One of the ways people qualify for a zero percent credit card is to have a good credit rating, according to Janna Herron for Bankrate. Credit card issuers prescreen prospective customers before sending out zero percent offers, but if a person's credit score changes before issuers send the application, the applicant may not qualify.
Herron also warns that if a credit rating slips during the introductory period for a zero percent interest rate, customers may be subject to paying a very high interest rate once the introductory period is over. Additionally, zero percent interest offers are often promoted as an incentive to make a balance transfer or as a convenient way to make large purchases such as furniture or an appliance, notes the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Although the first major purchase on the credit card or the balance transfer may be free of interest charges, any additional purchases are charged the card's regular interest rate, which could be much higher than expected. Paying the entire balance of the new charges, including the initial balance transfer may be the only way to avoid paying interest charges. Many banks often promote zero percent credit card offers by highlighting deferred interest rates for large purchases, but any information about the interest rate after the promotional grace period ends is frequently relegated to small print, says the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.