Average credit card interest rates are teetering close to 19 percent right now, which makes debt repayment much more expensive. Fortunately, several credit cards can give you a temporary break from these rates while letting you pay down debt faster.
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While higher interest rates can be a good thing if you’re in the market for a high-yield savings account or a certificate of deposit (CD), they’re nothing but bad news if you need to take out a mortgage or you’re carrying debt on a credit card.
With that in mind, you may have seen that credit card interest rates just reached a 26-year high as of September 2022. While rates could easily still go up from here, the current average for all credit cards combined sits at 18.79 percent, or just shy of 19 percent.
And remember, that’s just the average interest rate across all credit cards, and many of the best credit cards on the market today charge much higher rates than that. In fact, it’s not uncommon for premium rewards credit cards to have top rates that are well over 26 percent right now, which can make paying down debt seem nearly impossible.
Credit cards that let you skip interest for more than a year
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to sidestep the exorbitant interest rates credit cards are charging, and that’s true whether you are looking to get a card for new purchases or planning to consolidate debt from other cards. If you’re hoping to get out of debt and stay out, or at least avoid paying interest on your debt for more than a year, here are the best 0 percent APR credit cards to consider adding to your wallet in 2022 and beyond:
Wells Fargo Reflect Card: Longest 0% intro offer on the market
The Wells Fargo Reflect® Card is unique because it gives you a 0 percent intro APR for up to 21 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. You’ll get 18 months with 0 percent intro APR, and that period will be extended for three more months if you’ve made your minimum payments on time for the duration of the intro period.
The intro APR offer is followed by a variable APR of 15.99 percent to 27.99 percent depending on creditworthiness. While this card doesn’t offer any rewards, it doesn’t charge an annual fee and it comes with cellphone protection worth up to $600 against damage or theft when you pay your bill with this card (minus a $25 deductible).
Wells Fargo Active Cash Card: Lengthy 0% intro offer with flat-rate rewards
The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card lets cardholders earn a flat 2 percent cash rewards on purchases, as well as a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 on purchases within three months of account opening.
New cardholders also get 0 percent intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 months from account opening, followed by a variable APR of 17.99 percent, 22.99 percent, or 27.99 percent. There’s no annual fee, and this card also comes with cellphone protection worth up to $600 against damage or theft when you pay your bill with this card (minus a $25 deductible).
Chase Freedom Unlimited: Lengthy 0% intro offer with the best rewards categories
This card also offers a combination of rewards plus 0 percent intro APR, with no annual fee required. Specifically, new customers can enjoy 0 percent intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 17.99 percent to 26.74 percent.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers 1.5 percent cash back on regular purchases, as well as 5 percent back on travel booked through Chase and 3 percent back on dining and drugstore purchases. Purchases made with Lyft through March of 2025 also earn 5 percent back. New cardholders can earn an extra 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases in the first year of membership, on up to $20,000 in spending.
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: Great combination of rewards categories with intro APR offer
Finally, consider the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card if you want to avoid interest but earn some rewards on your purchases. This card’s intro 0 percent APR offer is good for purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and it’s followed by a variable APR of 17.99 percent to 27.99 percent. This means you get more than a year with no interest charges to worry about, whether you’re desperate to consolidate debt from other credit cards or you want to make a large purchase and pay it down interest-free for a limited time.
In the meantime, cardholders can earn a cash bonus of $200 after spending $500 on purchases within three months of account opening. The earning rate for this card is also generous for everyday purchases, which makes it easier to rack up rewards quickly. For example, cardholders earn an unlimited 3 percent cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and grocery store purchases, plus 1 percent on everything else they buy.
Credit card interest rates are the highest they have been in a quarter of a century, but you don’t have to pay these rates if you’re willing to make a few moves. By applying for a balance transfer credit card, for example, you can skip interest for more than a year and potentially rack up some rewards along the way.
Just keep in mind that the best 0 percent APR credit cards are for consumers with good to excellent credit, and that these cards will only benefit you if you focus on debt repayment and avoid racking up new debts along the way.
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