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Zero percent APR credit cards on the rise

The average interest rate on credit cards has grown by 2.6 percent over the past five years, with experts citing an increase in the duration of their zero percent introductory rate periods by credit lenders.

During that same five year period, credit cards that offer a zero percent APR have doubled, according to BusinessInsider.com.

For people with low credit scores, it is difficult to take advantage of the low interest credit cards. But for people who have higher credit scores, it is easy for them to regularly switch credit cards to benefit from the broad options of reward programs.

As interest rates continue to rise, lenders are offering a variety of options to gain business, according to BusinessInsider.com.  In addition to the zero percent APR cards, lenders are offering rewards such as frequent flyer miles and cash back, among other offerings.

Some lenders even let consumers choose the retailers they would prefer to get cash back from and, in some cases, will provide as much as five percent back in rewards.

“Therefore, those with good credit ratings have a real incentive to change their credit card on a regular basis and should ensure that they choose a card that matches their likely usage,” David Black, an insight analyst for banking at Defaqto, said, according to FinancialTimes.com. “If someone always repays their entire balance every month then it makes sense to opt for a card that gives rewards.”

Zero percent introductory rates are limited offers and, on average, last between six to 12 months, according to BusinessInsider.com.

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