Looking for credit cards with low rates.
March 30, 2004 10:28 AM   Subscribe

Anyone want to throw out some low credit card rates and who they're with? Or recommend some good comparitive websites for research? I'm searching, as mine seems to have crept up and MBNA America isn't willing to lower it.

I realize I can google for comparisons, but I worry about the integrity of those sites that come up. So, any that you trust?
posted by allpaws to Work & Money (12 answers total)
I seem to recommend them a lot, but Bankrate.com has some terrific, unbiased advice for all things credit-card related.
posted by arco at 10:51 AM on March 30, 2004

This worries me as I just switched to MBNA because they gave me a 5.9% Fixed APR.
posted by ajpresto at 11:01 AM on March 30, 2004

I'm currently a few months into an 18-month 0% introductory APR on a Fleet Platinum Visa. After the introductory period expries next March, the rate is 8.9%, I think. Doesn't much matter, as I don't like to pay interest and will likely just close the account when the interest rate kicks in.

Now if Apple would just hurry up with those @#$! faster G5 desktops...

This worries me as I just switched to MBNA because they gave me a 5.9% Fixed APR.

There's nothing to worry about. Just keep watch on your statement, and if they raise your rate, close the account.
posted by kindall at 11:20 AM on March 30, 2004

For most financial (and insurance) stuff, USAA is generally very good if you're eligible for it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:51 AM on March 30, 2004

I second ROU_Xenophone's assessment.

But also it seems I can't turn my head without getting offers for 0% right now. I got a 0% from Chase recently.
posted by terrapin at 12:33 PM on March 30, 2004

For what it's worth, I read about a good tactic to get the attention of your credit card company to give you a lower interest rate ... call them up and say "I want to pay my debt in full, and I don't want to resort to declaring bankruptcy or switch my balance to another bank. How much can you lower my interest rate so that I can stay with you?" The word "bankruptcy" obviously scares them, because they'll only get pennies on the dollar (at best) if you do. It's at least worth a shot. I do know, however, that MBNA will not adjust your interest rate more frequently than once every 6 months. Also, you'll end up paying a premium rate for a card that gives you flyer miles, so avoid them if your goal is to pay the lowest amount of interest possible.
posted by crunchland at 1:11 PM on March 30, 2004

Shop for fraud protection as well as interest rates. Seriously. Believe me.
posted by Alylex at 1:53 PM on March 30, 2004

The best rate is the one you solicit yourself. Go to the bank where you have your checking account, and you'll get a low-interest no-bullshit fixed rate.
posted by PrinceValium at 5:33 PM on March 30, 2004

If you own a home, consider a home-equity line of credit. I have one at 4%. Be forwearned that it will escalate if and when the prime rate increases. Another bonus, all interest payments are tax deductible, which you can't beat with a stick.
posted by vito90 at 8:21 PM on March 30, 2004

What's prime down your way? I'm seeing 6% up here; the lowest I can get without trying is prime+2% as a personal loan.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:37 PM on March 30, 2004

Also check out CardWeb's Card Locator.
posted by pmurray63 at 9:27 PM on March 30, 2004

Shop for fraud protection as well as interest rates. Seriously. Believe me.

Good idea.

If you've already found a low interest rate with no annual fee, check out the benefits.

One really nice feature is rental car collision protection. If you get in an accident, they'll pay your deductible (outside the US, they will pay the entire cost of the accident). Most gold or better cards have this. Another good one is warranty extension -- anything you buy on the card automatically has its warranty extended by up to one extra year. I think this comes with most platinum or better cards.

So my new G5 will come with a 2-year warranty thanks to Fleet.

Now as I said, this is a platinum Visa. My credit score is not so great due to some difficulties I had a few years back. If they'll give me a platinum card, they will probably give any of you a platinum card too if you haven't had an outright bankruptcy.

If you own a home, consider a home-equity line of credit.

Be very careful with this if there is any possibility that you might not be able to make the payments. The interest rate is so low because the loan is secured. That means if you default, they can take your house. They're basically guaranteed of getting their money back. For an unsecured loan, on the other hand, all a creditor can do is rattle his sabres.
posted by kindall at 11:49 PM on March 30, 2004

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