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Enticing Credit Card Offer? Better Read the Fine Print When it comes to credit card offers, you need to know a few things before accepting.

By Rosalind Resnick

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With consumer and small-business credit in short supply, it's tempting to take advantage of the credit card offers that sport promos like zero percent interest rates, instant approvals and balance transfers.

Some cards do offer great deals, but others can saddle you with high interest rates and hefty annual fees long after the initial teaser rate expires. That's why it's important to understand and evaluate each offer before signing and returning that pre-approved application form.

"Small-business owners should consider these solicitations like they would consider any new prospective vendor: with a healthy dose of skepticism," says Bill Hazelton, founder and managing director of Credit Card Assist, a website that offers tips, advice, articles and information about credit card offers and helps consumers select the best card for their needs. "Don't be fooled by the big, recognizable brand names. You still have to be vigilant about doing your homework and verify which cards offer the most value."

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