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WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN THE SMALL PRINT OF A CREDIT CARD OFFER

You know the feeling. Your mailbox sees more credit card solicitations than you saw well wishes from family and friends during the Holidays.  Many offers look good and tempt you to take the bait, especially if you have a mountain of bills starting the New Year.  But before you’re reeled in by an offer that is too good to be true, find truth in the small print.  Here are some things to look for:


 

  • Grace Period
    – your grace period is an important consideration. This essentially lets you know how many days past your bill’s due date you have before you incurr late charges. Grace periods can be as little as a few minutes and as much as weeks.  Many cards have non-existent grace periods.  Carolina Foothills VISA offers our members a 25-day grace period. Although timely payments are expected, the grace period simply builds a cushion for our members.
     
  • Annual Fee
    – is collected by some card companies for the privilege of carrying that card or for the perks the card offers. Some cards offer the first year with no annual fee; but with fees accruing thereafter.  Not Carolina Foothills’ VISA card.  It’s our privilege to service your financial needs, so there’s no annual fee with our card.
     
  • Annual Percentage Rate
    - the annual percentage rate you pay on your purchases is one of the most vital points to review. You will find that rate disclosed inside a box, called a Schumer Box, on the solicitation paperwork. Note the rate and compare it to your current card. Also, note if the rate is variable and what terms the rate is likely to vary. Some cards have a fixed rate. But review that rate to know if it’s only fixed for a certain period of time. If the rate is introductory, say 0.00%, find what the rate will be after the introductory period and its likelihood and frequency of changing after the introductory period. With our VISA, we offer fixed rates and seldom offer introductory rates. So you’ll know the rate you sign up for the day you open your card will remain the same, period.
  • Balance Transfers – is the reason why many folks close one card and open a new card. Transferring balances from card to card to lower an interest rate is attractive. If that is your plan, look at the small print to ensure that the card company isn’t going to charge you a fee for transferring outstanding balances from another card. So, how about our card? Carolina Foothills does not charge a fee for balance transfers.
     
  • Reward Points
    – rewards are the latest gimmick in getting your credit card business.
    Cards now offer everything from flyer miles to points toward major vacations to purchasing items in the credit card’s catalogue of products. This sounds good, but be careful that the points you are accruing don’t have an expiration date or don’t expire at alternate times depending on when you earned them.  Having a Carolina Foothills VISA means you’ll enjoy a once per year cash back incentive. You’re rewarded 1% of your annual purchases in a cash-back incentive that’s applied back to your card.  It happens once per year automatically. There’s no paperwork for you to fill out and no worries that your rewards will expire. The reward is applied directly to your next credit card statement after the annual review of your card.

Before you open any line of credit account, specifically a credit card, read the small print so you can better understand the terms and conditions.  It’s a small task that can save you some headache in the end. To apply for a Carolina Foothills’ Platinum VISA Card, click here or contact your local branch.  Enhance your relationship.


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