With holiday shopping season in full swing, millions of Americans will get offers to open new credit card accounts. Yet as attractive as those credit card offers might be, with 0% financing offers and other tempting incentives, there's a catch that can cost you hundreds of dollars in finance charges if you're not careful.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, looks at these popular 0% credit card offers. He notes that the offers give you a certain amount of time to pay off the balance interest-free, making them useful for those who have the financial wherewithal to pay down their debt at will. But as Dan also points out, many cards charge deferred interest retroactively if you fail to make a payment or don't pay off your full balance as the initial offer's fine print specifies. With a study from CardHub naming Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Lowe's (NYSE:LOW), and Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) among the retailers offering cards with potential deferred interest, shoppers have to be careful to know what they're getting into when they accept a card offer.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Amazon.com and Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.