Zero Percent For One Year…

A while back, I mentioned a promotion for a ZERO PERCENT rate Mastercard from Citibank. After hearing about this promotion from my blog, John Chow also applied and got approved, but he got a measly $5000. But like he said, better than no money at 0%. In the meantime, I thought they had forgotten all about me. Apparently not!

While I was at CES, I got a call from Citibank telling me that I was not only approved, but I was approved for a $10,000 line at 0% for one full year! That means that I get rent free money till January 2008! The current promotion they are doing is still good, but you get dinged 0.9% now. Still a good promotion, but not as good as 0% of course.

Although it is 0%, it isn’t totally free. Like a credit card or loan, there is a minimum payment each month, usually about 3% of the balance. I asked Citibank to transfer the full $10,000 to my CIBC VISA. Since my VISA is nearly paid off, this will trigger a positive balance. I will then transfer that money off my VISA to pick up some RRSP’s this year. I will then use the tax refund triggered from the purchase of those RRSP’s to pay off the balance of my card when the time comes.

In the meantime, I’ll probably throw it into a PC Financial Interest Plus Savings Account that is currently offering a 4.0% rate on a minimum $1000 deposit. Plus, at the end of the year, they will apply an extra 0.03% on the daily closing balance over the year as a bonus for letting the money stay put. If I put just $5000 away, that will be an extra $205.24 that I didn’t do anything for.

The only downside to this card is that it has a very high interest rate of 18.9%. If the balance isn’t paid off in full by the maturity date, the remaining balance is billed at this rate when the 0% promotion ends. I’ll probably just end up canceling the card unless they can offer me a better rate. It never hurts to ask.