The devil is in the details, which can ultimately determine who is right. Pay off your debts during the promotional period, however, and it will likely be a raffle.
Your Funds: On Expired Checks, 0% Interest and Credit Ratings | Economic news
Obviously, it’s hard to beat a 0% offer, but if you get this rate on a balance transfer or using a courtesy check issued by your card provider, a fee may be attached. A 2% balance transfer fee is roughly equivalent to paying two points on your money; know your costs, because it is not “free” if you pay a fee.
Also be aware of what happens to your rate at the end of the presentation period, as it might not be a good deal if you wear and get into debt beyond the promotion period.
“Like in cash” deals all aim to pay off debt on time; make this schedule and you won’t pay any interest or fees, so “like cash”. If you don’t pay all of the debt, you will likely owe all of the interest that would have accrued during the promotional period.
So a cash only deal is the best choice if it is paid in full and on time. Otherwise, the interest-free deal is better as you will only owe interest on the basis of what is owed after the promotion period ends.
From Joe in Toledo, Ohio: I had an old credit card that I wasn’t using. I saved it for emergencies. The bank wrote to say it was closed. Do I need to get a new card? What does this do for my credit score?