AFSA Education Foundation
919 18th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 296-5544 Fax: (202) 223-0321 Web site: www.afsaef.org
For Immediate Release
Contact: Karen Klugh
(202) 296-5544, ext. 638
Six Factors That Matter When Comparing Credit Card Offers
WASHINGTON, August 27, 2008 . . . Navigating credit card offers can seem more challenging than
navigating a new campus. If you are thinking about getting a credit card, some comparison shopping and
an understanding of important terms can go a long way toward helping you find the card that best meets
your needs, says the American Financial Services Association Education Foundation (AFSAEF).
“A common mistake is for students to make impulsive decisions about credit cards” says Susie Irvine,
AFSAEF President & CEO. “They sign up for them based upon the giveaways, without considering the
responsibility that comes with using a card.”
“It’s important to compare at least three credit card offers and read all disclosures and documentation
before making your choice,” she says.
AFSAEF outlines six key credit card terms college students should consider when comparing offers:
• Annual fee. A membership fee for use of the card that's paid once a year. Some credit cards have
no annual fees. Many people with good credit histories will be offered a credit card with no
annual fee. However, reward cards may have annual fees, regardless of an individual's credit
• APR (or annual percentage rate). A measure of the cost of credit expressed as a yearly rate.
Your APR might change depending on your payment history or other factors. Always check your
rate on your monthly statement.
• Grace period. A free period between the time a charge is made and the time the finance charge
is added to the balance.
• Cash advance. Cash borrowed against a line of credit provided by a credit card company for the
amount of cash obtained. Cash advances usually have a higher interest rate than regular charges
on a credi