When a credit card company tells you a card has “fixed” interest, it doesn’t actually mean it’s going to stay that rate for good. Under the actual laws and policies surrounding this detail, the “fixed” rate is only good for a certain time period – which would be written in the terms of agreement that comes with the card. After that point, the issuer can change it to anything they like, and there is no limit on the rate of interest they could charge!
Many credit card companies will tout an interest-free 6-12 month period when you open a new card with them, but it’s not exactly what it sounds like. The grace-period is actually only 30-days (with many companies shortening that to as low as 25 days), meaning that as long as you pay off any purchase IN FULL within the same MONTH that you purchase the item, you won’t pay any interest for 6-12 months. But it has to be paid off in full at the end of each month, otherwise you’ll end up paying all the accrued interest up until that point anyways.
If you make a purchase with your credit card, whether its online or in a physical store, you can actually dispute the charges under the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA). So if you purchase a faulty item or don’t receive a package, you can actually bring it up with your card provider in order to file a dispute and have your money refunded, even if you can’t work something out with the company you made the purchase at.
It may seem alluring to get checks to use for making bill payments from your credit card so you can pay them all from one account (in situations where a card payment is not possible) and can pull money directly from your bank account instead of tying up your credit, but the problem is hidden in the details. In using the checks, you will most likely be charged another 2-6% on your payment amount IN ADDITION to the interest rate on the card. What’s even worse is if your bank and card aren’t at the same place, you could get charged again for transferring the money out of your bank to the credit card to pay this type of bill, which equates to a smashing [triple-charge].
This correlates with the secret above; if you see a change in interest rate coming up quickly, you can actually call the credit card company and talk them into bringing your rate back down. Don’t take no for an answer! The credit card market is very competitive (they all want to pull you into debt!) so they’ll work with you towards a solution rather than losing you as a customer. And the good news is, if they won’t work with you for some reason, you can still close the card and move on to another company.