Current introductory rate credit card offers

Co-author: James Slack

An introductory, lower-than-usual interest rate on your new credit card may seem enticing, but is it worthwhile?

Take a look at some of the introductory offers available on credit cards on Canstar’s database.

What is a credit card introductory rate?

A credit card introductory rate is a promotional interest rate on a credit card. It’s a lower-than-usual interest rate that is like a reward for signing up. These introductory offers can be enticing and can be as low as 0% for up to six months.

Credit card introductory offers are certainly not for everyone, no matter how attractive they may seem. You may be signing yourself up for a steep annual fee, or a credit card that, once the introductory rate expires, has a high ongoing interest rate (the revert rate).

You may also be signing up for a credit card that you just don’t need in the first place. So make sure you really think about the pros and cons, and your own personal spending habits before you make your decision.

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Are credit card introductory offers worth it?

Deciding whether credit card introductory offers are worth it depends on a number of factors. Are you sure you can repay your credit card debt within the introductory period while the lower interest rate is on offer? Otherwise, it may not be worth it, because the revert rate that applies after the introductory period ends is often quite high. An introductory offer is not worth it if it could land you further in debt.

You also need to decide whether you will actually benefit from the introductory offer. If you repay your credit card balance in full every month and never pay interest because you don’t carry a balance on your card, then the introductory interest rate will not make a difference for you, as you won’t be paying it.

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What introductory credit card offers are available in November 2018?

This table shows the introductory rates on credit cards available on Canstar’s database (as at 1 November 2018). We’ve sorted these cards by the introductory rate, followed by the introductory period.

Company Product Annual Fee  Ongoing purchase rate (p.a.) Introductory purchase rate (p.a.) Introductory period (months)
American Express Airpoints Card $0 19.95% 0.00% 6
BNZ Low Rate Mastercard $35 13.45% 0.00% 3
American Express Low Rate Credit Card $59 12.69% 2.99% 6
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card $149 19.95% 2.99% 6

Don’t get caught up in the introductory offer excitement

If you’ve found an introductory offer that seems too good to be true, it may be. Don’t sign up for a credit card just because the introductory interest rate seems appealing. Make sure you do your research and find a credit card that will suit your needs and spending habits.

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