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0% Offers

Contributed by mm | July 28, 2004 8:13 PM PST

A handy guide from CardWeb on where to find the best 0% APR deals:

Bank 2003 Offer 2004 Offer
1. Citibank          16 months (B)        15 months (B)
2. MBNA              12 months (P+C)      11 months (B+C)
3. Bank One          12 months (P+B)      11 months (P+B)
4. JPM Chase         12 months (P+B)      12 months (B)
5. Discover          11 months (B)        10 months (B)
6. Capital One        6 months (P+B)       6 months (P+B)
7. American Express   6 months (P+B)       6 months (P+B)
8. Bank of America   13 months (P+B)       none
9. Providian         13 months (P)         9 months (B)
10. Fleet            12 months (P+B)      14 months (P)
AVG                  11.3 months          10.4 months
   
B-applies to balance transfers    
P- applies to new purchases    
C- applies to cash advances    

Of course, as 0% offers become more expensive to issuers, the 0% APR period is shortened in most places, and you can rightfully expect some 0% APR deals are not combined with other perks like cashback rewards.

A few more words: if you keep a revolving balance, the value of the 0% APR offer is worth the following to you: B * APR * L / 12 - F, where:

B is the amount of balance you will transfer,
APR is the current APR for the balance,
L is the length of the 0% APR offer in month, and
F is the balance transfer fee associated.

In addition, you may not want to make purchase during the 0% offer period unless the 0% APR offer applies to both purchase and balance transfer, because any payback to the card will be used to reduce 0% APR-related balance first.

If you don't have a balance to transfer (like me), the value of the offer can be much less. I opt for putting the money to a saving account generating 2.15% annual yield for both liquidity and safety of capital.

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