Year-End Teaser Offers Abound
By Adrienne Carter

(MONEY Magazine) – Credit-card issuers may have just the gift this holiday season--introductory rates of 0% to 2.9%. Better Yet, As long as you have good credit, many of these interest rates stay low when the teaser expires.

Of course, you're always better off paying your balance in full. But teaser rates can help finance holiday spending. "And if you have a rate above 15%, you should be looking for something lower for the long term," says Sara Campbell, senior vice president of

For a card with a low introductory interest rate and a low permanent (or "go to") rate, we have two favorites: the no-fee Aria Visa Platinum Premium (; online applications only) charges no interest for the first three months and a fixed 7.99% thereafter; the new no-fee AmEx Blue (800-258-3600) is also a good deal, with no interest for six months and then a fixed 9.99% rate.

With both of these cards, the deals apply only to new purchases, not balance transfers. If you want to transfer an existing balance, try the no-fee NextCard Visa (; online applications only), which has a three-month intro rate of 2.9% for purchases and balance transfers and a 9.9% go-to rate. (None of these cards is included in the survey used for the Money Monitor tables, at left.)

Keep two caveats in mind before you jump ship: Some cards charge balance transfer fees of up to 3%. And while most people qualify for the teaser rate, notes Robert McKinley, CEO of CardWeb .com, only those with the best credit will get the lowest go-to rates. After the teaser rate expires, you could end up paying a higher rate than you have now.