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.

Discover it®

APPLY NOW

0% Intro APR - Purchases

6
?

0% for 6 months

months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

18
?

0% for 18 months

months

Regular APR

11.99% - 23.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

$229
?

Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.

Discover it®

(25,570 Reviews)

0% Intro APR - Purchases

6
months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

18
months

Regular APR

11.99% - 23.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

$229

Why should I get this card?

New cardmembers receive a 0% purchase intro APR for 6 months. With the Discover it® you can earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, Amazon.com, restaurants, wholesale clubs and more!

Card Details

  • New! Free Social Security Number alerts, we'll monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.*
  • 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.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get 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 6 months
Regular APR 11.99% - 23.99% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 18 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
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

APPLY NOW

0% Intro APR - Purchases

21
?

0%* for 21 months*

months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

21
?

0%* for 21 months*

months

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

APPLY BY PHONE

or call Citi at

877-342-7930

0% Intro APR - Purchases

21
months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

21
months

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

Why should I get this card?

Thanks to its generous 21 month 0% introductory APR offers the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is a great option for consolidating debt from another card or financing a big-ticket item.

Card Details

  • Get 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99% based upon your creditworthiness*
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer
  • Citi® Price Rewind searches for lower prices online for 60 days for your registered purchases: you can get back up to $500 per item and $2,500 a year*
  • $0 liability on unauthorized purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions
  • No annual fee*
  • Free access to FICO® Scores*

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0*
Purchase Intro APR 0%* for 21 months*
Regular APR 13.99% - 23.99%* (Variable)
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0%* for 21 months*

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
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
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Presale Tickets
View More Details

at Citi's
secure site

or call Citi at

877-342-7930
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

APPLY NOW

0% Intro APR - Purchases

12
?

0% on Purchases for 12 months

months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

12
?

0% on Balance Transfers for 12 months

months

Regular APR

13.99% - 24.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

$100
?

$100 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

APPLY BY PHONE

or call American Express at

877-915-6432 See Rates & fees

0% Intro APR - Purchases

12
months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

12
months

Regular APR

13.99% - 24.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

$100

Why should I get this card?

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers a great cash rewards program long after the introductory APR periods expire. Terms Apply.

Card Details

  • $100 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • No annual fee.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 13.99% to 24.99%.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Terms Apply.

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% on Purchases for 12 months
Regular APR 13.99%-24.99% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% on Balance Transfers for 12 months

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Free Credit Score
Auto Rental Insurance
Extended Warranty Program
Purchase Protection
Roadside Assistance
Travel Accident Insurance
Travel Assistance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Presale Tickets
View More Details

at American Express's
secure site

or call American Express at

877-915-6432 See Rates & fees
Terms Apply
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

APPLY NOW

0% Intro APR - Purchases

15
?

0% for 15 months

months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

15
?

0% for 15 months

months

Regular APR

15.99% - 24.74%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

$150
?

Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

(8,829 Reviews)

0% Intro APR - Purchases

15
months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

15
months

Regular APR

15.99% - 24.74%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

$150

Why should I get this card?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® currently offers a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers. Cardmembers also receive unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic!

Card Details

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 15 months
Regular APR 15.99% - 24.74% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 15 months

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Concierge Service
Extended Warranty Program
Purchase Protection
Travel Accident Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Visa Signature
View More Details

at Chase's
secure site

Citi Simplicity® Card

APPLY NOW

0% Intro APR - Purchases

21
?

0%* for 21 months*

months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

21
?

0%* for 21 months*

months

Regular APR

14.99% - 24.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

Citi Simplicity® Card

APPLY BY PHONE

or call Citi at

877-328-9712

0% Intro APR - Purchases

21
months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

21
months

Regular APR

14.99% - 24.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

Why should I get this card?

Simplicity®'s 21 month 0% APR offer on purchase is among the longest currently available. Plus, there's no annual fee.

Card Details

  • The Only card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee...Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.99% - 24.99% based on your creditworthiness*
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day - just say "representative"
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0*
Purchase Intro APR 0%* for 21 months*
Regular APR 14.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0%* for 21 months*

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Free Credit Score
Auto Rental Insurance
Concierge Service
Extended Warranty Program
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Purchase Protection
Price Protection
Travel Accident Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Presale Tickets
View More Details

at Citi's
secure site

or call Citi at

877-328-9712
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

APPLY NOW

0% Intro APR - Purchases

12
?

0% for 12 months

months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

12
?

0% for 12 months

months

Regular APR

13.99% - 25.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

$200
?

Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

0% Intro APR - Purchases

12
months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

12
months

Regular APR

13.99% - 25.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

$200

Why should I get this card?

Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases with the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card and a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. Cardmembers also receive 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers.

Card Details

  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
  • Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Android Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening
  • No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
  • 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 Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 13.99%-25.99% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 12 months
Regular APR 13.99%-25.99% (Variable)
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 12 months

Features

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

at Wells Fargo's
secure site

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card

APPLY NOW

0% Intro APR - Purchases

18
?

0% for 18 months

months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

18
?

0% for 18 months

months

Regular APR

16.15% - 25.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card

0% Intro APR - Purchases

18
months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

18
months

Regular APR

16.15% - 25.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

Why should I get this card?

The Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card offers long intro APR periods, with up to $600 protection on your cell phone against covered damage or theft when you pay your phone bill with this card.

Card Details

  • 0% Intro APR for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 16.15%-25.99% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply
  • 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 Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card
  • Free access to your FICO® Credit Score with Wells Fargo Online®
  • Zero Liability protection for promptly reported unauthorized transactions
  • Convenient tools to help create a budget and manage your spending with My Money Map
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 18 months
Regular APR 16.15%-25.99% (Variable)
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 18 months

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Free Credit Score
Auto Rental Insurance
Roadside Assistance
Travel Accident Insurance
Travel Assistance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Cellphone Insurance
View More Details

at Wells Fargo's
secure site

Chase Freedom®

APPLY NOW

0% Intro APR - Purchases

15
?

0% for 15 months

months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

15
?

0% for 15 months

months

Regular APR

15.99% - 24.74%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

$150
?

Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Chase Freedom®

(13,461 Reviews)

0% Intro APR - Purchases

15
months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

15
months

Regular APR

15.99% - 24.74%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

$150

Why should I get this card?

Chase Freedom®'s 15 month 0% APR on purchases is ideal for paying for large purchases over time. Plus, you'll earn cash back, including a $150 bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months.

Card Details

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter like gas stations, restaurants and drugstores
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 15 months
Regular APR 15.99% - 24.74% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 15 months

Features

EMV
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
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Visa Signature
View More Details

at Chase's
secure site

Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®

APPLY NOW

0% Intro APR - Purchases

15
?

0% for 15 months

months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

15
?

0% for 15 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)

months

Regular APR

15.99%, 20.99%
or 25.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

$200
?

Get a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening

Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®

0% Intro APR - Purchases

15
months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

15
months

Regular APR

15.99%, 20.99%
or 25.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

$200

Why should I get this card?

Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on every purchase with the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®. Cardmembers also receive a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening.

Card Details

  • Get a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on every purchase. Every time you redeem, get a 5% cash rewards redemption bonus to use toward your next redemption
  • Redeem your cash rewards for a deposit into a U.S. checking or savings account, a statement credit or gift cards. Redemptions start at $50
  • Cash rewards do not expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • Enjoy a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on purchases.
  • Plus, you'll get a 0% introductory APR for 15 months for each balance transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that a variable APR will apply, 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers
  • No annual fee

Recommended Credit Score

740 850
Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 15 months
Regular APR 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 15 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Auto Rental Insurance
Concierge Service
Extended Warranty Program
Purchase Protection
Price Protection
Travel Accident Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
MasterCard World
View More Details

at Barclaycard's
secure site

Discover it® Cashback Match™

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

$229
?

Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.

Discover it® Cashback Match™

(25,570 Reviews)

0% Intro APR - Purchases

14
months

0% Intro APR - Balance Transfers

14
months

Regular APR

11.99% - 23.99%
variable

Intro Bonus Value

$229

Why should I get this card?

The Discover it®'s 14 months of 0% interest on balance transfers and new purchases coupled with the value of its cash back rewards program (double first-year cash back) make it a top contender as a 0% interest card.

Card Details

  • New! Free Social Security Number alerts, we'll monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.*
  • 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.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get 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
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.