I normally tell all of my readers, family, and friends that if you can’y pay off your credit card bill in full every month, then don’t get a credit card! If only life was so easy and we never missed paying a bill. Unfortunately, the credit card companies make their living and high profit margins off of charging interest and collecting late payment fees. I often encounter students and young individuals who have trouble with their first credit card and run into debt that they can’t afford to pay off. It’s very unfortunate that young adults can hurt their credit scores and run into potential problems when trying to secure a loan finance on a car, a house, or even future credit card approvals. The last thing anyone wants, is to watch their credit card bill rise from $500 to $1,500 with interest rates that can top out at 30-50%! If you find yourself in such a predicament, there are ways to avoid these devastating interest rates and allow yourself plenty of time to pay off your account in a timely and affordable manner.

Balance Transfers:

There are some great credit cards out there that offer an introductory 12-18 month 0% APR financing rate. Note that some cards will charge you a 3% fee on the balance you transfer or $10, whichever is greater. However, a one-time 3% balance fee is a lot better than the potential 20% interest rate you might be incurring every month. Just make sure you pre-approve it with the card issuer and ensure that they will allow you to transfer the balance and receive the 0% APR offer.

If you have an overwhelming balance on your card or you want to apply for a card so you can make a one-time large purchase that you can pay off over the course of a year in installments, then these cards are perfect for you:

Discover it®

Discover it®

      • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months—then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% – 22.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
      • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% – 22.99%.
      • Over 5,000 cardmembers rated 4.8 out of 5 stars* and now Discover “Ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Credit Card Companies in a Tie” by J.D. Power*.
      • 5% cash back for online shopping and department store purchases on up to $1,500 – Oct. through Dec. 2014 when you sign up*. 1% cash back on all other purchases.
      • Free FICO® Credit Score online and on monthly statements*.
      • No annual fee, no late fee for your first late payment – APR won’t go up for paying late, no overlimit fee and no foreign transaction fee*.
      • Each Discover purchase is monitored. If it’s unusual, you’re alerted by e-mail, phone or text-and never responsible for unauthorized Discover card purchases.
      • *+See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score terms and other info by clicking “Apply.”

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The Discover it® is a great first card for those looking to build credit and eventually show credit card companies like Chase, American Express, Barclays, and Citi that they have a credit card that they pay off monthly and show that you are improving your credit score. Discover also shows you your FICO score for free on your monthly statement to help you monitor your credit growth and make sure you learn the intricacies of what makes up your credit score.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
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    • Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that’s enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit
    • 0% intr APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR currently 14.99% or 18.99%, depending on your creditworthiness.
    • Earn 2X miles on all purchases – Miles don’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
    • Chip card for increased confidence and convenience to pay abroad as easily as you do at home
    • Redeem your miles for travel statement credits – redemptions start at 2,500 miles for $25 toward travel purchases made in the last 120 days
    • Get 10% miles back to use toward your next redemption every time you redeem for travel statement credits
    • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
    • Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers
Purchases Balance Transfers Regular APR Annual Fee Credit Needed
Intro APR Intro Period Intro APR Intro Period
N/A N/A N/A N/A 14.99% or 18.99%* (Variable) $89 – Waived first year Excellent Credit

If you’re looking for a card that also offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, while at the same time earning valuable points that can be redeemed for free travel, and on top of all of that you also get free access to your FICO score, then the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard is a great card for anyone to have.

If you’re not interested in owning an annual fee card but want the same perks as the Arrival card, then consider the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard no annual fee credit card shown below.

 

Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®
Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®
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    • Earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that’s enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit
    • 0% intro APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR currently 14.99% or 18.99%, depending on your creditworthiness.
    • Earn 2X miles on travel and dining and 1X miles on all other purchases
    • Miles don’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
    • Book the travel you want — airfare, hotels, cruises and more and earn miles on your purchase
    • Get 10% miles back to use toward your next redemption every time you redeem for travel statement credits
    • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
    • Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers
Purchases Balance Transfers Regular APR Annual Fee Credit Needed
Intro APR Intro Period Intro APR Intro Period
0% 12 months 0% 12 months 14.99% or 18.99%* (Variable) $0 Excellent Credit

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 10.54.54 AMThe last card I would like to mention that is really fantastic for balance transfers and a 15 month introductory 0% APR period, is the Chase Slate card. There is no charge if you transfer your balance from another card to the Slate card within 60 days of opening the card. The only issue is that the average credit score accepted for this card is a 730 which might mean it’s not a great first card to get.

  • Pay less interest. Save on balances and new purchases
  • $0 balance transfer fee – introductory offer!
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • No Annual Fee

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If you have a great credit score and need a card to just pay off your expenses over a 15 month period, then this card is great for you. Otherwise, I highly recommend the Barclay Arrival cards for the 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers, as well as the ability to redeem points for free travel and earn points at an accelerated rate. The Discover card is perfect for credit building and preparing yourself for some of the bigger and more valuable travel reward cards while enjoying a similar introductory offer with up to 14 months 0% APR. Lastly, the Chase Slate is perfect for balance transfers and giving yourself time to pay off your credit statement over a 15 month period. Don’t keep putting yourself in debt when you can apply for one of these cards today and save yourself a bunch of money!