Buy now, pay later-style credit cards can cost you

Darci Marchese, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – If your head is still spinning from all your holiday spending, don’t let a major purchase this year come back to haunt you next year.

Many stores carry deferred-interest credit cards. Customers make a purchase, and there’s no interest for six, 12 or 24 months. The interest begins when the time runs out.

If consumers have a small balance at the end of the no interest period, the consumer pays interest on the entire purchase, even if he owes just a few dollars, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Interest rates are usually around 25 percent, so it could really hurt.

The Journal points out that Cardhub.com, a credit card comparison website, pointed out earlier this year, that the Amazon credit card and Apple credit card lack transparent policies about how interest is charged.

Consumer advocates warn customers to closely read the interest guidelines and to pay off bills entirely by the due date.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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