Q: I'm looking for a low interest rate credit card with cash advances and no fees. My credit is excellent.
A handful of smaller issuers specialize in offering credit cards for excellent credit. You've probably never heard their names and they rarely advertise, yet they sailed through the financial crisis relatively unscathed due to their stringent portfolio standards.
- Simmons First Bank Platinum Visa. With only a four percentage point spread from the Prime Rate, the Simmons First Bank Platinum Visa offers one of the lowest variable APRs in the country. There's no balance transfer fee and only a 3 percent cash advance fee. Cash advances trigger an APR just a few points higher than normal, unlike the high-double-digit interest rates on most Visa credit cards. You'll have to fight your way in, though. Simmons has a reputation for manually reviewing applications from customers with high credit scores to prevent even a trace of default risk from entering their portfolio.
- IberiaBank Visa Classic. IberiaBank uses similar tight standards when reviewing applications for its lowest-cost classic Visa credit card. Like Simmons, IberiaBank offers its best new customers a spread of just 4 points. If you don't make the cut here, however, you'll at least get an opportunity to qualify for one of the bank's other customer tiers. Even at a higher APR, you're likely to save money on a card that boasts no annual fee, balance transfer fees of just 2 percent, and relatively low interest rates on cash advances.
Small banks aren't the only credit card issuers trying to lure low-risk consumers. Some of the nation's most prominent banks have revamped their "no frills" credit cards to win your business. The Citi Simplicity Card and some versions of the Chase Freedom both offer lower APRs than most credit cards in exchange for fewer perks. Because lenders have circled the wagons around their best credit cards, check your free credit report for errors or omissions before applying.
- When comparing two cards, should I get the one that has a smaller APR with a high annual fee, or the one with a bigger APR with a small annual fee?
- I have a FICO score of 767 and I'm looking for a credit card with a low APR and a high credit line. Can you recommend any cards with those specs?
- Next week will be seven years that I've always been on time with my house payment, car loan, and charge card. Will I be able to start a new credit card at a lower interest rate?