0% Intro APR Credit Cards

0% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) credit cards can be a great way to save money on interest, especially if you plan to make a large purchase or tend to carry a balance from month to month. Compare 0% introductory APR offers from our partners and find the card that's best for you. We make it easy to compare 0% APR credit cards, which offer up to 21 months of no interest charges on new purchases!

See offers from our partners below.

Estimated savings is based on on a total credit card transfer balance of $2,500, current APR of 15.00%, and a monthly repayment of $56.25 for the first 24 months.

Estimated Savings is a CreditCards.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might save by transferring your balances to a new card after factoring in fees, length of promotional periods and interest charges. This amount is based on the transfer amount, assumes you make fixed monthly payments on time, and does not assume rewards or purchases, since those will vary per individual.

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

APPLY NOW

0% Intro APR - Purchases

15
?

0%* for 15 billing cycles*

billing cycles

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

15
?

0%* for 15 billing cycles*

billing cycles

Regular APR

10.99% - 22.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

0% Intro APR - Purchases

15
billing cycles

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

15
billing cycles

Regular APR

10.99% - 22.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

Why should I get this card?

The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles and the flexibility to choose a payment date that fits your schedule. Plus, there's no annual fee!

Card Details

  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 10.99% - 22.99%
  • Great Offer for Customers of U.S. Bank, a 2017 World's Most Ethical Company® - Ethisphere Institute, March 2017
  • No Annual Fee
  • Flexibility to choose a payment due date that fits your schedule
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your U.S.Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card.
  • Certain terms, conditions, and exclusions apply.

Recommended Credit Score

740 850
Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0*
Purchase Intro APR 0%* for 15 billing cycles*
Regular APR 10.99% - 22.99%* (Variable)
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0%* for 15 billing cycles*

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Auto Rental Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Cellphone Insurance
View More Details

at U.S. Bank's
secure site

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

APPLY NOW

0% Intro APR - Purchases

N/A

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

12
?

0%* for 12 billing cycles*

billing cycles

Regular APR

14.99% - 23.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

$100
?

$100 after you spend $500 in eligible net purchases in the first 90 days you have the card.

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

0% Intro APR - Purchases

N/A

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

12
billing cycles

Regular APR

14.99% - 23.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

$100

Why should I get this card?

The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card offers a 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles. New cardmembers can also receive a $100 bonus after spending $500 in eligible net purchases in the first 90 days.

Card Details

  • Special Cash Back Offer: 5.5% cash back for the first year on your first $2,000 in eligible purchases each quarter on the combined two categories you choose. Thereafter, earn 5%.
  • 2.5% cash back for the first year on your choice of one everyday category (i.e. gas or groceries). Thereafter, earn 2%.
  • 1.5% cash back for the first year on all other eligible net purchases. Thereafter, earn 1%
  • New Cardmember bonus: $100 after you spend $500 in eligible net purchases in the first 90 days you have the card
  • 0% Intro APR* on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 14.99% - 23.99%
  • Unlimited cash back
  • No annual fee
  • Great Offer for Customers of U.S. Bank, a 2017 World's Most Ethical Company® - Ethisphere Institute, March 2017

Recommended Credit Score

740 850
Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0*
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Regular APR 14.99% - 23.99%* (Variable)
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0%* for 12 billing cycles*

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
Auto Rental Insurance
Concierge Service
Extended Warranty Program
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Purchase Protection
Roadside Assistance
Travel Accident Insurance
Travel Assistance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Visa Signature
View More Details

at U.S. Bank's
secure site

GM BuyPower Card from Capital One®

APPLY NOW

0% Intro APR - Purchases

12
?

0% intro on purchases for 12 months

months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

N/A

Regular APR

13.90% - 23.90%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

GM BuyPower Card from Capital One®

0% Intro APR - Purchases

12
months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

N/A

Regular APR

13.90% - 23.90%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

Why should I get this card?

The GM BuyPower Card from Capital One® offers a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months, plus 5% earnings on your first $5,000 in purchases every year.

Card Details

  • 5% Earnings on your first $5,000 in purchases every year. Unlimited 2% Earnings on every purchase after that. Redeem Earnings toward the purchase or lease of a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle.
  • No annual fee, no redemption limits, no Earnings expiration, no foreign transaction fees. Save even more when you combine your available Earnings with most current GM offers and incentives.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months, then a 13.90% – 23.90% variable APR on purchases will apply

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% intro on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR 13.90% - 23.90% (V)
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

Features

EMV
No Foreign Transaction Fees
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Auto Rental Insurance
Concierge Service
Extended Warranty Program
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Purchase Protection
Price Protection
Roadside Assistance
Travel Accident Insurance
Travel Assistance
Zero Fraud Liability
Private Jet Access
Mobile Pay Ready
MasterCard World Elite
View More Details

at Capital One's
secure site

NHL® Discover it® Card

APPLY NOW

0% Intro APR - Purchases

14
?

0% for 14 months

months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

14
?

0% for 14 months

months

Regular APR

11.99% - 23.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

$226

NHL® Discover it® Card

0% Intro APR - Purchases

14
months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

14
months

Regular APR

11.99% - 23.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

$226

Why should I get this card?

Choose your favorite team and show your pride with the NHL® Discover it® Card. Cardmembers can receive 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter and a 0% intro APR for 14 months.

Card Details

  • New! Free Social Security Number alerts, we'll monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.*
  • Choose your favorite team & show your pride – all 31 teams available. Save 10% at Shop.NHL.com and NHL.TV™.
  • You could turn $150 into $300 with Cashback Match™. Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, Amazon.com, restaurants, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
  • No annual fee.

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 14 months
Regular APR 11.99% - 23.99% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 14 months

Features

EMV
No Foreign Transaction Fees
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Free Credit Score
Auto Rental Insurance
Extended Warranty Program
Purchase Protection
Price Protection
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
View More Details

at Discover's
secure site

See Rates & fees
Susan G. Komen® Credit Card

APPLY NOW

0% Intro APR - Purchases

12
billing cycles

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

12
billing cycles for BTs made in the first 60 days

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99%
Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Intro Bonus Value

$150
?

$150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Susan G. Komen® Credit Card

0% Intro APR - Purchases

12
billing cycles

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

12
billing cycles for BTs made in the first 60 days

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99%
Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Intro Bonus Value

$150

Why should I get this card?

Help your favorite cause and earn cash back, too. 1% cash back on purchases, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% cash back on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery store, wholesale club, and gas purchases each quarter.

Card Details

  • $150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • From June 2015 through December 2020, Bank of America is guaranteeing to Susan G. Komen® $3 million in conjunction with its Pink Ribbon Banking credit card and checking program.
  • Susan G. Komen® has received more than $7 million from Bank of America from this program since 2009.
  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter.
  • No annual fee
  • No changing categories and no expiration on rewards
  • Get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers.

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Intro Purchase APR 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles
Regular APR 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Intro Balance Transfer APR 0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Auto Rental Insurance
Extended Warranty Program
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Purchase Protection
Travel Accident Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Visa Signature
FICO Score
View More Details

at Bank of America's
secure site

See Rates & fees
Mastercard® Black Card™

APPLY NOW

0% Intro APR - Purchases

N/A

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

15
?

0% for 15 months

months

Regular APR

15.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

Mastercard® Black Card™

0% Intro APR - Purchases

N/A

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

15
months

Regular APR

15.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

Why should I get this card?

The Mastercard® Black Card™ offers a luxury card concierge as well as 1.5% value for cash back statement credit redemptions. Cardmembers also receive private jet access, travel assistance, a concierge service, and roadside assistance.

Card Details

  • Stainless Steel - Patented Card Design
  • 2% Value for Airfare Redemptions
  • 1.5% Value for Cash Back Redemptions
  • 24/7 Luxury Card Concierge™
  • Exclusive Luxury Card Travel Benefits
  • $100 Annual Airline Credit Toward Qualifying Purchases
  • $100 Global Entry Application Fee Credit
  • Annual Fee: $495 ($195 for each Authorized User)

Recommended Credit Score

740 850
Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $495
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Regular APR 15.99% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 15 months

Features

EMV
No Foreign Transaction Fees
0% Introductory APR
Free Credit Score
Airport Lounge Access
Auto Rental Insurance
Concierge Service
Extended Warranty Program
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Purchase Protection
Price Protection
Roadside Assistance
Travel Accident Insurance
Travel Assistance
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Private Jet Access
Mobile Pay Ready
MasterCard World Elite
View More Details

at Luxury Card's
secure site

Mastercard® Titanium Card™

APPLY NOW

0% Intro APR - Purchases

N/A

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

15
?

0% for 15 months

months

Regular APR

15.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

Mastercard® Titanium Card™

0% Intro APR - Purchases

N/A

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

15
months

Regular APR

15.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

Why should I get this card?

The Mastercard® Titanium Card™ has a sleek brushed stainless steel/carbon card-patented design. Cardmembers receive 1% value for cash back statement credit redemptions and double points value when redeemed for airfare.

Card Details

  • Brushed Stainless Steel - Patented Card Design
  • Luxury Card Rewards Program
  • 2% Value for Airfare Redemptions
  • 1% Value for Cash Back Redemptions
  • 24/7 Luxury Card Concierge™
  • Exclusive Luxury Card Travel Benefits
  • Members-Only LUXURY MAGAZINE
  • Annual Fee: $195 ($95 for each Authorized User)

Recommended Credit Score

740 850
Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $195
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Regular APR 15.99% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 15 months

Features

EMV
No Foreign Transaction Fees
0% Introductory APR
Free Credit Score
Auto Rental Insurance
Concierge Service
Extended Warranty Program
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Purchase Protection
Price Protection
Roadside Assistance
Travel Accident Insurance
Travel Assistance
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Private Jet Access
Mobile Pay Ready
MasterCard World Elite
View More Details

at Luxury Card's
secure site

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express

APPLY NOW

0% Intro APR - Purchases

15
?

0% on Purchases for 15 months

months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

15
?

0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months

months

Regular APR

12.24% - 20.24%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express

APPLY BY PHONE

or call American Express at

866-280-1249 See Rates & fees

0% Intro APR - Purchases

15
months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

15
months

Regular APR

12.24% - 20.24%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

Why should I get this card?

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. Cardmembers also earn 2x points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. Plus, there's no annual fee!

Card Details

  • Get rewarded for business as usual. Earn 2X points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners.
  • 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.
  • Enjoy the flexibility to put more purchases on the Card and earn rewards when you buy above your credit limit*.
  • More buying power for your business* means more opportunities to earn points. That's everyday business with the new Blue Business Plus Card.
  • *The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us, and other factors.
  • 0.0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 12.24%, 16.24% or 20.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Terms Apply

Recommended Credit Score

740 850
Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% on Purchases for 15 months
Regular APR 12.24% - 20.24% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Auto Rental Insurance
Extended Warranty Program
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Purchase Protection
Roadside Assistance
Travel Accident Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
OPEN from American Express
Presale Tickets
View More Details

at American Express's
secure site

or call American Express at

866-280-1249 See Rates & fees
Terms Apply
SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

APPLY NOW

0% Intro APR - Purchases

9
?

0% on Purchases for 9 months

months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

N/A

Regular APR

13.24% - 20.24%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

$200
?

Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $5,000 in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

APPLY BY PHONE

or call American Express at

866-474-2158 See Rates & fees

0% Intro APR - Purchases

9
months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

N/A

Regular APR

13.24% - 20.24%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

$200

Why should I get this card?

Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $5,000 in qualifying purchases on your card within the first 6 months of card membership with the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express. Cardmembers also receive a 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months.

Card Details

  • Special Offer: Earn up to $400 cash back
  • Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $5,000 in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn an additional $200 statement credit after you spend an additional $10,000 or more in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first year of Card Membership.
  • No Annual Fee. Plus, more buying power and more cash back. Get cash back on business purchases, even those above your credit limit.
  • 5% cash back on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores.
  • 3% on the category of your choice from a list of eight and 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • 5% and 3% apply to the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1% applies thereafter. Cash back received is automatically credited to your statement.
  • Terms and limitations apply

Recommended Credit Score

740 850
Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% on Purchases for 9 months
Regular APR 13.24% - 20.24% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Auto Rental Insurance
Extended Warranty Program
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Purchase Protection
Travel Accident Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
OPEN from American Express
Presale Tickets
View More Details

at American Express's
secure site

or call American Express at

866-474-2158 See Rates & fees
Terms Apply
Buick BuyPower Card from Capital One®

APPLY NOW

0% Intro APR - Purchases

12
?

0% intro on purchases for 12 months

months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

N/A

Regular APR

13.90% - 23.90%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

Buick BuyPower Card from Capital One®

0% Intro APR - Purchases

12
months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

N/A

Regular APR

13.90% - 23.90%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

Why should I get this card?

Get 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months with the Buick BuyPower Card from Capital One®. Cardmembers also receive 5% earnings on your first $5,000 in purchases every year.

Card Details

  • 5% Earnings on your first $5,000 in purchases every year. Unlimited 2% Earnings on every purchase after that. Redeem Earnings toward the purchase or lease of a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle.
  • No annual fee, no redemption limits, no Earnings expiration, no foreign transaction fees. Save even more when you combine your available Earnings with most current GM offers and incentives.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months, then a 13.90% – 23.90% variable APR on purchases will apply

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% intro on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR 13.90% - 23.90% (V)
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

Features

EMV
No Foreign Transaction Fees
No Annual Fee
Auto Rental Insurance
Concierge Service
Extended Warranty Program
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Purchase Protection
Price Protection
Roadside Assistance
Travel Accident Insurance
Travel Assistance
Zero Fraud Liability
Private Jet Access
MasterCard World Elite
View More Details

at Capital One's
secure site

Show More Results

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank's website for the most current information.


Compare 0 percent APR credit card deals

Updated: September 5, 2017

Card 0% Purchase APR Period Annual Fee Regular APR
Discover it® 6 months $0 11.99% - 23.99% Variable
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card 21 months $0 13.99% - 23.99% Variable
Chase Freedom Unlimited® 15 months $0 15.99% - 24.74% Variable
Citi Simplicity® Card 21 months $0 14.99% - 24.99%  Variable
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card 12 months $0 13.99% - 25.99% Variable
Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card 18 months $0 16.15% - 25.99% Variable
Chase Freedom® 15 months $0 15.99% - 24.74% Variable
Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® 15 months $0 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99% Variable
Discover it® Cashback Match™ 14 months $0 11.99% - 23.99% Variable

While 0% introductory offers are a great way to get out from under crushing debt, they can be a great way to get deeper into a hole, as well.

With a 0% offer, you can pay off debt interest-free for up to 21 months, depending on the card, saving you hundreds of dollars in interest fees. But it's important to have a plan for how you're going to pay off the charges. How much can you pay down each month? Will you be able to pay off the charges before the offer ends? Otherwise, you'll just pay interest fees on the charges once the offer ends.

The trick is to understand the rules of the game before committing to this kind of card. From balance transfer fees to go-to rates, we'll tell you how to choose a 0% intro interest card, pitfalls to avoid and how to use it going forward.

What are 0% APR credit cards?

Some credit cards have 0% introductory APR offers. What does that mean? Simply that you pay no interest on a card balance for a set amount of time, up to 21 months. This is handy when you've incurred debt and you can't get out from under the interest fees or you have a big purchase coming up.

There are basically two types of offers, sometimes in a single card:

  • Balance Transfer — This 0% intro APR offer encourages you to transfer your balances from older cards to the card with the offer. There is usually a balance transfer fee of 3%–5% or $5–$10, whichever is greater, but it can still be worth your while if you have a larger balance. That's because interest rates compound quickly, with you owing hundreds of dollars in interest within a few months.
  • Purchases — You can make a big purchase on your new card and pay interest–free for a set amount of time.

What does 0% intro APR mean?

The term “0% intro APR” means that you can pay interest–free for a set amount of time on balance transfers and/or purchases. The offer's length of time varies by card and can be as little as 6 months and as long as 21 months. For example, the Discover it offers an intro 0% APR on purchases for 6 months and a 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months, while the Citi Diamond Preferred offers a 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 21 months.

Heads up that there is usually a balance transfer fee, and if you are late paying, the card issuer might kick in the go–to APR. But if you pay on time and map out paying the debt before the offer ends, you can save hundreds of dollars.

How to choose a 0% APR offer

When it's time to choose a 0% APR offer, a number of issues come into play, including length of the offer and balance transfer fees. Here's what you need to know:

  • Check the length of the offer. Check how long the introductory rate (sometimes called the “intro rate” or “teaser rate”) will last. While you may think that the longer the introductory period, the better, it's actually more important to plan how much you can afford to pay each month so that you don't owe money when the offer ends.
  • Know your “go–to rate.” That's the rate after the introductory period. While this shouldn't be a deal-breaker, because you're going to pay in full each month (right?), it's prudent to know all the aspects of the card, including the go–to.
  • Ask about balance transfer fees if you plan to transfer an existing credit card balance to the new card. The fees generally run 3% to 5% of the balance transferred or $5-$10, whichever is greater. A few cards offer no balance transfer fee, such as the Chase Slate. Watch your mail: Card issuers often run special offers when they lower or waive the fees.
  • Weigh other benefits, such as the 5% cash back offer of the Discover it Cashback Match, which also has a 14–month 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers. Sometimes it's actually better to have a shorter offer period, because the card has benefits you'll use after the offer ends.

What is a go–to APR?

A go–to APR is the rate that kicks in once the 0% intro APR offer ends. So, if the card you've chosen offers an 18–month 0% intro APR, you have 18 months to pay for the balance, then the go–to rate kicks in. Your credit rating and your history of payments help decide what your rate will be. The better your payment history and the higher your credit rating, the lower the go–to rate.

What is the average interest rate on a credit card?

The average interest rate on credit cards varies based in part on the Federal Reserve's monthly decision on interest rates. Currently, the national average for credit cards is about 15.75%, but that can vary based on type of card. Low interest cards, of course, have the lowest average, at under 13%. Business and student cards are also low, both under 14%. The highest are instant approval, at just over 18% and bad credit, at over 23%.

That said, you should not be too concerned about a card's interest rate, because it's best to pay your card bill in full each month. It's better for your credit because FICO, the dominant credit scoring model, tracks your credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of available credit you have compared to the balance that you owe. The lower the balance, the lower your ratio, which FICO loves.

What is a good interest rate on a credit card?

Rather than choose a credit card because it has a “good” interest rate, look at the card's features, because credit cards are not meant to be long–term loans.

The national average for credit card interest rates is about 15.75%. Depending on the type of card, the interest rate will vary, with low interest cards at the bottom and bad credit cards at the top. But that shouldn't concern you too much.

Instead, look at the 0% intro rate for balance transfers and purchases when choosing a card. Then, make sure you can pay off the debt before the go–to rate kicks in. If you know you're going to go past the intro rate period, then make sure you pay on time to improve your credit rating, because your credit rating and your on–time payments are two factors for what your go–to rate will be.

What determines the APR on a credit card?

The APR on a credit card is determined by a number of factors, including the Federal Reserve's current rate, your credit rating, the type of card you choose, and whether you have been paying on time.

The national average go–to interest rate for credit cards is about 15.75% — that's higher or lower depending on the type of card, with low interest and student cards at the bottom and bad credit cards at the top.

When the Federal Reserve increases its benchmark for rates, you'll typically see credit cards' rates inch up.

Your credit rating and whether you pay on time also factor into your rate; credit cards can have a range from which they assign your go–to rate.

Watch out, because you can drive your APR up by paying late or going over the limit. That can also land you with fines and even loss of the card.

How do you calculate interest on a credit card?

The easiest way to calculate interest on a credit card is with our handy–dandy calculators. You can figure out how much interest you'll owe if you pay the minimum; look at how much you need to pay on a balance transfer each month to avoid interest rates; or see how long it will take you to pay off your debt.

That said, it helps to understand how credit card issuers calculate interest. According to Discover, just divide your APR (say it's 15%) by 365 days, or .041096%. So, if you have a balance of $1,000, the daily interest rate is $0.41, which accrues each day. At the end of the month, you owe $1,013.

That may not seem like much, but it can add up quickly. If you pay the minimum on $1,000 each month (15% APR), it will take you 54 months and you will pay $370.46 in interest. Better to just pay in full each month and not put anything on your card you can't afford to buy with cash.

How do you avoid paying interest on a credit card?

It's easy to avoid paying interest on a credit card – just pay in full each month before the due date. Remember, credit cards aren't meant to be long–term lenders. They should be for building credit and convenience. You don't want to use a card for an emergency when you don't have the cash nearby, because the interest fees can overwhelm you. Instead, build an emergency fund that you can tap when the unexpected occurs, such as a broken–down car or a medical bill.

In fact, it can actually be a good idea to pay more than once a month. Just to be safe, if you pay in full several times a month, you can potentially improve your credit even more, because you don't know when issuers report to credit bureaus – pay several times a month and increase the chance of having a low balance when issuers report. (FICO, the dominant credit scoring model, bases your rating on what the credit bureaus gather about your finances.)

Here's how it works: FICO compares how much available credit you have to how much of a balance you have. The lower the ratio the better. So, if you have $10,000 available credit and you owe $1,000, your credit utilization ratio is only 10%. Owe $3,000? The ratio jumps to 30%. If you pay several times a month, you increase the chance of lowering your ratio, which is a critical part of your score.

How do you use a 0% APR credit card?

There are myriad ways to use a 0% APR credit card. From making a big purchase, such as an appliance or grill, to using it to pay down an existing balance, 0% APR cards can simplify your life. There are some things you need to know, though:

The best way to use a 0% introductory period offer is to calculate how much you can pay each month for how long. So, if you make a $3,600 purchase, and can pay $300 a month, a 12–month offer is enough for you. If you plan to use the card for a balance transfer, keep in mind that you will probably have a balance transfer fee of 3%–5%. That means you will owe $108–$180 right out of the gate. But that can be worth your while if the interest you would pay otherwise is higher than the fees.

Is using a 0% APR card a good way to build credit?

Any credit card (including a 0% APR card) that is used wisely is a good way to build credit. With a new card, you are increasing your available credit, which can be helpful for your FICO rating. Also, each month that you pay on time, your credit rating gets a little kick. And if you are diligent about paying down your debt, that will also improve your credit as the balance goes down, provided you don't incur additional debt.

That said, taking out a credit card is only good for your credit if you are responsible with it. It is the fastest way to build credit, no matter the type of card, but it can be a disaster if you let charges pile up or if you don't pay on time each month. Before committing to a new card, make sure you will use it correctly.

Can you use a 0% APR credit card to help pay off student loans?

Paying off student loans with a 0% APR credit card can be tricky. First, you might owe more than you can pay off in the maximum offer of 21 months, which means you would probably be strapped with higher interest rates than you were paying on the student loan.

Also, you will probably have a charge of 3%–5% on the total, which is another expense you may not have expected.

Finally, it is actually worth your while to hang on to the student loan, because it's an installment loan. FICO, the dominant scoring model, likes a mix of credit types, and if you have a credit card and an installment loan, that can give your credit score a little boost, provided you're paying on time.

Should I cancel my 0% interest card once I pay off the balance?

It's rare when you should cancel your 0% interest card once you pay off the balance. That's because keeping it on hand is a great way build your credit. Here's why:

Let's say you paid off $3,000 within the 15 months your 0% intro interest offer lasted. Awesome, right? Now, you're so sick of credit cards, you want to cancel the card and go all cash. But not so fast.

Here's the deal: The fastest way to build credit is to have a credit card and to pay in full and on time each month. FICO, the dominant scoring model, loves it when you do that, and you will be rewarded within months of your good habits.

Still hate credit cards and want to pay in cash? There's a way to have the best of both worlds. Keep your card account active by putting a charge on it each month that you would make any way, such as your gym membership, then pay it off before the due date. Then, use cash envelopes or whatever system you prefer to stay within budget.

Whatever you do, don't put the card in your sock drawer, because it's only a matter of time before the issuer cancels the card because it's inactive.

See the online credit card applications for details about the terms and conditions of an offer. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's web site.

* For additional rates, fees and costs see issuer's website for detailed pricing and terms.