9 questions before choosing a credit card
According to the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, if a card offers a lower interest rate during an introductory period, the promotional rate has to last at least six months. While that introductory offer may be appealing, the regular rate is what you're really buying.
So find out when the introductory APR expires and what the new rate will be. You can find this information online in the terms and conditions for the card or you can ask a service representative.
Another smart question: How long is that grace period? "Some cards start charging interest immediately," says Edelman. A card can have different grace periods for balance transfers and cash advances than it does for purchases.
You can find information about the grace period in the credit card offer, thanks to federal rules that took effect in 2010. Look for a summary table of rate and fee disclosures, which will include a statement that explains how to avoid paying interest.