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Best Credit Cards for 2012

Stocks in this article: V IBKC COF C DFS JPOM BAC MC

When comparing cards for a balance transfer, look also at the ongoing interest rates. If you can't pay off the balance before the introductory period ends, you will then pay the ongoing interest rate. Another consideration is that the credit card issuer may accept only a portion of the amount you want to transfer because, depending on your credit limit, the issuer will want to leave room for new charges.

The best offers will typically be given to applicants with a credit score in the mid-700s. If you have a score less than this, you may get a shorter introductory period, or your application may be declined.

Citi (C) Platinum Select This card gives you a 0% interest rate for 21 months on both the balance transfer and new purchases. That gives you almost two years without paying interest on your transferred balance. The balance transfer fee is 3%. The ongoing APR is 11.99-21.99%.

Discover More There is a Discover (DFS) More card that offers 0% interest on balance transfers for 18 months. Consumers also get 0% on purchases for six months. The balance transfer fee is 3% and the ongoing APR is 11.99 to 20.99%.

Slate from Chase (JPM) Slate offers a 0% intro rate for 12 months on balance transfers, but the unique feature about this card is that it is not charging a balance transfer fee when you transfer during the first 30 days of an account' opening. The ongoing APR is 11.99 to 21.99%.

Cash rewards
If you are struggling to make up your mind about the many types of reward cards, a card that gives you a little extra cash is always a good choice. Cash rewards won't make you rich, since the average reward is about one penny per dollar spent, but that can add up. Many cards now offer a generous cash bonus with the new card. Cash-back cards typically have a slightly higher interest rate, so only apply for a reward card if you will pay off the entire balance each month. Reward cards are generally available to consumers with good FICO scores.

Chase Freedom -- $200 Bonus Cash Back Get a $200 bonus if you spend $500 in the first three months. You will earn an unlimited 1% cash back on everything you buy. Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in seasonal spending categories that change every three months. The interest rate is 15.99 to 22.99%.

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