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Now is one of the most expensive times to have credit card debt as credit card interest rates are at record highs. Average credit card APR rates reached 17.13%, according to the Federal Reserve. Here are some of the ways you can reduce your total interest charges.

The Mastercard symbol at point of sale. Credit: Mastercard

Use 0% Balance Transfer Offers

Moving your current card balance to a balance transfer credit card lets you enjoy a 0% introductory APR for at least 12 months.

While you pay a one-time transfer fee that’s usually 3%, you can save a small fortune and potentially get out of debt in the process.

Some of the best balance transfer promotions offer 0% credit card interest rates for 15 to 21 months.

Learn more: Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Look for an Introductory 0% Purchase APR

If you’re making a big purchase, having to pay interest or enroll in a buy now pay later plan are not your only options.

You might be able to open a new credit card with a 0% introductory purchase APR. You can also earn a signup bonus to defray some of the purchase amounts.

As long as you make the purchase during the promotion window and make the minimum monthly payment, you can continue to enjoy the interest-free period.

You will most likely need to get a cash rewards credit card to enjoy this promotion.

Ask for an Interest Rate Reduction

If you’re close to paying off your balance, you can try calling your bank and asking for a temporary rate reduction.

The bank still makes some revenue from the interest charges.

Credit Card Consolidation

If you have good credit and need several years to pay off your balance, a personal loan can provide a lower interest rate. Most loans offer a 3-year or 5-year repayment period.

You might also consider using a service like Tally to track your current balance on multiple credit cards and make a personalized debt payoff plan so you pay the least amount of credit card interest.

Summary

While credit card interest rates are currently at historic highs, there are still several ways to avoid paying these charges. Then, you can focus on maximizing your purchases with the best rewards credit cards.

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