Best 0% APR Credit Cards of September 2021

Written by: Tracy Stewart | Edited by: Jeanine Skowronski | Reviewed by: Ted Rossman
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September 22, 2021

Our editorial team and our expert review board provide an unbiased analysis of the products we feature. Our comparison service is compensated by our partners, and may influence where or how products are featured on the site. Learn more about our partners and how we make money. Please note: The star-rating system on this page is based on our independent card scoring methodology and is not influenced by advertisers or card issuers.

Zero interest credit cards let cardholders skip paying an annual percentage rate on purchases, balance transfers or both for a set period of time. You’ll still have to make at least your minimum payments each month, and your APR will change once the 0% introductory APR period expires. Still, when leveraged correctly, these cards can save you thousands of dollars in interest. Our Payoff Calculator and Balance Transfer Calculator can help you identify the right debt repayment plan. The best zero interest credit cards tout long promotional APR periods, usually between 14 to 20 months, and provide value once their intro APR has expired. Below you’ll find the top offers from our partners, followed by a full list of editor picks.

Why trust us? Our team of experienced credit card experts have analyzed over 300 credit cards to identify the best ones currently in the market across card categories. We use a one-to-five star rating system to assess cards and provide valuable information on how to leverage these offers. When assessing a card’s long-term value, we considered the length of a promotional APR, regular APRs, fees and benefits. All of our cards are assessed independently by our editors based on their research, opinions and other factors.

Zero interest credit cards let cardholders skip paying an annual percentage rate on purchases, balance transfers or both for a set period of time. You’ll still have to make at least your minimum payments each month, and your APR will change once the 0% introductory APR period expires. Still, when leveraged correctly, these cards can save you thousands of dollars in interest. Our Payoff Calculator and Balance Transfer Calculator can help you identify the right debt repayment plan. The best zero interest credit cards tout long promotional APR periods, usually between 14 to 20 months, and provide value once their intro APR has expired. Below you’ll find the top offers from our partners, followed by a full list of editor picks.

Why trust us? Our team of experienced credit card experts have analyzed over 300 credit cards to identify the best ones currently in the market across card categories. We use a one-to-five star rating system to assess cards and provide valuable information on how to leverage these offers. When assessing a card’s long-term value, we considered the length of a promotional APR, regular APRs, fees and benefits. All of our cards are assessed independently by our editors based on their research, opinions and other factors.

Best 0% APR Credit Cards of 2021

  • Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 18-month 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers Regular APR is 13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)
  • Discover it® Cash Back – 14-month 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers Regular APR is 11.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • Citi Custom Cash℠ Card – 15-month 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers Regular APR is 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
  • U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card – 0% intro APR for the first 20 billing cycles Regular APR is 14.49% - 24.49%* (Variable)
  • Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card – 0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 120 days from account opening Regular APR is 14.99%-24.99% (Variable)
  • BankAmericard® credit card – 18-billing-cycle 0% intro APR for any balance transfers made within the first 60 days and purchases Regular APR is 12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card – 15-billing-cycle 0% intro APR for any balance transfers made within the first 60 days and purchases Regular APR is 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card – 15-billing cycle 0% intro APR on balance transfers in the first 60 days and purchases Regular APR is 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited® – 15-month 0% intro APR for purchases Regular APR is 14.99 - 23.74% Variable
  • Discover it® Balance Transfer – 18-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers and 6 months for purchases Regular APR is 11.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • Wells Fargo Platinum card – 0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 18 months from account opening Regular APR is 16.49%-24.49% (Variable)
  • Citi Simplicity® Card – 18-month 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers Regular APR is 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express – 12-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases Regular APR is 14.99 - 23.74% Variable
  • Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card – 15-month 0% intro APR for purchases Regular APR is 14.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
  • Citi® Double Cash Card – 18-month 0% intro APR for balance transfers Regular APR is 13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
BEST FOR ROTATING CATEGORY REWARDS
Discover it® Cash Back
Our rating:4.5 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Intro bonus

Cashback Match™
Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match - only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! There's no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

At A Glance

0% intro APR purchase period
14 months
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
14 months
Regular APR
11.99% - 22.99% variable
BEST FOR 0% APR ON PURCHASES + CASH BACK
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Our rating:4.1 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Intro bonus

$200
Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

At A Glance

0% intro APR purchase period
15 months
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
15 months
Regular APR
13.99% - 23.99% variable
Best for large purchases
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
Our rating:4.2 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Intro bonus

No current offer

At A Glance

0% intro APR purchase period
20 billing cycles
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
20 billing cycles
Regular APR
14.49% - 24.49% variable
BEST FOR CELLPHONE PROTECTION
Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card
Our rating:3.7 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Intro bonus

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

At A Glance

0% intro APR purchase period
15 months
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
15 months
Regular APR
14.99% - 24.99% variable
BEST FOR LOW ONGOING APR
BankAmericard® credit card
Our rating:4.4 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Intro bonus

$100 statement credit
New Offer! $100 statement credit online bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

At A Glance

0% intro APR purchase period
0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any BTs made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10) applies.
Regular APR
12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
BEST FOR FLEXIBLE CASH BACK CATEGORIES
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
Our rating:4.2 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Intro bonus

$200
$200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

At A Glance

0% intro APR purchase period
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any BTs made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10) applies.
Regular APR
13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
BEST UNLIMITED CASH BACK FOR PREFERRED REWARDS MEMBERS
Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card
Our rating:3.3 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Intro bonus

$200
$200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

At A Glance

0% intro APR purchase period
15 billing cycles
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any BTs made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10) applies.
Regular APR
13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
BEST FOR 0% INTRO APR WITH REWARDS
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Our rating:4.5 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Intro bonus

$200
Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

At A Glance

0% intro APR purchase period
15 months
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
Intro offer only applies to purchases
Regular APR
14.99% - 23.74% variable
Best for high rewards rate + introductory bonus
Discover it® Balance Transfer
Our rating:4.5 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Intro bonus

Cashback Match™
Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match - only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

At A Glance

0% intro APR purchase period
6 months
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
18 months
Regular APR
11.99% - 22.99% variable
BEST FOR LONG 0% INTRODUCTORY APR PERIOD
Wells Fargo Platinum card
Our rating:4.0 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Intro bonus

No current offer

At A Glance

0% intro APR purchase period
0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
0% intro APR for 18 months on qualifying balance transfers
Regular APR
16.49% - 24.49% variable
BEST FOR 0% INTRO APR + LOW FEES
Citi Simplicity® Card
Our rating:3.9 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Intro bonus

No current offer

At A Glance

0% intro APR purchase period
18 months
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
18 months
Regular APR
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
BEST FOR GOOD CREDIT
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Our rating:3.9 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Intro bonus

Up to $250
Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card membership, up to $150 back. Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months of card membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.

At A Glance

0% intro APR purchase period
15 months
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
Intro offer only applies to purchases
Regular APR
13.99% - 23.99% variable
BEST FOR NO ANNUAL FEE
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Our rating:3.0 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Intro bonus

$200
One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

At A Glance

0% intro APR purchase period
15 months
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
Intro offer only applies to purchases
Regular APR
14.99% - 24.99% variable
BEST FOR CASH BACK
Citi® Double Cash Card
Our rating:3.5 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Intro bonus

No current offer

At A Glance

0% intro APR purchase period
Intro offer only applies to balance transfers
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
18 months
Regular APR
13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
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All information about the Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum card and the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the content, nor is it responsible for its accuracy.


A guide to zero interest credit cards

Using a credit card to pay down a balance over time can be convenient, but there is a trade-off: interest charges. You can think of interest as the fee you pay for borrowing money, usually expressed as a percentage of your balance. You can avoid interest entirely if you pay your balance in full each month. With a zero interest credit card, however, you get the ability to split up payments over a certain amount of time without accruing interest charges. These credit cards will typically offer new cardholders a 0% introductory APR period – usually 14 months or longer – in which new purchases or even balance transfers made with their card do not accumulate any interest. To help you best leverage these cards, we’ll outline the following:


The best 0% intro APR credit cards compared

Credit cardBest for:0% intro APRRegular APRCreditCards.com Rating
Citi® Diamond Preferred® CardBalance transfer18 months On balance transfers completed within the first 4 months and new purchases 13.74% – 23.74% Variable4.0 / 5
Discover it® Cash BackRotating category rewards14 months On balance transfers and new purchases 11.99% – 22.99% Variable4.5 / 5
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card0% introductory APR on purchases + cash back15 months On purchases and balance transfers 13.99% to 23.99% Variable4.1 / 5
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum CardLarge purchasesFirst 20 billing cycles On purchases and balance transfers 14.49% to 24.49% Variable4.2 / 5
Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ CardCellphone protection15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers made in the first 120 days as well as purchases 14.99% – 24.99% Variable3.6 / 5
BankAmericard® credit cardOngoing low APR18 billing cycles On balance transfers made in the first 60 days and new purchases. A 3% fee (minimum $10) applies to all balance transfers 12.99% – 22.99% Variable4.4 / 5
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit cardFlexible cash back categories15 billing cycles On balance transfers made in the first 60 days and new purchases. A 3% fee (minimum $10) applies to all balance transfers. 13.99% – 23.99% Variable4.2 / 5
Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit cardUnlimited cash back for Preferred Rewards members15 billing cycles On balance transfers made in the first 60 days and new purchases. A 3% fee (minimum $10) applies to all balance transfers. 13.99% – 23.99% Variable3.3 / 5
Chase Freedom Unlimited®0% intro APR and rewards15 months On purchases 14.99% – 23.74% Variable4.5 / 5
Discover it® Balance TransferHigh rewards rate + introductory bonus18 months On purchases 11.99% – 22.99% Variable4.5 / 5
Wells Fargo Platinum cardLong 0% intro APR period18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers 16.49% – 24.49% Variable4.0 / 5
Citi Simplicity® Card0% intro APR + low fees18 months on purchases and balance transfers completed within the first four months of account opening 14.74%-24.74% variable3.9 / 5
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressGood credit15 months On new purchases 13.99% – 23.99% Variable3.9 / 5
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit CardNo annual fee15 months On new purchases 14.99% – 24.99% Variable3.0 / 5
Citi® Double Cash CardCash back18 months On balance transfers 13.99% – 23.99% Variable3.5 / 5

best 0 apr credit cards

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card: Best for balance transfer

Why we picked it: If paying off debt is your top priority and you have good to excellent credit, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card could be a lifesaver. The card comes with an extremely long introductory APR offer: 0% for 18 months on balance transfers completed within the first 4 months and purchases, after which your APR is a relatively low 13.74% to 23.74% (variable).

Pros: There’s no annual fee. Plus, cardholders do enjoy certain Citi benefits, including Citi Entertainment, Citi Easy Deals and Citi Flex Plan.

Cons: The lack of a base rewards program limits this card’s long-term value. There’s a balance transfer fee of 3% of your balance or $5, whichever is higher.

Who should apply? Someone looking for a long intro APR on balance transfers who is worried they might be enticed to overspend if their new card offers cash back, points or miles.

Read our full Citi Diamond Preferred Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Discover it® Cash Back: Best for rotating category rewards

Why we picked it: One of the best rewards credit cards on the market, the Discover it Cash Back also touts a 0% intro APR for 14 months on new purchases and balance transfers (11.99% to 22.99% variable after that).

Pros: You earn 5% cash back on the first $1,500 you spend in rotating bonus categories each quarter (upon activation, then 1%) and Discover matches your cash back at the end of your first year. The Q2 2021 categories include gas stations, select streaming services and wholesale clubs.

Cons: There is a 3% intro balance transfer fee (up to 5% fee on future balance transfers).

Who should apply? Someone looking for a credit card with well-rounded benefits, including an intro APR on purchases or balance transfers, a potentially low go-to APR and a competitive cash back rewards program.

Read our full Discover it Cash Back review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card: Best for 0% introductory APR on purchases + cash back

Why we picked it: This new cash back card from Citi offers competitive base rewards, a lucrative sign-up bonus and a lengthy promotional APR on purchases and balance transfers (0% for 15 months, then variable 13.99% to 23.99%), all for no annual fee.

Pros: You earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent (after that, 1% cash back). Eligible categories include restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment. But you don’t have to enroll or track your spending; your earnings adjust automatically each billing cycle. You can also earn $200 in ThankYou points (redeemable as cash back) if you spend $750 within three months of account opening.

Cons: The 15-month 0% introductory APR extends to balance transfers (then variable 13.99% to 23.99%), but you’ll pay a steep 5% balance transfer fee (or $5, whichever is greater) if you take advantage of that offer. There’s a cap on your 5% cash back (up to $500 each billing cycle in your top spending category), which obviously eats into the card’s value.

Who should apply? If you’re looking to make a big purchase that will take you some time to pay off, but ultimately want a card that offers rewards, this Citi card is a great option.

Read our Citi Custom Cash Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card: Best for large purchases

Why we picked it: If you’re planning to finance a large purchase, this card is one of the best options on the market with its long introductory interest rate on purchases, as well as a lengthy intro period on balance transfers.

Pros: Cardholders receive a full 20 billing cycles before they start accruing interest on new purchases (14.49% to 24.49% variable APR thereafter). This no annual fee card also offers cellphone protection (coverage of up to $600, $25 deductible) in the case of covered damage or theft when you pay your cell phone bill with this card.

Cons: This card has limited long-term value as it does not offer a rewards program. The card also charges a fee of up to $40 for late payments and 2% to 3% on each foreign transaction you make (2% if the transaction is in U.S. dollars, 3% if in a foreign currency).

Who should apply? Anyone seeking a significant amount of time to pay down new purchases interest-free.

Read our U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card: Best for cellphone protection

Why we picked it: Benefits include up to $600 in cellphone protection against damaged or stolen equipment (subject to a $25 deductible) when cardmembers pay their monthly cellphone bill using their Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card. Also attractive, the unlimited 2% cash rewards on eligible everyday spending can really add up. Members also enjoy a long 0% introductory APR period for 15-months from account opening, and that applies to both qualifying balance transfers made in the first 120 days as well as purchases (14.99% to 24.99% variable APR thereafter).

Pros: The card carries no annual fee. Cash rewards never expire so long as your account remains in good standing. Besides cellphone insurance, card perks also include Visa Signature Concierge benefits at select hotel properties around the world.

Cons: Depending on spending habits, some may be better served by a card that allows you to maximize earnings in specific categories. It’s also important to note that the 0% intro APR on qualifying balance transfers must be made within the first 120 days as a cardholder to receive the special intro rate. There’s also a balance transfer fee of 3% if you transfer the balance within 120 days; 5% if you don’t (with a $5 minimum).

Who should apply? Anyone reading this through a cracked cellphone screen could certainly use the cellphone protection that comes with this flat rate cash back rewards card.

Read our Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

BankAmericard® credit card: Best for low ongoing APR

Why we picked it: With this card, you’ll have 18 billing cycles to take advantage of a 0% introductory APR on both balance transfers made within the first 60 days and purchases. After that, your regular APR ranges from 12.99% to 22.99% variable.

Pros: The low regular APR and lack of an annual fee make this card more valuable than the average 0% intro APR card.

Cons: The balance transfer fee is a standard 3%, with a $10 minimum.

Who should apply? Someone who is looking to avoid rewards on their intro APR card, so they can focus on paying down a balance transfer or large purchase. (Be sure, too, you can make any applicable balance transfers within your first 60 days.) This card is also potentially a fit for someone with good credit who is hoping for a low(ish) go-to APR once the intro period expires.

Read our full BankAmericard credit card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card: Best for flexible cash back categories

Why we picked it: New cardholders can take advantage of a 0% introductory APR on purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days for 15 billing cycles (after that it’s 13.99% to 23.99% variable).

Pros: Choose one of 6 valuable categories each calendar month for 3% cash back: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvement/furnishings. Plus, you’ll also earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%).

Cons: Keep in mind that any balance transfers will be subject to a fee of 3% ($10 minimum).

Who should apply? Someone looking for an intro APR on purchases or balance transfers who is also looking for a cash back credit card that offers bonus rewards on everyday spending, once they’ve paid their balances down.

Read our full Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card reviewor jump back to this card’s offer details.

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card: Best unlimited cash back for Preferred Rewards members

Why we picked it: With its unlimited 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases and 0% intro APR on balance transfers made in the first 60 days and purchases for 15 billing cycles (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR), this flat rate card offers both versatility and value. Existing Bank of America Preferred Rewards members stand to earn even more with an additional 25% to 75% boost on cash back rewards (the value of the boost varies based on the amount in your eligible Bank of America accounts). Also worth noting: cardmembers receive a $200 online cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening.

Pros: Cash rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains in good standing. Cash rewards can be redeemed for statement credits, deposits made directly to your Bank of America checking or savings account or as a credit to an eligible Merrill account.

Cons: Carry a balance beyond the introductory 15 billing cycle period and you could wind up paying quite a bit in interest, especially if you fall under the higher APR range. Some folks may be better served by a card that offers a high rewards rate on bonus categories aligned with their spending habits.

Who should apply? This unlimited flat rate card has broad appeal but existing Bank of America account holders can take advantage of the additional 25% to 75% boost on cash back rewards.

Read our full Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Best for 0% intro APR with rewards

Why we picked it: You can get 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases, then it’s 14.99% to 23.74% variable.

Pros: Cardholders receive 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 5% cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2022); 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year; 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases; and 1.5% cash back on general purchases. The sign-up bonus on this card is $200 after a low $500 spend within the first 3 months.

Cons: There’s no 0% intro APR offer on balance transfers.

Who should apply? Someone looking for an intro APR on purchases who is also hoping to secure a competitive sign-up bonus. (Note: Remember to pay any balances off in full before the introductory period expires. Otherwise, you’ll ultimately lose those bonus rewards to interest).

Read our full Chase Freedom Unlimited review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Discover it® Balance Transfer: Best for high rewards rate + introductory bonus

Why we picked it: Yes, cardmembers can make use of its lengthy 18-month 0% intro APR for balance transfers, plus a six-month 0% intro APR on purchases (11.99% to 22.99% variable APR after that). But what really stands out here are the card’s high rewards rate and Unlimited Cashback Match.

Pros: Earn 5% cash back on rotating categories like grocery stores, restaurants and gas stations up to the card’s quarterly max, then receive an unlimited 1% cash back after (activation required).

Cons: The purchase APR period isn’t very long compared to what’s offered by similar cards.

Who should apply? Anyone looking for a balance transfer card they can stick with long after paying down the debt will find a lot to like about the Discover it® Balance Transfer, including a high rewards rate and excellent first-year bonus.

Read our full Discover it® Balance Transfer review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Wells Fargo Platinum card: Best for long 0% introductory APR period

Why we picked it: The Wells Fargo Platinum boasts an impressive 18-month-from-account-opening introductory APR period for both purchases and qualifying balance transfers (then 16.49% to 24.49% variable APR). If you’re looking to maximize the amount of time you can avoid interest charges, this is one of the best offers on the market.

Pros: The card carries no annual fee.

Cons: There is a tradeoff if you’re going to transfer a balance: a fee of 3% or $5 (whichever is greater) for transfers made within the first 120 days from account opening, then up to 5% after that ($5 minimum). Also, there is no rewards program, so the long-term value of this card is limited.

Who should apply? Someone looking for a long intro APR on purchases and qualified balance transfers, given this card touts one of the longest offers currently available. (Just be sure to make any balance transfers in that 120-day window.)

Read our full Wells Fargo Platinum card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Citi Simplicity® Card: Best for 0% intro APR + low fees

Why we picked it: This no-frills credit card will appeal to people looking for a lengthy 0% intro APR (18 months on purchases and balances transfers completed within the first four months then 14.74% to 24.74% variable APR thereafter) and consumer-friendly fee structure.

Pros: This is one of the only cards on the market that lets you avoid late payment fees and a penalty APR for the long haul. The lack of rewards could be a boon, if you want to focus solely on paying down transferred balances or a large purchase. (Note: Late payments will still hurt your credit score and are best avoided.)

Cons: You’ll pay a balance transfer fee of 3% of the transferred balance or $5 whichever is greater. The lack of a rewards program is a drawback if you’re looking to earn points, miles or cash back once you’re done paying down your debt or a large purchase.

Who should apply? If you want to avoid interest in the short term and certain fees in the long term, the Citi Simplicity fits the bill.

Read our full Citi Simplicity® Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: Best for good credit

Why we picked it: There’s a 0% intro APR on purchases (15 months, then 13.99% to 23.99% variable).

Pros: You’ll enjoy an impressive cash back rewards program for no annual fee. That includes 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%); 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores; and 1% cash back on general purchases. Cardholders can also earn a $100 statement credit when they spend $2,000 in their first 6 months of card membership and earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the card within the first 6 months, up to $150 back.

Cons: There is no 0% intro APR balance transfer offer.

Who should apply? Someone with good credit who is about to make a large purchase they’ll need some time to pay off and ultimately wants to earn rewards on everyday expenses.

Read our full Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for no annual fee

Why we picked it: This no annual fee card has a decent 0% intro APR on purchases of 15 months, which means you pay off purchases without paying interest throughout 2021; it’s 14.99% to 24.99% variable after that.

Pros: Cardholders earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases. They can also earn $200 after a $500 spend within the first 3 months.

Cons: There’s no 0% intro APR on balance transfers.

Who should consider this card? Someone looking for an intro APR offer on purchases who ultimately wants to earn cash back without having to think too hard about their card’s rewards program.

Read our full Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Citi® Double Cash Card: Best for cash back

Why we picked it: You’ll pay 0% interest for the first 18 months on balance transfers, after which the APR is 13.99% to 23.99% (variable).

Pros: One of our favorite flat-rate cash back cards, the Citi Double Cash Card offers 1% cash back on general purchases and 1% cash back as you pay those purchases back. There’s no annual fee.

Cons: The balance transfer fee for new cardmembers is either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. There is no 0% intro APR offer for purchases.

Who should apply? Someone looking for a credit card that could bolster their financial health via a long balance transfer offer and encourage long-term responsible spending habits, given the card rewards paying down your balances.

Read our full Citi Double Cash Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.


What are zero interest credit cards?

Every credit card comes with an APR, also known as an interest rate, which is usually expressed as a percentage. APR stands for annual percentage rate and is essentially the cost of using the credit card to borrow money. The lower the interest rate, the less interest you will pay.

If you pay your credit card bill in full each month, you won’t pay any interest charges. But that’s an ideal situation. U.S. adults with a credit report and Social Security number have, on average, $1,621 in credit card debt per account, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

A 0% interest credit card allows you to avoid accumulating interest for a set amount of time. Some cards even offer a 0% intro APR period for debt you transfer from a different card, too, which can be a saving grace for those who are overwhelmed by an existing credit card balance. Zero interest cards usually require good or excellent credit and often have no annual fee. Keep in mind, you must still make your minimum monthly payments during the 0% intro APR period. Otherwise, the issuer will report a missed payment to the credit bureaus and the account will ultimately go into default. Plus, you’ll incur fees and, in most cases, lose access to the 0% introductory APR offer.

How do 0% interest credit cards work?

Each 0% introductory offer is different, but there are a few nuances that you should be familiar with when evaluating each one.

  • Zero percent intro offers are usually only for new applicants. If you’ve already had a specific credit card for years when you find out about a new 0% intro offer, chances are you won’t qualify. Another situation that usually makes one ineligible for a 0% intro APR offer is completing a product change. Say you call your card issuer and ask to trade your card for a different one without closing your account. Even if the card is new to you, your account wouldn’t be considered new, so you likely won’t qualify for the offer.
  • Some zero percent intro offers are only for balance transfers. With balance transfers, the 0% intro APR offer is usually only valid for balance transfers made within a short period of time after you open the account, such as 60 days. Sometimes you can transfer balances from multiple cards. You’ll usually have to pay a fee for transferring a balance, something like 3% to 5% of the transfer amount. If you still have a balance when the intro APR period is over, the ongoing APR will apply to whatever the current balance is.
  • Some zero percent intro offers are only for purchases. You can carry a balance from month to month without accumulating any interest until your intro period is over. Once that period ends, any balance remaining on your card will accrue interest. As a reminder, you must still make at least your monthly minimum payments during the intro period.

Further reading: How do 0% APR credit cards work?

How does your credit score affect your interest rate?

Not only does your credit score impact whether you get credit, your credit score affects what interest rate you get. This is true of all types of credit, including mortgages, car loans and credit cards. For credit cards in the U.S., the interest rate is usually a variable, typically the prime rate plus a margin of, for example, 10.99%. That’s where your credit score comes in.

Higher interest rates can cost you money

Your credit card issuer will look at your application and your credit score to decide where on that variable range your interest rate will land. For example, the range may be 11.99% to 22.99% variable APR, and because you have excellent credit and a solid income, you are granted a lower interest rate of say, 12.99%. Have a credit report that shows some missed payments? The interest rate you are assigned will likely be on the higher end.

Beware of high interest rates and high card balances

Attempting to carry a high balance on a high interest credit card can quickly land you in debt. Interest rates will increase the total amount you pay and can delay your payoff timeline by quite a bit, depending on how much you owe. Most credit cards have a variable rate, anywhere from 14% to 27%. This rate is determined by the issuer based on your individual creditworthiness.

Let’s say you make a large $5,000 purchase and the issuer has given you an interest rate of 14%. Using our Payoff Calculator to crunch the numbers, we can see that by paying $300 each month, it would take you 19 months to pay off your entire balance, and you’d spend $593 in interest.

Sometimes an issuer will give you a much higher interest rate after assessing your credit. If you make a $5,000 purchase but have an interest rate of, say, 27%, and pay the same minimum $300 each month, it will take you 22 months to pay off your balance and you’ll spend $1,338 in interest.

Now, let’s say you qualify for a credit card with an 18-month 0% introductory APR on purchases. If you make a $5,000 purchase and make that same $300 monthly payment, you’ll pay the balance off in 17 months, one full billing cycle before the 0% intro APR expires and you’ll pay $0 in interest. Here’s a recap of how the math works out:

Total balanceInterest rateMonthly paymentTotal interestTotal costPayoff time
$5,00027%$300$1,338$6,33822 months
$5,00014%$300$593$5,59319 months
$5,0000%$300$0$5,00017 months

In this example, the 0% intro APR on purchases saved you $593 to $1,338 dollars and two-to-five months in repayment, depending on your interest rate.

Now, the math changes a bit if you’re conducting a balance transfer, because almost all cards offering a zero percent introductory APR charge a 3% to 5% fee for balance transfers. However, assuming you’re transferring a $5,000 balance to 0% intro APR card that charges a 3% balance transfer fee with plans to make a $300 monthly payment, you can still come out ahead. Here’s how the costs break down:

Total balanceInterest rateBalance transfer feeMonthly paymentTotal interestTotal costPayoff time
$5,00027%N/A$300$1,338$6,33822 months
$5,00014%N/A$300$593$5,59319 months
$5,0000%$150$300$0$5,15018 months

In this scenario, the person paying a 27% interest rate can save $1,188 by conducting a balance transfer onto a 0% intro APR card, while the person paying a 14% interest can save $443.

How to avoid high interest charges on your credit card

All good things must come to an end, and that includes 0% introductory APR periods. When that time comes, your credit card balance will be subject to interest charges, which can add up quickly if you’re not careful. Let’s look at how to minimize your interest costs.

  • Don’t carry a balance over to the next month. The best way to avoid interest charges is to pay your balance in full and on time each month. Not only will you avoid interest charges, but you’ll also give your credit score a boost.
  • Pay more each month. By paying just $100 more each month toward your balance, you can dramatically lower how long it takes to pay off the debt, as well as the total you pay in interest.
  • Ask for a lower rate. If you feel like your interest rate is too high, explain your situation to the issuer and ask them to consider lowering it. If your account is in good standing and your credit is good, they will often oblige. Issuers have been similarly flexible in situations where the cardholder’s finances have been impacted during the pandemic.

Pros and cons of 0% APR credit cards

Advantages of zero interest credit cards

  • You’ll save on interest if you pay your balance transfer or purchases down during the promotional APR period.
  • Zero percent introductory APR cards rarely charge an annual fee.
  • Paying off debt via a balance transfer on a 0% introductory APR credit card can improve your credit score in the longer-term by decreasing your credit utilization rate.

Disadvantages of zero interest credit cards

  • You could face a high interest rate once the promotional APR expires.
  • You’ll pay a fee for balance transfers.
  • Balance transfers or large purchases on a 0% intro APR card can ding your credit score in the short-term by increasing your single-card credit utilization rate and generating a hard inquiry.

How to choose an introductory APR credit card

Who should get a 0% intro APR credit card?

  • The big spender. If you want to make a large purchase, such as a car or a dream vacation, a card with a lengthy 0% intro APR period can afford you a long runway (typically six to 18 months) for spacing out payments and carrying a balance interest-free.
  • The balance reducer. If you are carrying high-interest credit card debt, you can transfer it to a credit card offering a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers. This gives you a window to make progress on reducing the debt itself, but be mindful of potential balance transfer fees.

Who should skip a 0% intro APR credit card?

  • The rewards seeker. While some 0% intro APR credit cards do offer rewards, you’ll likely want to avoid the temptation of overspending to rack up rewards and instead focus on paying off an existing balance. Also, you can usually find more lucrative programs attached to traditional or premium rewards credit cards.
  • The payment procrastinator. Your 0% introductory period will not last forever, so enjoy it while you have it. The 0% interest only lasts for the duration of the introductory period, and once it ends, the card will revert to its regular APR, which may not be low (based on your creditworthiness).

How to make the most of your zero interest intro APR

  • Transfer existing, high-interest debt: Chipping away at credit card debt is a good thing, but it’s even better to do so without paying interest charges. For example, say you’re currently carrying a $2,000 balance on a credit card with a 16% APR and you’re making $60 monthly payments. You can expect to pay that balance off in 45 months and pay $662.73 in total interest. Were you to transfer your balance to, say, the BankAmericard® credit card, which offers a 0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days (12.99% to 22.99% variable APR thereafter) at 3% fee (min. $10), you could expect to pay that balance off in 37 months and pay $212.51 in interest**. That means you’ll pay the balance back 8 months sooner and save $450.22 in interest. Our balance transfer calculator can help you determine how much you could save by transferring your current balance to various cards with a 0% intro APR.
  • Plan large purchases ahead of time: Do you have a home improvement project on the horizon? What about a car repair, or even a vacation? If you have a large purchase planned, taking advantage of a 0% intro purchase APR offer can reduce some of the financial strain. Using our balance transfer calculator, if you were to charge $3,000 in car repairs to a credit card with an 18% APR on purchases and pay those repairs off in $500 monthly increments, you would pay $168.04 in interest over 7 months. But if you charged those repairs to a credit card with a 0% introductory offer for at least 6 months, you could skip interest entirely and pay your balance off one month earlier.
  • Make sure your balance is as close to zero as possible when the intro period ends: Any balance that you still owe at the end of your 0% intro period will be subject to interest charges, even if you made the purchases before the intro period ended. For that reason, you should be hyper-aware of when that period ends. For instance, let’s say you charged $5,000 to a zero percent interest credit card, but are only able to pay off $2,000 before the 0% introductory offer expires. If that card then carries a 22% APR and you start making $500 monthly payments, it’ll take you another 7 months to pay off the balance and you’ll pay $208.34 in interest.

**All calculations were obtained using our balance transfer calculator.

How we picked the best 0% intro APR credit cards

Research methodology: We analyzed over 1,000 zero interest intro APR credit cards to identify some of the best offers on the market. The major factors we considered were:

  • 0% intro APR period for purchases: Does the card allow you to skip interest charges of purchases for a set period of time? If so, how long does the offer last?
  • 0% intro APR period for balance transfers: Does the card allow you to skip interest charges on a balance transfer for a set period of time? If so, how long does the offer last?
  • Regular APRs: After the introductory period expires, are the purchase APRs and/or balance transfer APRs reasonable, relative to the current industry average?
  • Balance transfer fee: Do you have to pay a fee to transfer a balance onto the new card and take advantage of the zero percent offer? If so, is the fee reasonable relative to the industry standard?
  • Overall card value: Does the card offer benefits once the introductory 0% APR offer ends? For no-frills cards, we considered whether continued use would cost cardholders an annual fee.

Other criteria used include other rates and fees, rewards rates, extra benefits and features, customer service, credit needed, ease of application and security features.

Additional information on 0% APR credit cards

For more information on all things 0% APR cards, continue reading content from our credit card experts:


Frequently Asked Questions