I just received a packet from a credit card company, which extols not only the virtues of having their card over the competition, but more importantly it comes at an incredibly good rate. What's the rate? Try, "Up to 12 months at interest as low as 0 percent." Hey, can you beat that? As low as 0 percent. I am totally underwhelmed. Of course, keep in mind that "up to 12 months" aspect. So, it wouldn't surprise me to find out that after two months (within the up to 12 month period), the low interest rate of zero becomes 21 percent.

Take another look at all this. There is something hidden in it. Many card companies are offering what are known as tiered rates. This means you could easily get a rate as low as 2 percent, for example, or as "low" as 18 percent. The problem is you won't know what it is until you apply for the card. Surprises, surprises.

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