0% Intro APR Credit Cards

These cards offer an outstanding 0% intro APR on purchases, balance transfers, or both. This can help you finally get your hands on that big-ticket item you’ve been eyeing, or manage debt by transferring an existing balance. Our experts have analyzed 1,002 different credit card offers with a 0% introductory APR period and listed the 10 best no interest offers from our partners to suit different spending habits.

These cards offer an outstanding 0% intro APR on purchases, balance transfers, or both. This can help you finally get your hands on that big-ticket item you’ve been eyeing, or manage debt by transferring an existing balance. Our experts have analyzed 1,002 different credit card offers with a 0% introductory APR period and listed the 10 best no interest offers from our partners to suit different spending habits.

Summary

Best 0% APR Credit Cards of 2019

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

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 at U.S. Bank's Secure Site

See Rates & Fees

At A Glance

0% Intro APR Purchase Period
20 billing cycles
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
20 billing cycles
Regular APR
14.74% - 25.74% variable

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Highlights

  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 14.74% - 25.74%
  • Great offer from U.S. Bank, a 2019 World's Most Ethical Company® - Ethisphere Institute, February 2019
  • No Annual Fee*
  • Flexibility to choose a payment due date that fits your schedule
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your U.S.Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card. Certain terms, conditions, and exclusions apply.

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0*
Intro Purchase APR
0%* for 20 billing cycles on purchases*
Regular APR
14.74% - 25.74%* (Variable)
Intro Balance Transfers APR
0%* intro on BTs for 20 billing cycles

View All Card Details

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Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

See Rates & Fees

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 at Discover's Secure Site

See Rates & Fees

At A Glance

0% Intro APR Purchase Period
14 months
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
14 months
Regular APR
14.24% - 25.24% variable

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Highlights

  • Intro Offer: Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 14 months
Regular APR
14.24% - 25.24% Variable
Intro Balance Transfers APR
0% for 14 months

View All Card Details

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Wells Fargo Platinum Visa card

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa card
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 at Wells Fargo's Secure Site

At A Glance

0% Intro APR Purchase Period
18 months
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
18 months
Regular APR
13.74% - 27.24% variable

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Highlights

  • 0% Intro APR for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply), then a 13.74%-27.24% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
  • 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
  • Easy 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

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 18 months
Regular APR
13.74%-27.24% (Variable)
Intro Balance Transfers APR
0% for 18 months on qualifying balance transfers

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Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
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 at Capital One's Secure Site

At A Glance

0% Intro APR Purchase Period
15 months
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
15 months
Regular APR
16.24% - 26.24% variable

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Highlights

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 16.24%-26.24% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 16.24%-26.24% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Regular APR
16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)
Intro Balance Transfers APR
0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months

View All Card Details

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BankAmericard® credit card

BankAmericard® credit card
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 at Bank of America's Secure Site

At A Glance

0% Intro APR Purchase Period
18 billing cycles
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
18 billing cycles for BTs made in the first 60 days
Regular APR
15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

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Highlights

  • 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • No penalty APR. Paying late won't automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Other account pricing and terms apply
  • Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% Introductory APR on purchases for 18 billing cycles
Regular APR
15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Intro Balance Transfers APR
0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days

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Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever
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 at Citi's Secure Site

At A Glance

0% Intro APR Purchase Period
12 months
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
21 months
Regular APR
16.99% - 26.99% variable

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Highlights

  • The only card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.99% - 26.99%, based on your creditworthiness
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.99% - 26.99%, based on your creditworthiness
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% 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

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0*
Intro Purchase APR
0%* 12 months on Purchases*
Regular APR
16.99% - 26.99%* (Variable)
Intro Balance Transfers APR
0%* 21 months on Balance Transfers*

View All Card Details

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Discover it® Balance Transfer

Discover it® Balance Transfer

See Rates & Fees

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 at Discover's Secure Site

See Rates & Fees

At A Glance

0% Intro APR Purchase Period
6 months
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
18 months
Regular APR
14.24% - 25.24% variable

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Highlights

  • Intro Offer: Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 6 months
Regular APR
14.24% - 25.24% Variable
Intro Balance Transfers APR
0% for 18 months

View All Card Details

Show More

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
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 at Wells Fargo's Secure Site

At A Glance

0% Intro APR Purchase Period
12 months
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
12 months
Regular APR
16.24% - 28.24% variable

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Highlights

  • 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 Google 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 (fees apply), then a 16.24%-28.24% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 12 months
Regular APR
16.24%-28.24% (Variable)
Intro Balance Transfers APR
0% for 12 months on qualifying balance transfers

View All Card Details

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Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

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.
Apply Now at American Express's Secure Site

See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply

At A Glance

0% Intro APR Purchase Period
15 months
0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Period
15 months
Regular APR
15.24% - 26.24% variable

Show Less

Highlights

  • Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 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 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 15.24% to 26.24%.
  • You spoke, we listened. Over 1.6 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2018.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% on Purchases for 15 months
Regular APR
15.24%-26.24% Variable
Intro Balance Transfers APR
0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months

View All Card Details

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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.


Comparing Zero Interest Credit Card Offers

Updated: June 19, 2019

The best of us get into trouble with our credit cards. We might have had back-breaking medical bills. Or the car broke down again. The fact is, while credit cards are partly for convenience, sometimes they can seem rather inconvenient because of a steep balance.

One of our surveys shows that amongst those who don’t have a plan to tackle their credit card debt, though, 42% gave this as their reason: "I just don’t know where to start."

That's where 0% intro APR offers come in. 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 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:

To understand how a 0% APR offer can work for you, read on.


best 0 apr credit cards

CreditCards.com's Best 0% Intro APR Credit Cards of 2019

These are our favorite 0% APR credit card offers that give you a long time to pay off purchases and balance transfers. Our top pick is the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card due to its long introductory offer. Many cards also have great rewards, like the Capital One Quicksilver, which offers a 15 month interest free intro period and 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Credit CardBest For:0% APR - Balance Transfers0% APR - PurchasesRegular APRCreditCards.com Rating
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum CardBest 0% intro APR period on purchases20 billing cycles20 billing cycles14.74% - 25.74% Variable4.5 / 5
Chase Freedom Unlimited®Low interest with rewards15 months15 months17.24% - 25.99% Variable3.9 / 5
Discover it® Cash BackCompetitive regular APR14 months14 months14.24% - 25.24% Variable3.9 / 5
Wells Fargo Platinum Visa card0 liability protection18 months18 months13.74% - 27.24% Variable4.4 / 5
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit CardNo annual fee15 months15 months16.24% - 26.24% Variable4.0 / 5
BankAmericard® credit card0 penalty APR18 billing cycles*18 billing cycles15.24% - 25.24% Variable3.9 / 5
Citi Simplicity® CardBest 0% intro APR period on balance transfers21 months12 months16.99% - 26.99% Variable3.7 / 5
Discover it® Balance TransferLong balance transfer offer18 months6 months14.24 - 25.24% Variable4.5 / 5
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® CardCash sign-up bonus12 months12 months16.24 - 28.24% Variable3.5 / 5
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressLong term value15 months15 months15.24% - 26.24% Variable3.9 / 5

*for balance transfers made in the first 60 days

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

What are 0% APR credit cards and what does 0% intro APR mean?

What are 0% APR credit cards?

A 0% intro APR card is a product that offers no interest for a set amount of time, sometimes up to 18 months or longer. 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.

What does 0% intro APR mean?

A 0% intro APR means that you pay no interest for a set amount of time on balance transfers on credit cards, purchases or both. With balance transfers, you can avoid the debilitating costs of interest fees, which can number in the thousands of dollars over time. For example, if you have a $3,000 balance on a card and you're paying 17% APR, it would take you 126 months to pay the minimum payment each month. That includes the $3,000 plus $2,241 in interest fees. By using a 0% intro APR card, you can avoid the $2,241 charges, provided that you pay off the debt before the offer ends. A 0% intro APR card can sometimes be used for purchases, as well, which is handy if you have a big purchase coming up.

When is it beneficial to have a 0% interest credit card?

  • Major purchase. Pay for that quick trip to the Bahamas with a 0% intro APR for purchases.
  • Consolidation. Some consumers use a 0% APR card to consolidate debt, placing multiple balances on a single card for one easy payment.
  • Balance transfer. This is the most common use of a 0% interest card. Transfer balances on high-interest cards to a card with a 0% intro APR.
  • Non-card debt. You can use the 0% offer for debt other than card balances, however, a loan with low interest may not be worth your while to transfer if you may not pay it off before the offer ends.
  • Emergencies. When a sudden bill comes your way, such as a fridge on the fritz, this is a way to cover costs in the short term.
  • Rewards. If the card has good ongoing rewards, a 0% APR card can be a good choice for the long haul.

Here's a shocker: Two-thirds of consumers we polled said they had never applied for a credit card to pay 0% on a new purchase. Yet, used correctly, they are a great way to defer paying off debt temporarily while paying no interest.

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

  •  26%
  • Yes, and I got the 0% APR card
  •  7%
  • Yes, but I wasn't approved
  •  45%
  • No, I've never applied for a 0% card
  •  23%
  • No, I didn't know 0% APR cards existed
  • Source: CreditCards.com balance transfer card survey


Pros and Cons of the Best 0% APR Credit Cards

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

Pros

This card's balance transfer and purchase 0% APR offer is tough to beat, with 20 billing cycles for each. Also, the variable go-to rate is a low 14.74% - 25.74%, just right for paying down after the 0% offer ends. One of the better hidden perks about this card is the $600 cellphone protection ($25 deductible), which comes in handy during unexpected emergencies.

Cons

This is another card without a sign-up bonus or ongoing rewards, making it a bit of a dubious offer for the long haul.

Bottom Line: This card should be one of your top picks if you need a long time to pay off an existing balance or big purchase.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Pros

With a decent 0% intro APR length of 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers, this card matches its competitors in terms of intro length. While it is a decent 0% APR card, the CFU's greatest draw is its elevated cash back of 3% on all purchases (up to $20,000 spent) in the first year. Afterwards, it's a competitive 1.5% cash back on all purchases. There are no rotating categories or required quarterly sign-ups to keep up with.

Cons

With a high variable go-to rate of 17.24%-25.99% APR, the Freedom Unlimited isn't the best choice for carrying a balance after the intro offers end. You can also do better with 1.5% back for certain categories of purchases.

Bottom Line: The Chase Freedom Unlimited's 0% intro APR offer is the right choice for a consumer with a moderate amount of debt. The first-year and ongoing rewards are competitive, but the regular APR isn't ideal for someone who plans to carry a balance beyond the end of the 0% offer.

Discover it® Cash Back

Pros

With a fun double your cash back at year end, this card can earn you up to $600 in cash back your first year with its 5% back on select categories up to the quarterly maximum of $1,500 in purchases after activating. That's $75 back each quarter with a $500 monthly spend and $300 at the end of the year. Categories for the rest of 2019 include: gas stations, Uber and Lyft (Q2); restaurants and PayPal (Q3); and the always popular categories of Amazon.com, Target, and Walmart.com (Q4).

Cons

While decent, 14 months of 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers isn't the longest offer out there – if your primary concern is to pay a sizeable balance off while avoiding interest charges, you may want to look elsewhere. There also isn't a lot in the way of purchase and travel benefits with this card.

Bottom Line: The Discover it Cash Back has one of the lowest variable APRs among 0% cards, with 14.24% - 25.24%, which is handy if you think you may carry a balance after the 0% offer ends. Also, the rewards are strong, even with no sign-up bonus.

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa card

Pros

Arguably the best credit card for balance transfers in particular, the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa card features a 0% offer of 18 months for purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then 13.74% - 27.24% variable APR. With 18 months of 0 interest on balance transfers, you can pay $50 a month in 6 months with no interest for that trampoline you bought for the kids for summer entertainment. Planning a big move and all the costs around it? You can pay 0% interest until 2021.

Cons

The variable go-to rate is 13.74% - 27.24%, which is a large range that's great on the lower end but high on the upper end. Also, there are no ongoing rewards or a sign-up bonus.

Bottom Line: Although there are no rewards, the Platinum Visa card is outstanding as a 0% card and you can continue to build credit with it in the long term.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Pros

The Capital One Quicksilver Card has increased its 0% intro APR period to 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, which is competitive. After the intro period, the APR goes to the regular variable APR of 16.24% - 26.24%.

Cons

This card doesn't have the high cashback rate of the Chase Freedom, which offers 5% back on rotating categories, although you don't have to think about rotating categories when you're using the Quicksilver.

Bottom Line: With no annual fee and unlimited cash back, this card also doubles as a 0% APR card, which means it can be good for the long haul.

BankAmericard® credit card

Pros

The BankAmericard has one of the longest offers on both purchases and balance transfers at 18 billing cycles before the regular APR of 15.24% - 25.24% (variable) kicks in. Not only does it come with no annual fee, but it also has no penalty rate. It also lets you access your FICO score for free.

Cons

There is a time limit to when you must make your balance transfers in order to take advantage of the introductory rate offer: within the first 60 days. Otherwise, there are not many drawbacks to speak of as this card is quite straightforward.

Bottom Line: With no annual fee and a generous offer, the BankAmericard more than viable as a no-interest credit card.

Citi Simplicity® Card

Pros

The Citi Simplicity's 21 month 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers are unbeatable (16.99%-26.99% variable after that), and the card also offers no annual fee, no late fees and no penalty rate.

Cons

Unfortunately, this card has no sign-up bonus and no ongoing rewards.

Bottom Line: If you are acquiring the Simplicity for the 0% intro APR offer, the fact that this card has no rewards shouldn't be a deal breaker.

Discover it® Balance Transfer

Pros

Despite its short 6-month intro period on purchases, this card's 21 months 0% intro APR on balance transfers is unbeatable. After the introductory period, the regular APR of 14.24% - 25.24% is relatively low. The Discover it Balance Transfer offers good cash back value as well.

Cons

The biggest drawback is the short offer on purchases. After an intro balance transfer fee of 3%, it can go up to 5% on future balance transfers.

Bottom line: There are better intro offers on purchases, but this card's 0% intro APR offer on balance transfers is among the best.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

Pros

This card has a solid sign-up bonus of $200 for spending $1,000 on qualifying purchases in the first 3 months and a fair on-going APR of 16.24-28.24% (variable) after the intro period.

Cons

The length of the 0% intro period for both balance transfers and new purchases is only 12 months.

Bottom Line: Beyond the $200 sign-up bonus, the perks of this card are limited. It is easy to find another card in this category with a much longer 0% interest introductory period.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Pros

The Blue Cash Everyday's 0% intro APR period stands at 15 months for both purchases and balance transfers, after which the regular APR of 15.24% - 26.24% variable applies. This is quite a long offer, and the regular APR is also reasonable if you are able to land on the lower end of that range. Most importantly, the BCE offers long-term rewards value compared to other 0 interest credit cards, such as the Chase Slate, which offers no rewards.

Cons

There are a couple of notable restrictions. 1) In order to take advantage of the 0% APR intro offer on balance transfers, you must complete your transfers within the first 60 days. 2) There is also a balance transfer fee which you can avoid with the Chase Slate if you make the transfers within the first 60 days.

Bottom Line: The Blue Cash Everyday is notable for its long and flexible intro APR offer and stands out from the pack with its top-tier rewards.

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

The national average APR was at 17.73% as of the week of June 10, remaining at the historic high APR for credit cards. The average rate among low interest credit cards is currently 14.71%. 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 often below the national average.

0% Offers with Go-to Rates That Are Below Average

Card0% OfferGo-to RateAnnual Fee
Chase Freedom15 months, BT & purchases17.24%-25.99% variable$0
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express15 months, BT & purchases15.24%-26.24% variable$0
Discover it® Cash Back14 months, BT & purchases14.24%-25.24% variable$0

How higher interest rates can cost you money

You know now that paying down your debt is optimal, but high interest rates can incease 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, if 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.

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.

And for heaven's sake, know your interest rate. We found that half of balance-carrying consumers are clueless about how much their card charges in interest. Not sure about your rate? Simply call the number on the back of your card.

What determines the APR on a credit card?

Credit card issuers assign an APR to your account, based in part on the Federal Reserve's rates, your payment habits and your credit score. The card issuer's interest for that card also influences your rate. Typically, issuers offer a variable rate and you are assigned a rate within that range. If you have been paying on time and you have been keeping your balances low, you have a higher chance of a lower rate.

APRs on credit cards

You aren't charged a single rate with a credit card, unlike other types of loans. Here are the primary types of APRs you can face when you use your credit card:

  • Purchase 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.
  • Balance transfer APR – When you transfer a balance to a new card, you can be charged this rate, although there are many cards on the market that don't charge interest for a limited time when you transfer a balance. It is possible for this rate to be greater than the purchase APR, although that's unusual.
  • 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.
  • Go-to APR – A go-to APR, typically the regular APR, is the rate you pay once a 0% intro APR period ends.

Why are credit card rates so high?

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 do you calculate interest on a credit card?

When you carry a balance from month to month, you face an interest rate called the Annual Percentage Rate, or APR. The rate depends on several factors including your credit score and the card's variable rate.

You are charged interest when you carry a balance, once the grace period ends. In some cases, such as when you take out a cash advance, there is no grace period. There are two balances on your card when you have a 0% intro offer: the one with the offer and the one without.

While your APR is expressed in a year, according to Discover, card issuers use that figure to calculate charges over your monthly statement period. The easiest way to calculate the interest you owe is to check out the CreditCards.com calculators.

With these calculators you can figure out how long it will take you to pay off a balance with the minimum payment; how to maximize paying off the balance within a specified amount of time or amount each month; or figure out your payoff with a balance transfer calculator.

How Interest Works

If you want to understand the mechanics of how interest is calculated, here's what Discover has to say about calculating the APR on a credit card:

"To find out how much interest you're paying on your balance each day, you can convert your APR to a daily percentage rate. To do so, divide your APR by 365, the number of days in a year. At the end of each day, the card issuer will multiply your current balance by the daily rate to come up with the daily interest charge. That charge is then added to your balance the next day, a process called compounding.

"For example:

"If your credit card has an APR of 15%, it will have a daily rate of .041096%. Let's say a cardholder has a balance of $1,000 at the 15% APR standard interest rate. The next day, interest is added and the balance becomes $1,000.41, plus any additional purchases and minus any new credits or payments. This process occurs each day until the end of the cardholder's monthly statement cycle. So, at the end of the month, the beginning $1,000 balance becomes $1,013 when interest charges are applied at 15% APR."

How do you avoid paying interest on a credit card?

Credit card debt is on the rise, according to the Federal Reserve of New York. In fact, in Q4 of 2018, 4.99% of card accounts were delinquent for 90 days or more, compared to 4.80% the previous quarter. Also, debt was up by $36 in Q4 of 2018 compared to the previous year, according to the New York Fed.

With credit card debt hanging over you, you also face the struggle of incurring additional debt in the way of ever-building interest charges.

The best way to avoid paying interest on a credit card is to pay in full before the due date each month and don't put a charge on your card that you don't already have the money for.

Another way to avoid paying interest is through the use of a 0% intro APR card. With these cards, you have a set amount of time when you can pay off the balance without incurring interest charges. But heads up: You'll need to pay more than the minimum.

If you are trying to get out from under an existing balance with a 0% offer, there are a number of things you can do to make sure you don't make the same mistake again. With the right steps, you can also work toward building your credit and avoid other bad habits. Here are some tips:

What to do when your 0% intro period ends

  • Don't transfer to a new card. If you have a balance left over after the 0% intro offer ends, avoid temptation to just transfer the balance again, partly because you aren't solving the problem by doing that, but also because lenders may see what you are doing and deem you a risk.
  • Keep the card. Once the debt is paid off, don't close the account. Also, put a small charge on it each month and pay in full to keep the account active. This helps you build your credit. Be sure to pay on time, every time.
  • Is there an annual fee? One reason to close the account is if there is an annual fee that isn't counterbalanced by rewards that you'll use. That said, keep in mind that closing the account can harm your credit if you have a card balance elsewhere.
  • Stick to your budget. There's no point in paying off the balance if you haven't addressed what got you there in the first place. Create a realistic budget with room for fun and savings, so you'll stay true to it.

How to compare two cards with a 0% APR offer

Because there are so many factors when choosing a 0 interest card, you need to make sure you are comparing apples with apples. Is there a balance transfer fee? Do the cards offer sign-up balances? What's the 0% APR offer? The answers to these questions will help inform your decision, which we look at below.

Factors to consider about 0% APR cards with no balance transfer fee

  • What is the 0% offer's term? There's no point in getting a card with no balance transfer fee if the offer's term isn't long enough for you to be able to pay back the debt before the offer ends. In that case, another card may be worth your while.
  • What is the deadline? Often, cards require you to make the transfer within a set amount of time to get the balance transfer fee waived. Make sure it's a deadline you can meet. If you plan to transfer the balance after the offer ends, make sure you budget the balance transfer fee.
  • Is there an annual fee? Cards with no balance transfer fee often have no annual fee. If there is an annual fee, that cuts into your savings with the waived balance transfer fee.
  • Do you plan to make a large purchase soon? Check if the card with no balance transfer fee has a 0% intro offer for purchases if you plan to use the card to make a major purchase, such as plane tickets to Europe in the fall. Otherwise, using the card for new purchases and not paying in full can undercut the savings from having the fee waived.

Comparing 0% cards...

Card0% offerBT feeWelcome offerOngoing rewardsAnnual feeGo-to rate
Blue Cash Everyday0% intro APR for 15 months, balance transfers and purchases$5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater (see rates and fees)$150 after $1,000 spend in 3 mths3% back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases annually, then 1%); 2% back at U.S. gas stations, select U.S. department stores; 1% everything else$0Ongoing APR 15.24%-26.24% variable
Chase Slate0% intro APR for 15 months, balance transfers and purchases$0 if transfer made within 60 days, 5% or $5 minimum after thatN/AN/A$017.24%-25.99% APR variable

As you can see, both cards have similar 0% offers. The Slate has a $0 BT offer but no welcome offer or ongoing rewards, while the BCE has no $0 BT fee offer, but has rewards ideal for the small family that eats at home.

If you spend $500 a month on groceries, you can earn $180 in cash back for the year, plus $150 with the welcome offer when it comes to the BCE. Contrast that with the Slate's $0 BT fee offer, which would save you $150 in the BT fee for a $5,000 transfer. If you don't have plans to use the card much for spending, the Slate is the best choice, but if you are going to take advantage of the rewards on the BCE, that might be the card for you.

Tips on using 0% credit cards

Zero interest credit cards are among the best weapons in your financial arsenal when you are trying to pay down debt. But they can beat you down if you don't use them correctly. Here, we look at what happens when they are used incorrectly and the right way to use them.

It's all too easy to get behind on your credit card debt. In fact, our survey found that a third of those polled reported having had more than $5,000 in card debt. Don't fall down that path; use our tips to help you pay down your debt and avoid it in the future.

What was the highest amount of credit card debt you've carried?...

  •  22%
  • Up to $1,000
  •  18%
  • $1,001-$2,500
  •  17%
  • $2,501-$5,000
  •  33%
  • More than $5,000
  •  7%
  • Don't recall
  • Source: CreditCards.com balance transfer card survey

What can go wrong when you use 0% interest cards incorrectly?

  • You fail to pay your monthly bills on time. If you violate the agreement, for example you don't pay on time, you can lose the 0% offer. Always pay on time and don't go over the limit.
  • You don't pay off the balance in time. If you don't pay off the balance by the time the offer ends, you will incur interest charges for the leftover amount.
  • You use the card for new purchases. If you use the card for new purchases outside of a 0% offer for purchases, you will incur new interest charges, basically negating the savings you'd otherwise enjoy.

What is the right way to use 0% interest cards?

  • Budget for the balance transfer fee. In most cases, there's a balance transfer fee of 3%-5%. Make sure you'll benefit from the balance transfer even with the fee. Some cards, such as the Amex EveryDay, waive this fee within a set amount of time.
  • Read the terms. Make sure you are clear about how much time you have to make a purchase or transfer. Also, check the fine print for details about fees and penalties.
  • Plan your payoff schedule. Figure out how many months it will take you to pay off the debt so that you get the right card with the right terms. Let's say you owe $3,000. With the Amex EveryDay card, for example, you get a 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (then 15.24% - 26.24% variable), which means you pay $200 a month to pay it off before the offer ends. Contrast that with the Discover it Balance Transfer, with an 18-month 0% offer on balance transfers (then 14.24% - 25.24% variable), which means you only pay $166.67 a month before the offer ends. (Keep in mind that while the Amex EveryDay has no balance transfer fee if you transfer within the first 60 days of card membership, the Discover it Balance Transfer 3% fee means you will pay $90 upfront.)
  • Pay it off quickly. Pay off as quickly as possible, because your credit score looks at both your individual and combined available credit, so a maxed-out balance transfer card can negatively influence your score.
  • Avoid new purchases. Avoid new purchases on the card unless you have a plan to pay it off before the purchase terms end. If there is no purchase intro APR, don't put new charges on the card, because you can end up incurring interest with those charges.

All information about The Amex EveryDay® Credit 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.


Laura is an editor and writer at CreditCards.com. She has written extensively on all things credit cards and works to bring you the most up-to-date analysis and advice. Laura's work has been cited in such publications as the New York Times and Associated Press. You can reach her by e-mail at laura.mohammad@creditcards.com and on Twitter @creditcards_lm.


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