Enticing credit card offers
Editor's note: This is a transcript of the audio file.
Credit card offers are created to get your attention. But watch out ... they often promise more than they can really deliver. I'm Claes Bell with the Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.
You've probably noticed that most credit cards have some kind of a precious metal or jewel in their name. But just because they're platinum or gold doesn't mean they have a higher limit or a better interest rate. You'll need to check the fine print to find out how good the card really is.
Another way credit card companies try to lure you in is by telling you you've been "pre-selected" because of your good credit to apply for a card with special perks. Don't believe it. Those offers are nothing more than invitations to apply, and if the credit card company doesn't like your credit score, you probably won't get the promised perks.
Last but not least, many cards offer attractive bonuses to new cardholders. But most of the time, you won't get those bonuses unless you spend a certain amount on the card. If you end up making purchases you normally wouldn't just to qualify for a reward, it could backfire with a big balance and interest charges to go with it.
For more on this and other personal finance topics, visit Bankrate.com. I'm Claes Bell.