If there is one good thing about this global economic crisis, it is the fact that it has made almost every individual a smart consumer.

It was different in the past. Years before this global economic meltdown, few Americans ever considered their spending habits. As long as cash kept coming and their bank account generated numbers, there was no need to be meticulous or to be extra careful in consumer choices. After all, the United States of America is known for being “The Land of Flowing Milk and Honey,” where everything is possible, anyone can have a success story, and the American Dream is accessible to anyone who pursues it.

Today, however, this story is quite different. Every single dollar must be accounted for. A happy-go-lucky spender has turned into a meticulous and critical consumer, making sure that money hard-earned is money well-spent. It is no surprise then that people are now turning to low rate credit cards to manage personal finances wisely.

Low rate credit cards were overlooked in the past because other cards that have enticing features, like rewards points and 0% APR, overshadowed it. Consumers thought that the best card deal was having free copies of Vogue and Elle for six (6) months, or having a pair of Ray Ban shades as a welcome gift. Never mind that APR is a variable rate and is really steep.  Never mind that the rewards package does not really fit one’s spending style. Thankfully, today’s consumer is wiser and clever, with low APR as one of the primary considerations in signing up for a card. If you are going for low rate credit cards, you have to know that there are actually two kinds. The first one that has a fixed, low APR. The second one has an introductory (and therefore temporary) 0% APR.

For example, let us compare two of the most ideal low rate credit cards in the market today. The Capital One No Hassle Miles Rewards card leads the pack with its 0% APR on purchases for a certain period, no annual fee, and 13.90% regular APR. Note however, that this rate is a variable rate. The company could change it at their discretion. Not good for meticulous consumers who hates surprises and spikes in interest rates. Alternatively, the Discover More Card, with the American flag design, is another great choice with no annual fee, 0% introductory APR for six months, 5% cash back bonus for certain purchases, and fixed 11.99% regular APR.

Which card would you pick? Note that these two cards both offer low rates with just a little difference. It is up to you to judge which card is best for your spending habits.

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