Best 0% APR Credit Cards

Zero interest credit card offers can help you finally get your debt managed and under control by transferring an existing balance, or can help you fund a bigger purchase. Our experts have analyzed 1,002 different credit card offers with a 0% introductory APR period and listed the best no interest offers from our partners to suit different spending habits.

Simply put, you are given a promotional period to pay off your balance without paying interest. The offers in the marketplace range widely, from 6 months to 18 months, which means you can pay no interest into 2022. Once the offer ends, you pay interest each month for any remaining balance.

As wonderful as such a promotion may seem, it makes best sense to pay off the balance before the offer ends to avoid interest charges. And that’s the tricky part. That said, if you make a budget, pay down the debt and follow the card issuer’s rules, you can save hundreds of dollars in interest charges.

Of our cards with 0% intro APR offers on balance transfers, the average offer is 0% for 15 months, with a variable go-to rate of 17.51%. For 0% intro APR offers on new purchases, the average offer is 0% for 14 months, with a variable go-to rate of 19.21%. Those figures were pulled on 7/7/20.

Most 0% intro APR cards do not charge an annual fee, but they may not offer rewards. Most require good or excellent credit, so be sure to check your credit score before applying. Also, check out our balance transfer calculator to figure out which promotional period is best for you, use our CardMatch tool to get our card suggestions, or take a look at our choices below and compare your options.

Zero interest credit card offers can help you finally get your debt managed and under control by transferring an existing balance, or can help you fund a bigger purchase. Our experts have analyzed 1,002 different credit card offers with a 0% introductory APR period and listed the best no interest offers from our partners to suit different spending habits.

Simply put, you are given a promotional period to pay off your balance without paying interest. The offers in the marketplace range widely, from 6 months to 18 months, which means you can pay no interest into 2022. Once the offer ends, you pay interest each month for any remaining balance.

As wonderful as such a promotion may seem, it makes best sense to pay off the balance before the offer ends to avoid interest charges. And that’s the tricky part. That said, if you make a budget, pay down the debt and follow the card issuer’s rules, you can save hundreds of dollars in interest charges.

Of our cards with 0% intro APR offers on balance transfers, the average offer is 0% for 15 months, with a variable go-to rate of 17.51%. For 0% intro APR offers on new purchases, the average offer is 0% for 14 months, with a variable go-to rate of 19.21%. Those figures were pulled on 7/7/20.

Most 0% intro APR cards do not charge an annual fee, but they may not offer rewards. Most require good or excellent credit, so be sure to check your credit score before applying. Also, check out our balance transfer calculator to figure out which promotional period is best for you, use our CardMatch tool to get our card suggestions, or take a look at our choices below and compare your options.

By: Laura Mohammad

|

July 28, 2020

Best 0% APR Credit Cards

Excellent

Credit Recommended (740-850)

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.
Apply Now

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)

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.
Apply Now

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. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

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
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

$150
Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.

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
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

$150
Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

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
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

$250
$250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months

At A Glance

0% Intro APR Purchase Period
12 months
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
Intro offer only applies to purchases
Regular APR
13.99% - 23.99% variable

Excellent

Credit Recommended (740-850)

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.
Apply Now

Intro Bonus

15,000 points
Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com

At A Glance

0% Intro APR Purchase Period
15 months
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
15 months
Regular APR
13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)

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.

All information about Citi Simplicity® Card, Wells Fargo Platinum card, The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer. The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express is no longer available through CreditCards.com.


Comparing zero interest credit card offers

During these turbulent times, credit card debt is something that can be a cause for worry. With the current uncertainty about the economy, you may be inclined to practice an overabundance of caution with your finances. However, you need to be smart when planning out those finances.

While not a cure-all, a card with a 0% APR offer on purchases, balance transfers or both can help pull you up out of ever-building debt by temporarily halting the interest charges that come with carrying a balance. We evaluated over 1,000 credit cards with a 0% intro APR offer and calculated the estimated savings of each offer and the other benefits for each card. Here, we look at:


best 0 apr credit cards

Best 0% Interest Credit Cards of 2020

Discover it® Cash Back

Why it’s the best 0% APR credit card for rotating category rewards

Not only will you earn 5% cash back on the first $1,500 you spend in rotating bonus categories each quarter (upon activation, then 1%), you can earn double your cash back at the end of your first year. The Q3 categories include PayPal and restaurants, perfect for dining al fresco this summer.

Pros

If you have good to excellent credit and are looking for some cash back variety, this no annual fee card could be a perfect fit. Take advantage of a 0% intro APR for 14 months on new purchases and balance transfers (11.99%-22.99% variable after that). Also, fees are minimal, including no annual fee.

Cons

There’s a lot to love about this card, but if there’s a disadvantage, it’s that the 0% intro APR offers aren’t as long as we like. However, for a rewards card, the offers are more than competitive.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Why it’s the best 0% APR credit card for balance transfer

If paying off debt is your top priority and you have the excellent credit needed to qualify, 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, after which your APR is a relatively low 14.74%-24.74% (variable).

Pros

The fees are minimal with this card, including no annual fee. The balance transfer fee is either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, but the super long balance transfer offer outweighs any concern you might have with this charge.

Cons

If you’re looking for a card with a 0% intro APR offer that has longevity, this isn’t the best choice. While the introductory APR offer is top-notch, there are no rewards, points, or miles to be earned for everyday spending.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Why it’s the best 0% APR credit cards for good credit

Good to excellent credit is required to qualify, but if you make the cut, this no annual fee card should offer terrific long-term value. That means you’ll need a FICO Score of at least 670 out of a range of 300-850 to even be considered for this card.

Pros

You’ll enjoy an impressive cash back rewards program: Get 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1%), 2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% back on all other purchases.

Cons

You won’t find a balance transfer offer with this card, which takes away an option for the consumer with a balance on another card. However, there’s a 0% intro APR for 15 months on new purchases (13.99%-23.99% variable APR after that).

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

Why it’s the best 0% APR credit card for low interest

The low-end APR comes in well below the national average, starting at 13.99% and going to 23.99% (variable). Savings-minded cardholders will love this card’s $0 annual fee and unlimited 1.5% cash back rate on every purchase.

Pros

The Amex Cash Magnet is a great fit for applicants with good to excellent credit who want to reel in interest charges while earning rewards. The card comes with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months, after which the 13.99%-23.99% variable APR kicks in.

Cons

Sadly, there’s no 0% intro APR offer on balance transfers with this card. Also, there’s a minimum redemption threshold of $25.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Why it’s the best 0% APR credit card for cash back

One of our favorite flat-rate cash back cards, the Citi Double Cash Card is ideal for rewards-savvy applicants with excellent credit. You’ll earn up to 2% cash back on every purchase – 1% back when you buy, plus 1% back as you pay off those purchases.

Pros

This card charges no annual fee and can give you a chance to chip away at an existing balance: You’ll pay 0% interest for the first 18 months on balance transfers, after which the APR is 13.99%-23.99% (variable).

Cons

If you have big new purchases you’re planning to make and not pay in full, but have zero bandwidth for paying interest charges, this card may not be the best choice: The Citi Double Cash doesn’t offer 0% intro APR on purchases.

Citi Simplicity® Card

Why it’s the best 0% intro APR credit card for no late fees

The Citi Simplicity Card shines where it counts, offering cardholders with excellent credit a chance to pay down debt while avoiding some fees. You’ll pay no annual fee, no late fees and no penalty APR.

Pros

With this card you can take advantage of a 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, after which the ongoing APR is 14.74%-24.74% (variable).

Cons

This card lacks a rewards program and comes with few notable perks, which means it’s perhaps not the best choice once the 0% intro APR offer ends.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Why it’s the best 0% APR credit card for welcome offer

The Blue Cash Preferred’s welcome offer is one of the best among cash back cards – earn $250 after a $1,000 spend within the first 3 months. Also, earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 a year, then 1%), as well as 6% on select U.S. streaming services.

Pros

If you’re looking to get 0% intro APR on new purchases, this card has a 12-month offer (then it’s 13.99%-23.99% variable). Also, earn 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on all manner of transit. It’s 1% on other purchases.

Cons

There’s no 0% intro APR offer on balance transfers, giving it limited value in that realm. Also, the annual fee of $95 isn’t waived the first year.

Summary of 0% intro APR Credit Card Offers

Credit Card Best For: 0% intro APR Regular APR CreditCards.com Rating
Discover it® Cash Back Rotating category rewards 14 months On balance transfers and new purchases 11.99% – 22.99% Variable 3.9 / 5
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card Balance transfer 18 months On balance transfers and new purchases 14.74% – 24.74% Variable 3.9 / 5
Wells Fargo Platinum card 0% intro APR 18 months On qualifying balance transfers and new purchases 15.49% – 24.99% Variable 4.4 / 5
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Good credit 15 months On qualifying balance transfers and new purchases 13.99% – 23.99% Variable 3.5 / 5
American Express Cash Magnet® Card Low interest 15 months On qualifying balance transfers and new purchases 13.99% – 23.99% Variable 2.9 / 5
Citi® Double Cash Card Cash back 18 months On balance transfers 13.99% – 23.99% Variable 3.7 / 5
Citi Simplicity® Card No late fees 21 months On balance transfers 14.74% – 24.74% Variable 3.7 / 5

Research methodology

0% intro APR credit cards analyzed: 1,002

Criteria used: 0% intro APR period for purchases, 0% intro APR period for balance transfers, balance transfer fee, regular APR, other rates and fees, rewards rates, extra benefits and features, customer service, credit needed, ease of application, security

How do 0% APR credit cards work?

A 0% intro APR offer allows you to carry a balance month to month while paying no interest for a set amount of time, up to 21 months. While you sometimes see cards offering 0% interest for 24 months, none are currently available. After this introductory period, the regular APR kicks in, which is typically a variable rate within a specific range.

These are great cards for paying off a card balance (or two) without incurring more interest charges. They are also good for consolidating debt into a single payment. These cards can sometimes offer 0% APR on purchases for a limited time. With balance transfers, you can avoid the debilitating costs of interest fees, which can number in the thousands of dollars over time. Surprisingly, two-thirds of consumers we polled said they had never applied for a credit card to pay 0% on a new purchase.

Just keep in mind that you’ll want to be sure you’ve paid down your balance before your intro APR period runs out so that you can avoid interest charges. Be sure to watch out for potential pitfalls like using multiple intro APR cards (and racking up transfer charges in the process) and adding new debt to your card. This way, you’ll be in a good place when your introductory APR period ends.

Have you ever applied for a credit card to pay 0% on a new purchase?…

  • Yes, and I got the 0% APR card
  • 26%
  • Yes, but I wasn’t approved
  • 7%
  • No, I’ve never applied for a 0% card
  • 45%
  • No, I didn’t know 0% APR cards existed
  • 23%

CreditCards.com November 2018 0%/BT survey

What to look for in a credit card with no interest

Unlike other types of loans, credit cards have several APRs, which we look at here.

  • Regular APR – This APR is applied when you make a purchase. When you allow the balance to carry over past the grace period, you face interest charges. This is the most common interest rate on a credit card.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases – If you make purchases while your card has a 0% intro APR offer on purchases, you will not pay interest, provided you follow the issuer’s rules. Once the offer ends, if a balance remains, the go-to rate kicks in.
  • 0% intro APR on BT – When you transfer a balance to a new card, if there is a 0% intro APR offer, you will not pay interest during the offer period, provided you don’t violate any rules. If there is a balance after the offer ends, the go-to rate kicks in.
  • Go-to APR – A go-to APR, typically the regular APR, is the rate you pay once a 0% intro APR period ends.
  • Penalty APR – If you aren’t making payments – in other words, you are delinquent – you can face this rate. This rate is quite a bit higher than the other rates. Some cards, such as the Discover cards, don’t have a penalty APR.
  • Cash advance APR – When you take out a cash advance, such as when you make an ATM withdrawal, you are charged this rate. While not as high as the penalty rate, it is typically higher than purchase or balance transfer APRs. There is no grace period with a cash advance, so count on being charged interest from day one.

Other factors to consider

  • Balance transfer fee – Most cards that allow balance transfers charge a fee, which is usually 3%. A few cards waive this fee, which can save you hundreds of dollars, depending on your balance.
  • Rewards – When you are looking for rewards in a 0% credit card, there’s usually a tradeoff – if there are rewards, the 0% offer is typically lower than a card that exclusively offers 0% on balance transfers and/or purchases. Rewards can come in sign-up bonuses, ongoing rewards or both.
  • Annual fee – Most cards with a 0% intro offer have no annual fee, although there are a few that do, so check before committing.

What is the impact of credit card interest fees?

Yes, credit card interest fees raise your debt, but they can also make it difficult to pay down that debt if you are paying the minimum each month. Here, we look at how they can cost you money, how your credit score impacts them and more.

How your credit score impacts your ongoing interest rate

The regular interest rate on your credit card is based primarily on your credit score, which in turn is informed by the amount you owe compared to your available credit as well as your on-time payments. The higher your score, the lower your risk to the bank, and therefore the lower the interest rate you will likely get.

How higher interest rates can cost you money

You know now that paying down your debt is optimal, but high interest rates can increase the total amount you pay in interest and delay your payoff timeline. Most credit cards have a variable rate, anywhere from 14%-27%. The rate you are given by the card issuer depends in part on your creditworthiness.

  • Say you owe $5,000 and you are assigned a 14% interest rate. If you pay down $300 each month, it will take you 19 months and you will pay $592.79 in interest.
  • Now, take that same $5,000 but with 27% interest. If you pay the same $300 each month, it will take you 22 months and it will cost you $1,337.32 in interest.
  • As you’ve probably figured out, the sooner you pay the debt, the less in interest you’ll pay. But the interest rate is another huge factor, as you’ve seen. Check out our handy-dandy calculators to crunch the numbers yourself and see how you can minimize your interest charges.

Use Creditcard’s.com’s payoff calculator to find out how much you are paying in interest.

Strategies to avoid paying credit card interest

Take advantage of your grace period

Your credit card grace period is a period of time in which you can charge purchases to your card and hold off on paying without being charged interest. You can save hundreds each year when you take advantage of your grace period, but you’ll need to pay in full before the deadline each month to qualify.

Pay in full each month

You may know that you should pay in full each month to avoid interest charges, but here’s a tip – consider paying the balance off multiple times a month. Why? Because it will help keep your credit utilization ratio low, thereby helping your credit score.

Manage your credit card weekly

We run the risk of overcharging on credit cards because we don’t “see” the transaction – in other words, money doesn’t leave our hands. By managing your credit card on a weekly cadence, you are less likely to go over your budget because you can correct yourself sooner.

Pay more than the minimum

If you simply can’t pay down the balance, at least don’t pay only the minimum. The more you pay each month, the faster you’ll pay down the debt, but also you’ll pay less in interest.

Ask for a lower rate

One little-known way to lower your interest is to simply ask for a lower rate. If you are assigned a higher rate on the card’s range, don’t be shy about asking for a lower rate. We found that 56% of consumers who asked were granted a lower interest rate.

Watch out for deferred interest

Sometimes you’ll see the opportunity to pay over time at, say, a furniture store or a jewelry store and defer interest. Be careful, because that means you are accruing interest from the beginning, and you may have to pay that interest if you don’t pay the balance before the offer ends. By comparison, 0% intro offers on credit cards don’t charge interest during the offer period, although interest does kick on any remaining balance once the offer ends.

What is the average interest rate on a credit card? What is good?

The national average APR has been hovering between 16% and 17%, and the average rate among low interest credit cards is currently under 14%. Usually, your credit cards’ interest rates are variable and depend on the Federal Reserve’s rates as well as your payment habits. In the case of 0% APR cards, the lower rate on the scale is sometimes below the national average. As a rule of thumb, anything below the national average APR can be considered a good APR on a credit card.

Credit card issuers don’t just charge high rates because they want to gouge the consumer – they face significant risk when they issue a credit card.

Why? Because they are committing to lending you money, just as when a bank grants you a mortgage or car loan. However, cards differ because they are what is called an unsecured product, while a loan to buy a car or house is secured. That means that with a card, there is no collateral, or an asset the lender can recover if you don’t pay them their money back.

Also, unlike a lending product such as some student loans in which the federal government may back the loan, no one is backing the loan you are taking out with a credit card every time you make a charge.

How can I avoid interest on a credit card?

One way to avoid paying interest on a credit card is with a 0% intro APR offer, either for a balance transfer or for purchases. But there’s a more straightforward way.

When you pay in full and on time each month, you avoid paying interest altogether. By doing this, you also avoid the balance transfer fee most balance transfer cards charge, which is usually 3%-5% or $5-$10, whichever is greater. And there’s another advantage to paying in full and on time.

By paying in full and on time, you are benefiting your credit score tremendously. In fact, those two actions make up 65% of your FICO score, the dominant scoring model in the U.S.

That’s not to say you can’t build your credit while using a 0% intro APR offer, though. When you open a new card account, the available credit will help your overall credit rating, so the sooner you pay down the debt (thereby increasing the available credit), the better.

Why use a 0% intro APR credit card?

The regular APR on a credit card can be exorbitant, so paying a balance off while avoiding interest can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars. You can be tempted by the minimum monthly payments credit cards offer, while a 0% intro APR can discipline you to pay off the debt in a set amount of time.

There are a number of reasons why you might want to use a 0% intro APR credit card:

  • Pay off a balance transfer
  • Pay off a large purchase or series of purchases, such as a home renovation
  • Consolidate accounts for convenience
  • Pay off non-card balances, such as loans for furniture purchases

Laura Mohammad is an editor and writer at CreditCards.com. She regularly covers the best credit cards and works to bring you the most up-to-date analysis and advice. You can reach Laura at laura.mohammad@creditcards.com.


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