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What is an Introductory APR Rate?

An introductory APR rate is a rate given by credit card issuers to new customers for a specified period. This rate is low or often 0% and applies to any combination of purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances, as detailed by the issuer.

Introductory rates often have stipulations, and you should always read the Fees, Terms & Conditions provided by the issuer before taking full advantage of the introductory rates. The issuer may review your application and credit history to determine the length of time the introductory rates will apply to you.

An introductory rate on balance transfers helps consumers save money by allowing them to transfer balances from high interest credit cards to the card with the introductory rate. Some issuers only offer this rate if you transfer your balance at the time of your application. Often, introductory rates last as long as you pay at least the minimum payment on time.

Introductory rates apply to any purchases you charge to that card. If the introductory rate is 0%, you do not need to make any minimum payments for as long as the rate is valid. If the introductory rate is more than 0%, then you may need to make at least minimum payments on the card to keep the rate for the specified period.

Creditnet.com now features a new section devoted to cards offering introductory interest rates, letting you compare offers side by side. You can find this new section by clicking on the Credit Cards tab above, then on the 0 percent interest link.