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TheStreet Open House

Best Credit Cards for 2012

Stocks in this article: VIBKCCOFCDFSJPOMBACMC

Low interest rates
If you feel you are likely to carry a balance on your credit card from one month to the next, it is vitally important to get a credit card with a low interest rate. According to the LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index, which tracks more than 1,000 credit cards, this past week was 15.14%. Look in the terms and conditions for the range of interest rates, because most cards have three rate tiers; the higher your credit score, the lower your APR will be. If your FICO score is in the mid-600s, you will probably get the highest rate.

When shopping for a low-interest credit card, consider your credit union and local bank. In addition, these are the most attractive low-interest credit cards:

Simmons First Visa Platinum (V) An APR of 7.25%, but you have to have outstanding credit to be approved. No transaction fee for balance transfers.

Iberia Bank (IBKC) Visa Classic If you have an excellent credit score, you can get a 7.50% APR. They also offer a 1.99% APR for six months on balance transfers.

Capital One (COF) Platinum Prestige The lowest rate is 10.90%. The card offers 0% through March 2013 on balance transfers with a 3% balance transfer fee. There is no fee for international transactions.

Balance transfers
Consumers can transfer their credit card debt onto another card that is offering an attractive interest rate and sometimes save significant money on interest charges. Many issuers are offering 0% interest rates on balance transfers for a substantial time. The two important considerations for consumers are to make sure they can pay off this transferred balance during that 0% introductory period and that the interest penalties you save are more than the fee you'll pay to transfer the balance from one issuer to another.

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