What's the catch?

You may think you're on to a winner with your credit card deal, but those pesky banks can be sneaky with how they try to squeeze what's in your pockets until they can hear you squeak.

Oh yes. First up, credit cards that offer 0% introductory deals may sound attractive, but once the 0% period comes to an end just you watch while the interest rate rockets, often to over 8.9% for purchases and 20.9% on any balance transfers not yet cleared.

Beware too of balance transfer fees. A shiny new Barclaycard Platinum, offering 0% interest for 20 months sounds almost too good to be true, and it is – because it includes a higher than average balance transfer fee of 3.2%

A lot of card providers also charge for using the card overseas. For five transactions of €200 you could end up paying a total of £45. To avoid it, make an excuse to stick your card back in your pocket, or get yourself a Halifax Clarity Credit Card or the Santander Zero Credit Card, both of which do not charge for use abroad.

Lastly, many cards have annual fees, so check before applying. Other cards will impose a charge if you don't use them regularly. Which really is a case of being damned if you do and damned if you don't!

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