email question in my inbox from a reader named Colin:
I was approved for a car at an introductory rate of zero percent but after I transferred my balance, my first bill showed that I was charged interest. What gives? Is this a scam of some sort?
No, Colin, it probably isn’t a scam as long as you’ve applied with a reputable and well-known card issuer like Discover  or American Express. Credit card  issuers often charge different interest rates on different programs. You could have one rate for a balance transfer, another for purchases and even a third for cash advances. The advertisement you responded to may have been for new purchases rather than balance transfers. Unless the card you applied for actually advertised a zero percent balance transfer, you may be stuck with it unless you wish to change cards. Even if that WAS the offer you saw, it’s always a good idea to read the offer from front to back, top to bottom to make certain you’re clear. Fine print, though it’s grown in size recently, is still dizzyingly complex and a sheer bore to read.