The average credit card interest rate is around 15% according to the Federal Reserve. If you’re not paying your credit card balance in full each month, interest costs can creep up quickly and make a major dent in your budget.
One way to save, especially if you’re trying to pay down high-interest credit card debt or make a large purchase, is to use a 0% APR credit card. These cards provide you with a 0% APR for a set period of time. Often this low intro APR can last for 12 months, but some credit card offers might include an intro period of up to 18 months. And as long as you pay off your balance before the end of that period, you can avoid paying interest charges altogether.
If you’re looking for the best 0% APR credit cards, consider the fantastic options below.
What is the best 0% APR credit card?
There are plenty of great low interest credit cards out there. Here is a look at some of the best options available today from a variety of credit card issuers:
|Card name||>Intro purchase APR details||Intro balance transfer APR details||Welcome bonus||Annual fee|
|Chase Freedom Flex||0% APR for 15 months||N/A||Earn $200 cash back after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months, plus 5% on grocery store purchases (on up to $12,000 in spending in the first year)||$0|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited||0% APR for 15 months||N/A||5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases; plus 5% on Lyft rides||$0|
|Citi Diamond Preferred||0% APR for 18 months||0% APR for 18 months||N/A||$0|
|Citi Simplicity||0% APR for 18 months||0% APR for 18 months||N/A||$0|
|Amex Blue Cash Everyday||0% for 15 months||N/A||Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months||$0|
|Capital One® SavorOne® Rewards Credit Card||0% for 15 months||N/A||Earn a $150 one-time cash bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months||$0|
Chase Freedom Flex
The Chase Freedom Flex offers 5% on rotating quarterly categories (on up to $1,500 spent) and travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal; 3% at restaurants (including takeout and delivery) and drugstores; and 1% on all other purchases. It also comes with a $0 annual fee, and you can earn $200 cash back after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months.
The Chase Freedom is a great card if you want the flexibility of an introductory APR on new purchases and you don't mind keeping track of rotating categories for your bonus points. It offers a 0% APR on purchases for 15 months after account opening.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases. New cardholders also get 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (on up to $12,000 in spending in the first year). Not to mention, you’d also earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months.
Since the Freedom Unlimited has a $0 annual fee, it’s easy to earn rewards without the stress of an annual cost.
You can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for cash back, gift cards, or travel through the Chase travel portal. The Chase Freedom Unlimited can be a valuable component in the Chase Trifecta if you're looking to really make the most of your rewards and turn them into nearly free travel.
Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card
If you have high-interest credit card debt, transferring your balance to one of the best balance transfer credit cards is a great way to pay off what you owe. The Citi Diamond Preferred has a 0% APR offer on balance transfers for 18 months. It has one of the longest intro APRs on balance transfers among no annual fee cards. Plus, the balance transfer promo APR starts on the date of first transfer; it doesn’t begin on the date of account opening.
After the promo APR period is over, your balance transfer interest rate will change back to the regular APR. The exact interest rate will be based on your creditworthiness. In addition to a generous balance transfer offer, this card also comes with fun perks like access to Citi Entertainment. Cardholders get special access to sporting events, dining experiences, and more.
No annual fee and 0% intro APR
The Citi Simplicity card is not a rewards card. However, if you need a considerable amount of time to pay down your high-interest debt, this card is a great option. It offers a 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months, one of the longest periods on this list. This gives you more time to pay down your principal, without worrying about interest getting in the way. The only drawback with this card is its balance transfer fee — $5 or 3%, whichever is greater, but the interest savings might be enough to make up for that.
The Citi Simplicity card also has a 0% APR on purchases, but for only 18 months. If your main focus is getting out of debt, this card can be a big help. It also has a $0 annual fee.
Amex Blue Cash Everyday
If you’re looking for a card that offers tiered cash back rewards on your everyday purchases, the American Express Blue Cash Everyday is worth considering. This card features a $0 annual fee, and you can earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 a year, 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, 1% cash back on other purchases. Plus, it comes with a generous welcome offer; you can earn $200 cash back after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months of card membership.
With the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card, you get a 0% APR for 15 months on purchases. While there's no intro balance transfer offer with this card, it comes with other perks that may make it a valuable addition to your wallet.
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
If you do a lot of your spending on dining and entertainment, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card might be the right choice for you due to its great bonus categories. When you spend with this card, you get 3% unlimited cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target), and 1% cash back on all other purchases. On top of that, you can earn a $150 one-time cash bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months of account opening.
How to choose the best 0% introductory APR credit card
When choosing the best 0% APR credit card, it’s important to look at your situation and goals. For example, will you be using the card for a future purchase? Or are you planning to use it to help pay down your credit card debt?
If you’re looking to finance a large purchase, opt for a credit card that offers a 0% introductory APR on new purchases. On the other hand, if you’re hoping to transfer an existing balance from another card, a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers will help you tackle your principal faster. Some cards offer both perks, though introductory periods can vary.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind as you consider 0% APR credit cards:
- Length of the introductory period: Find out how long the introductory period is. Some credit cards, like the Citi Simplicity card, come with a introductory APR on balance transfers for 18 months. The longer your introductory period, the more likely you are to avoid interest payments. Any amount not paid off at the end of your intro period will be subject to your card's regular variable APR.
- Balance transfer fee: Pay attention to the balance transfer fee, as it’s common to see a fee of 3% or 5% of the amount of each transfer. Run the numbers to determine if your interest savings will offset any balance transfer fee, and keep in mind that some cards will also waive this fee if you complete your balance transfer within a set period.
- Welcome offer: While a welcome offer isn’t everything, it is definitely worth considering as you shop around for a credit card. For instance, you might opt for a card like the American Express Blue Cash Everyday, where you can earn $200 cash back after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.
- Monthly payments: Always be sure to make your monthly payments on or before the due date. If you make a late payment, you'll not only be hit with unnecessary late fees, but you could lose the benefit of your intro APR. You might even be charged a penalty APR that is higher than normal. So at least be sure to always make your minimum payment.
- Other rewards and perks: In some cases, it might make sense to get a card that you’ll keep using after the introductory period ends. Take a detailed look at each cards rewards program. Consider if a cash back card or a travel rewards card fits your lifestyle better. Check to see if the card has any additional benefits like statement credits for certain types of spending or with certain retail partners.
Think about your goals, compare a few cards, and narrow down your options before you apply for a new card. Figure out how much you need to pay each month so that your entire balance is down to zero before the end of your introductory period when the variable rate of interest kicks in.
Why we chose these cards (methodology)
We chose these 0% APR credit cards for their relatively long introductory rates, along with some of their other perks. This list contains a mix of cards that offer rotating, tiered, and flat cash back programs, as well as cards that don’t offer rewards, but do offer longer 0% APR introductory periods. We created this list for consumers with different needs and preferences in order to help them find a card to achieve their long-term financial goals.
The bottom line on the best 0% APR credit cards
What is the best 0% APR credit card for you? In the end, it’s all about what is most compatible with your goals and priorities. A good credit card can complement your budget, provide you with cash back or travel rewards, and help you manage your money.
To get the most out of a new credit card with an interest-free period though, it’s important to pay your bill on time, focusing on responsible use to build your credit score, pay down your debt or purchases, and make the most of your spending.