I Received A Shorter Than Advertised APR, Why?

I recently applied for the Discover it card which is advertised as having an introductory APR of 0% for 14 months [Editors note: This card also has a different version with a $150 bonus]. I applied for this card but when I was approved, they didn’t give me the introductory APR for the full 14 months. What are my options?

The Sterling Traveler

This is a very interesting question and one I didn’t know the answer to immediately. Legally credit card issuers can offer different APR introductory lengths based on a consumers credit worthiness and they don’t have to list a range like they do with APRs. A lot of card issuers disclose this in the fine print of the offer and will state that you might not receive the full introductory APR term. Discover’s fine print does not disclose the fact that not all applicants will get the full 14 month introductory APR, which while being dishonest and intentionally misleading isn’t actually illegal and as such you don’t have any recourse.

Introductory APRs have a lot of pitfalls and I think they are a predatory offering by credit card issuers. The credit card market has been cleaned up in recent years, but I’d like to see more laws targeted towards introductory APRs and proper disclosures. For example in the United Kingdom card issuers are required to offer their introductory APR to over 51% of cardholders under regulations set out by the Office of Fair trading. I’d like to see similar regulations introduced into the US, as well as the removal of universal default rules and clear disclosures that not all applicants will get the full introductory APR term.

I’ll be doing a detailed post on the pitfalls of introductory APRs in the near future, make sure you subscribed to the blog to be informed of when that post goes live and don’t forget to follow us on twitter. If you have any questions, then please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to answer them, you might even see your question responded to on the site like this.




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