Finding the best credit card offers can be a little harder than simply looking at the top of the comparison table
Whether it’s a great 0% balance transfer credit card offer or a credit card with 0% interest on purchases, the deal is not always guaranteed.
Credit card providers are not just looking at your credit report, but also assessing your suitability as a customer who will generate more money for them – they are a business after all.
This ultimately means that the best credit card offers being advertised may not be the right one for you. Continue reading our guide to learn more about comparing credit cards and finding the best credit card deal for you.
Are the best credit card offers for real?
Some of the best buys in credit card comparison tables include 0% on balance transfers and 0% on purchases for two years – sometimes longer.
Credit card companies can advertise their offer as being 30 months 0% on balance transfers, even though many customers who apply and are accepted will not get the full 30 months. See how much you could save with our repayment calculator:
In some cases customers who are approved for such credit cards may only get half of the advertised offer length or, even less!
The same goes for a credit card offering purchases for a long period.
Just because it says you’ll get 18 months 0% interest on purchases, that doesn’t mean that in the event you are approved for the credit card, you’ll also be approved for the full 18 months offer. Continue reading to find out how to get the best credit card offers for you.
How do I get the best credit card offers?
There is no guarantee that you will get the best credit card offers even if you do have an excellent credit history.
If you don’t have the best credit score, then the deals at the top of the credit card table are likely to be out of reach.
In truth there is no way of knowing absolutely which credit card you will be approved for until you actually apply.
The best credit card offers are usually only as good as they say they are if you plan to make full use of them
Similarly, there is now way of knowing absolutely whether or not you will get the full length of the purchases or balance transfer credit card offer.
Credit card companies are also weighing up your suitability as a customer, not just as someone who is borrowing from them.
If you regularly pay your credit card bills on time and never pay any interest, they may like that you have a good credit history, but may not like the fact that you’re unlikely to give them any extra profit from interest repayments.
Likewise, if you have a bad credit history, then they may not want to take on the risk of you potentially committing fraud or defaulting on payments.
It often comes down to what type of customer they want, but having a good credit history can help your chances, nonetheless.
So what can you do?
The options for consumers are fairly limited as the final say comes from the provider.
However, having a good credit score is always going to tip the likelihood of you getting the best credit card offer possible in your favour.
Do check your credit report before you apply for a new credit card to get a clear view of what the lender will see when making a decision.
Use the table below to compare paid-for and free credit reports:
It’s also wise to look at the whole credit card table, not just the credit cards at the top of it.
They’re often arranged by the lowest APR, longest balance transfer offers or longest 0% offer on purchases, but in all of these cases, the final deal advertised is never guaranteed.
The cards lower down the table with higher APR, shorter balance transfer offers and shorter interest-free periods may be better suited to you if you do not have a perfect credit score.
You may also find more relevant features for you and ultimately, the best credit card is the one that satisfies your criteria, not necessarily the one with the best deal or longest offer.
Credit card offers fine print
Although it won’t be advertised in the same large size font as the 0% interest deal, all credit card offers will say somewhere along the application process that the terms of the deal are ‘subject to application and status’.
They will also say that the terms of the offer may change or be taken away completely.
The credit card provider reserves the right to do so, and if you fail to make a payment on time, they will almost certainly take away the deal they offered you.
Some balance transfer credit card offers include a refund of a percentage of the balance transfer fee, but this is often subject to you making regular repayments and not missing a single one.
This is reasonable enough, but it can often get missed by people who were too busy looking at the headline offer.
When looking at all your options and considering the best credit card offers, it is worth reminding yourself that the terms of the offer can always change even if you are accepted.
Do I need the best credit card offers?
It’s also worth considering whether or not you need your offer to be as long as the headline rate.
If you can pay off your debts in 12 months, do you need 30 months 0% on balance transfers? Lower your risk of rejection and, at the same time, avoid applying for credit cards that you won’t actually make full use of.
If you know you can pay off your credit card balance in full each month, do you need the lowest APR credit card?
The point being that the best credit card offers are only as good as you will make them. If you won’t use them to the full, then they’re no better than the so-called lesser offers.
Follow the link below to use our free credit card comparison tool for balance transfer credit cards.
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