Introductory credit card offers

Earn bonus points, 0% interest rates or reduced annual fees when you get a credit card with an introductory offer.

If you want to get a new credit card, introductory offers can help you get more value from the one you choose. Depending on the promotion, you could earn more frequent flyer points, cash back or savings on rates and fees. Credit card introductory offers are usually only available to new customers for a limited time and have specific requirements you need to meet to get the offer. It’s important to understand the details of the offer and look at the card’s standard fees, rates and features to decide if it’s worth it for you.

SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express

SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express

19.99 % APR

Purchase interest rate

SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express

Apply today and receive 5% cashback (up to $300 cashback) in the first 6 months of card membership.

  • Purchase interest rate: 19.99%
  • Cash advance rate: 22.99%
  • Balance transfer intro rate: 1.99% for the first 6 months
  • Regular balance transfer rate: 22.99%
  • Annual fee: $99
  • Credit rating: Good, Excellent
  • Minimum age: Age of majority in province/territory of residence.
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Compare credit cards with introductory offers

Name Product Welcome Offer Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee
Receive 5% cashback (up to $300 cashback) in the first six months.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Get 15,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with min. spend of $1,000 within the first 3 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
Earn 4 Scotia Rewards points per $1 on the first $50,000 annual spend on eligible purchases.
Offers a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
12.99%
12.99%
$29
Save on interest by consolidating your higher-rate balances and enjoy a low 12.99% purchase interest rate.
Offers 40,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles when you spend $3,000 within the first three months.
N/A
N/A
$499
Get free annual partner ticket and unlimited access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges as well as Air Canada priority check-in.
Offers a 3.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends June 30, 2019.
16.99%
16.99%
$0
Save with a low interest rate and no annual fee.
Earn 2,500 points with minimum spend of $500 for each billing period. Up to 30,000 bonus points in your first year.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
Earn 5x points per $1 spent on eligible dining transactions, 2x points on travel and 1 point on all other spend.
Get 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with min. spend of $1,000 in the first 3 months. Ends June 30, 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$139
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. Plus, an extra 10,000 points with a min. annual spend of $40,000 on your card.
Earn 2.5% cash back (up to $150 cash back) in the first three months.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Get 2,500 bonus SCENE points with min. spend of $500 in the first 3 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Save with no annual fee and earn 1 SCENE point for every $1 spent on all purchases.
Offers 150 AIR MILES Reward Miles when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of membership.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Earn 1 mile for every $15 you spend at official sponsors and 1 mile for every $20 you spend anywhere else.
Receive a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first six months. Ends 30 June 2019.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
Get 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies, including recurring payments.
Receive 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend $3,000 within the first three months of membership.
N/A
N/A
$699
Earn 3 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible dining, 2 points on eligible travel purchases and 1 point on all other spend.
Get 10% cash back on purchases with min. spend of $2,000 in the first three months. Ends 30 June 2019.

19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Save with no annual fee for the first year.
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
19.95%
19.95%
$0
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends 31 July 2019.
Receive 2,000 bonus AIR MILES Reward miles when you spend $1,500 within the first three months of membership.
19.99%
22.99%
$65
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
No available introductory offer.
17.99%
N/A
$12.95
Take advantage of a low annual fee, with guaranteed approval and no credit check.
Offers 2,000 bonus AIR MILES Reward miles when you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months of membership.
N/A
N/A
$180
Earn 1 mile for every $10 spent at eligible sponsors and 1 mile for every $15 spent anywhere else.
Receive 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points upon first eligible purchase within the first two months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$399
Earn 4x Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent at grocery stores, gas stations, dining and entertainment purchases.
Receive 2,400 Air Miles Reward Miles when you spend $3,000 within first three months of membership.
19.99%
22.99%
$299
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Receive 25,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend $1,500 within the first three months of membership.
N/A
N/A
$150
Earn 2 points for every dollar you spend on eligible travel and purchases and 1 point for every dollar you spend elsewhere.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Welcome Offer Purchase Interest Rate Balance Transfer Rate Annual Fee Credit Rating
Offers a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
12.99%
0.99% for the first 6 months (then 12.99%)
$29
650+ recommended credit score
Save on interest by consolidating your higher-rate balances and enjoy a low 12.99% purchase interest rate.
Receive 5% cashback (up to $300 cashback) in the first six months.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$99
Good, Excellent
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Earn 2.5% cash back (up to $150 cash back) in the first three months.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$0
Good, Excellent
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Get 2,500 bonus SCENE points with min. spend of $500 in the first 3 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
650+ recommended credit score
Save with no annual fee and earn 1 SCENE point for every $1 spent on all purchases.
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
19.95%
1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
$0
650+ recommended credit score
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends 31 July 2019.
Offers a 3.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends June 30, 2019.
16.99%
3.99% for the first 6 months (then 16.99%)
$0
650+ recommended credit score
Save with a low interest rate and no annual fee.
No available introductory offer.
17.99%
17.99%
$0
650+ recommended credit score
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings on your initial spend of $5,000 in the first year.
Get 10% cash back on purchases with min. spend of $2,000 in the first three months. Ends 30 June 2019.

19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
750+ recommended credit score
Save with no annual fee for the first year.
Get 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with min. spend of $1,000 in the first 3 months. Ends June 30, 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$139
750+ recommended credit score
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. Plus, an extra 10,000 points with a min. annual spend of $40,000 on your card.
Receive a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first six months. Ends 30 June 2019.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
650+ recommended credit score
Get 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies, including recurring payments.
Offers a 2.99% introductory balance transfer rate for the first 6 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
2.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$39
650+ recommended credit score
2% cash back on eligible gas stations, grocery and drug store purchases including recurring payments. T&C's apply.
Receive 5,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points upon first eligible purchase within the first 2 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$110
650+ recommended credit score
Get 5% cash back on travel purchases via Scotia Rewards Travel Service and earn 1 Scotia Rewards point for every $1 spent on daily purchases.
Receive 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points upon first eligible purchase within the first two months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$399
750+ recommended credit score
Earn 4x Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent at grocery stores, gas stations, dining and entertainment purchases.
Get 5,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with min. spend of $500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
650+ recommended credit score
Earn 1 Scotia Rewards point per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
Waived annual fee for the first year of membership. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($79 thereafter)
650+ recommended credit score
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings upon initial spend of $10,000 in the first year and 2% subsequently.
Receive 2,000 bonus AIR MILES Reward miles when you spend $1,500 within the first three months of membership.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$65
Good, Excellent
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Offers a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first 6 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
650+ recommended credit score
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at petrol stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
Receive 2,400 Air Miles Reward Miles when you spend $3,000 within first three months of membership.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$299
Good, Excellent
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Get 15,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with min. spend of $1,000 within the first 3 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
650+ recommended credit score
Earn 4 Scotia Rewards points per $1 on the first $50,000 annual spend on eligible purchases.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Welcome Offer Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee
Get 15,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with min. spend of $1,000 within the first 3 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
Earn 4 Scotia Rewards points per $1 on the first $50,000 annual spend on eligible purchases.
Earn 2,500 points with minimum spend of $500 for each billing period. Up to 30,000 bonus points in your first year.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
Earn 5x points per $1 spent on eligible dining transactions, 2x points on travel and 1 point on all other spend.
Get 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with min. spend of $1,000 in the first 3 months. Ends June 30, 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$139
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. Plus, an extra 10,000 points with a min. annual spend of $40,000 on your card.
Offers 40,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles when you spend $3,000 within the first three months.
N/A
N/A
$499
Get free annual partner ticket and unlimited access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges as well as Air Canada priority check-in.
Offers 5,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you spend $500 in the first three months of membership. For new cardmembers only.
N/A
N/A
$60
Earn 1 Aeroplan Mile for every dollar spent. Double your miles on purchases at over 150 Aeroplan partner brands.
Get 5,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with min. spend of $500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Earn 1 Scotia Rewards point per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
Receive 5% cashback (up to $300 cashback) in the first six months.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Get 10% cash back on purchases with min. spend of $2,000 in the first three months. Ends 30 June 2019.

19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Save with no annual fee for the first year.
Receive 2,000 bonus AIR MILES Reward miles when you spend $1,500 within the first three months of membership.
19.99%
22.99%
$65
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Receive 50,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy™ points when you charge $1,500 in the first 3 months of card membership.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
Receive 5 Marriott Bonvoy™ points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy™ properties, and 2 points per dollar on other spend.
Offers 2,000 bonus AIR MILES Reward miles when you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months of membership.
N/A
N/A
$180
Earn 1 mile for every $10 spent at eligible sponsors and 1 mile for every $15 spent anywhere else.
Receive 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy™ points when you charge $1,500 in the first 3 months of card membership.
19.99%
22.99%
$150
Receive 5 Marriott Bonvoy™ points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy™ properties, and 3 points for every dollar spent on eligible gas, dining and travel.
Receive 25,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend $1,500 within the first three months of membership.
N/A
N/A
$150
Earn 2 points for every dollar you spend on eligible travel and purchases and 1 point for every dollar you spend elsewhere.
Receive 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend $3,000 within the first three months of membership.
N/A
N/A
$699
Earn 3 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible dining, 2 points on eligible travel purchases and 1 point on all other spend.
Receive 2,400 Air Miles Reward Miles when you spend $3,000 within first three months of membership.
19.99%
22.99%
$299
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Receive 40,000 points when you spend $5,000 within first three months of membership.
N/A
N/A
$499
Earn 1.25 points for every dollar you spend with no limit to the number of points you can accumulate.
Offers a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first 6 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at petrol stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
Earn 2.5% cash back (up to $150 cash back) in the first three months.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Waived annual fee for the first year of membership. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($79 thereafter)
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings upon initial spend of $10,000 in the first year and 2% subsequently.
Offers 150 AIR MILES Reward Miles when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of membership.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Earn 1 mile for every $15 you spend at official sponsors and 1 mile for every $20 you spend anywhere else.
Get 2,500 bonus SCENE points with min. spend of $500 in the first 3 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Save with no annual fee and earn 1 SCENE point for every $1 spent on all purchases.
Receive 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points upon first eligible purchase within the first two months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$399
Earn 4x Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent at grocery stores, gas stations, dining and entertainment purchases.
Receive 5,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points upon first eligible purchase within the first 2 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$110
Get 5% cash back on travel purchases via Scotia Rewards Travel Service and earn 1 Scotia Rewards point for every $1 spent on daily purchases.
Offers a 2.99% introductory balance transfer rate for the first 6 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$39
2% cash back on eligible gas stations, grocery and drug store purchases including recurring payments. T&C's apply.
Receive a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first six months. Ends 30 June 2019.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
Get 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies, including recurring payments.
Offers 15,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles when you spend $1,500 within your first 3 months of membership.
N/A
N/A
$120
Earn 1 Aeroplan Mile for every dollar you spend up to $10,000 and 1.25 Aeroplan Miles for every dollar spent over $10,000 per year.
No available introductory offer.
17.99%
17.99%
$0
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings on your initial spend of $5,000 in the first year.
Offers 50,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles when you spend $3,000 within the first three months of membership.
19.99%
22.99%
$899
Receive a bonus $200 in annual travel credit to use towards flights, car rentals, hotels and more.
Offers 30,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 within the first three months of membership.
N/A
N/A
$250
Earn one point for every dollar spent and one additional point for every dollar spent at three eligible merchants of your choosing.
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
19.95%
19.95%
$0
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends 31 July 2019.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Welcome Offer Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Cash Back Rate Annual Fee
Receive 5% cashback (up to $300 cashback) in the first six months.
19.99%
22.99%
2%
$99
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Earn 2.5% cash back (up to $150 cash back) in the first three months.
19.99%
22.99%
1.25%
$0
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Get 10% cash back on purchases with min. spend of $2,000 in the first three months. Ends 30 June 2019.

19.99%
22.99%
4%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Save with no annual fee for the first year.
Receive a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first six months. Ends 30 June 2019.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
1%
$0
Get 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies, including recurring payments.
Offers a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first 6 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
1%
$0
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at petrol stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
Offers a 2.99% introductory balance transfer rate for the first 6 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
2%
$39
2% cash back on eligible gas stations, grocery and drug store purchases including recurring payments. T&C's apply.
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
19.95%
19.95%
2%
$0
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends 31 July 2019.
Waived annual fee for the first year of membership. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
5%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($79 thereafter)
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings upon initial spend of $10,000 in the first year and 2% subsequently.
No available introductory offer.
17.99%
17.99%
5%
$0
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings on your initial spend of $5,000 in the first year.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Welcome Offer Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee
Get 2,500 bonus SCENE points with min. spend of $500 in the first 3 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Save with no annual fee and earn 1 SCENE point for every $1 spent on all purchases.
Offers a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first 6 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at petrol stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
Offers a 3.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends June 30, 2019.
16.99%
16.99%
$0
Save with a low interest rate and no annual fee.
Get 5,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with min. spend of $500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Earn 1 Scotia Rewards point per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
Earn 2.5% cash back (up to $150 cash back) in the first three months.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Offers 150 AIR MILES Reward Miles when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of membership.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Earn 1 mile for every $15 you spend at official sponsors and 1 mile for every $20 you spend anywhere else.
Receive a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first six months. Ends 30 June 2019.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
Get 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies, including recurring payments.
No available introductory offer.
17.99%
17.99%
$0
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings on your initial spend of $5,000 in the first year.
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
19.95%
19.95%
$0
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends 31 July 2019.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Welcome Offer Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee
No available introductory offer.
17.99%
N/A
$12.95
Take advantage of a low annual fee, with guaranteed approval and no credit check.

Compare up to 4 providers

How do credit card introductory offers work?

Most introductory offers are only available to new customers who apply and are approved for a specific credit card during the promotional period. These credit card deals usually offer extra value to you in the form of low or 0% interest rates, waived annual fees or bonus points.

The benefits of introductory offers only last for a limited time. For example, any promotional interest rates or fee discounts revert to standard features after the promotional period. Bonus points, on the other hand, only last until you use them or they expire.

Did you know?

How to qualify for a credit card promotional offer

You usually have to meet specific requirements to be eligible for an introductory offer. These conditions vary but usually include:

  • New customers. You must be a new credit card customer, with no existing credit cards issued by the company you’re applying with. For example, if you have a credit card issued by American Express, you likely won’t be eligible for Amex introductory offers.
  • Credit card approval. You must apply and be approved for the credit card by a certain date in order to take advantage of the introductory offer.
  • Application dates. Some promotional offers may only be available to applicants who apply and are approved by a set date.
  • Spend requirements. Bonus point offers typically come with spend requirements, which means you’ll need to spend a certain amount by a set date to receive the points.

Before you apply for a card with an introductory offer, make sure you fully understand these terms and conditions to ensure you can get the full value from the offer.

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Types of introductory offers

There is a wide range of different introductory offers available depending on what you want from a credit card. For example, if you want to save on card debt, you could look at balance transfer offers that give you a low or 0% introductory interest rate. Or, if you want rewards for your spending then you can compare cards that offer introductory bonus points. With so many different introductory credit card deals offered in Canada, we’ve summarized some of the most popular options you can compare.

As well as the major introductory offers outlined above, some credit card companies may offer other more unique deals for new customers including gift cards or discounted purchases at specific retailers.

Depending on the credit card, you may be able to take advantage of more than one of these offers at a time. For example, a card that offers a 0% balance transfer rate could also have a discounted annual fee for the first year, while a card with bonus points may also offer 0% interest on purchases during the honeymoon period.

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How to compare introductory offers

While introductory offers can sweeten the deal when you sign up for a credit card, you should also look at the ongoing features of the card. Thinking about the following factors will help you find an introductory offer that suits your needs in the short-term and a credit card that fits your circumstances in the long-term.

  • The promotional interest rate. Depending on the card, the promotional offer may have a low or 0% interest rate. Usually, the lower the interest rate, the more savings you’ll make. However, you should also weigh up the promotional interest rate with the annual fee and the length of the promotional offer to determine which card offers the most savings.
  • The length of the introductory period. With low purchase rate or balance transfer rate offers, it’s important that you calculate how much you’ll need to pay each month to repay the entire balance before the promotional period ends. Otherwise, any remaining balance will collect the standard interest and begin to counteract your savings.
  • The promotional offer end date. These offers are only available for a limited time, so you will need to apply before the end date to take advantage of them. Check the terms and conditions to make sure any offers you want are still available before you apply.
  • The standard interest rates. If you have a card with a low or 0% purchase or balance transfer deal, the standard interest rates will apply to any balances remaining at the end of the introductory period. These rates are generally much higher than those of the introductory offer, so considering them before you apply will help you avoid any nasty surprises when the promotion ends.
  • Standard annual fees. If you get a reduced or waived annual fee offer, make sure you check the standard annual fee so that you know how much you will have to pay after the first 12 months. If you only intend to use the card while the waived annual fee is in place, make sure you know when the standard annual fee will apply and close your card before then to avoid paying extra.
  • Other fees and charges. As well as the annual fee, the card may come with other rates and fees such as balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, foreign transaction fees and late payment costs. You can use the reviews on finder to browse a full list of rates and fees associated with a product to understand exactly how much you’ll have to pay when you use the card.
  • Interest charges. If you have to meet a minimum spend to earn bonus points or redeem your introductory offer, remember that these purchases will collect interest. This is why it’s important to ensure that the spend requirement fits within your budget, otherwise the interest costs could easily outweigh the value of the points or bonus offer.
  • Spending requirements. Some cashback and bonus point offers require you to spend a minimum amount in an introductory period of a few months. It could be as little as $100 or as much as $10,000 depending on the card, so it’s important to check before you apply to make sure you can afford to take advantage of the offer.
  • Standard rewards points. As well as the bonus points, make sure the regular rewards program (including the earn rate and how you can redeem your rewards) suits your spending behaviours and rewards goals.
  • Complimentary extras. Additional, ongoing perks such as international travel insurance, extended warranties and concierge services can bring more value to the card that you choose. However they can also attribute to higher annual fees, so make sure these are features you’d take advantage of before you apply.

    Mistakes to avoid with credit card offers

    While credit card introductory offers can help you get more value from your card, there are some mistakes to avoid to ensure the card costs don’t outweigh the benefits of the offer. Here are some of the common mistakes cardholders make and how you can avoid them:

    • Ignoring the offer terms and conditions. Introductory offers have specific eligibility requirements you have to meet, so make sure you understand the fine print before you apply.
    • Wasting the promotional offer time period. With a balance transfer or purchase rate offer, the promotional period (such as 12 months) will begin as soon as you apply for the card, rather than when you make the transfer for your first purchase. To avoid wasting the valuable offer, make sure you start consolidating your debt or paying off your purchases as soon as possible to take advantage of the full offer.
    • Not looking at the ongoing features of the card. While introductory offers can give you short-term benefits, the standard features of a credit card determine its ongoing value. Always check these features before you apply for a credit card to decide if it’s worth it for you.
    • Not checking the end date of the offer. To get a specific credit card offer, you must apply before the end of the promotional period. Regularly comparing credit cards can help you stay up-to-date with all the offers available when you’re considering a new card.
    • Not using the card after the introductory period. If you decide you don’t want the card you applied for after getting an introductory offer, you could end up paying more credit card fees and adding to your debt. Make sure you consider this before you apply, choose an appropriate card, or cancel the account if you no longer want to use it.

    Introductory offers have the potential to provide you with more value when you get a new credit card. While almost anyone can benefit from these deals, the value they provide really depends on your individual circumstances.

    It’s also important to remember that these benefits only last for a set amount of time before reverting to the standard features of the card. So being aware of how credit card offers work and considering both the introductory offer and the ongoing card features means you can choose a card that offers you value now and in the future.

    Frequently asked questions

    Pictures: Shutterstock

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