Compare 0% APR cards to avoid interest up to 20+ months | finder.com
0% APR credit cards

0% APR credit cards

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With the right card, you’ll pay no interest on purchases or balance transfers for a period of time.

Getting a 0% APR credit card can be a good way to temporarily stop paying interest on your purchases or balance transfers — sometimes both.

Our pick for an intro APR

Chase Freedom®

  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24-25.99%. Balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Earn a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • Cash back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee
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Compare 0% intro APR cards

Name Product Introductory Purchase APR Intro APR for Balance Transfer APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases
0% for the first 15 months (then 17.24% to 25.99% variable)
0% for the first 15 months (then 17.24% to 25.99% variable)
17.24% to 25.99% variable
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
0% for the first 15 months (then 17.24% to 25.99% variable)
0% for the first 15 months (then 17.24% to 25.99% variable)
17.24% to 25.99% variable
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
15.24% to 26.24% variable
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
15.24% to 26.24% variable
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. Rates & Fees
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
15.24% to 26.24% variable
Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees

Compare up to 4 providers

Best 0% APR credit cards

Compare your options with this list of stellar cards.

Best for longest 0% intro APR period for purchases and balance transfers: U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card

0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles. After that the APR is variable, currently 11.74% – 23.74%.

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If you’re after the longest intro APR on purchases and balance transfers, the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card is the right pick.

Best for longest 0% intro APR for balance transfers: Citi Simplicity® Card

Citi Simplicity® Card

Enjoy a 0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers and for 12 months on purchases.

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If you want to squeeze the most out of your 0% intro balance transfer APR period, try the Citi Simplicity® Card. It edges out the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card here by a month. Though the intro APR on purchases isn’t nearly as impressive, it’s still solid.

Best for cashback rewards: Quicksilver® from Capital One®

Quicksilver® from Capital One®

  • No annual fee
  • Easy-to-earn signup bonus
  • Unlimited cash back on all purchases
  • Long intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
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If you want rewards along with an attractive intro APR, try the Quicksilver® from Capital One®. On top of getting 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers, you’ll receive a solid 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Best for travel rewards: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

  • Accelerated rewards on gas, dining and travel
  • Rewards on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Apple Music
  • No annual fee
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The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card offers an excellent accelerated rewards rate on flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals and other categories. You’ll also like the strong welcome offer and solid intro APR on purchases and balance transfers.

Best for no balance transfer fee: Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.

See Rates & Fees
Promoted

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card offers an attractive promotion: No fees on balance transfers you make within the first 60 days following your account opening. Very few cards offer this benefit.

The card surpasses its competitors — such as the Chase Slate® credit card — because of its elevated rewards for US supermarket spending.

Best for signup bonus: Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®

Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®

  • Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • Earn unlimited 2x miles on every purchase
  • Book travel your way—no airline, seat or hotel restrictions—and redeem your miles for travel statement credits
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • International Chip and PIN for use at self-service chip terminals around the world
  • Miles don’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
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The Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® has an $89 annual fee starting the second year, but it brings a lot of value for the cost. You’ll have the chance to earn an excellent signup bonus. Plus, you’ll find a solid intro APR and attractive flat-rate rewards.

What is a 0% APR credit card?

A 0% APR credit card offers no interest on certain balances for a period of time. This can apply to purchases, balance transfers or both. Of course, the 0% intro APR doesn’t last forever: After it expires, your remaining balance will accrue interest at a higher, normal APR.

Here are a few things you should know about 0% APR credit cards

  • Typically, 0% intro APR periods last between 12 and 15 months. Intro rates must last at least six months by law, and they’ll top out at around 20 months.
  • You’ll rarely get a 0% intro APR on cash advances. As a double whammy, these transactions almost always start accruing interest at a high rate right after you make them.
  • You still need to make at least the minimum payment during your 0% intro APR period. Failing to do this may land you with a late fee. It may also cause you to lose your intro APR, meaning you’ll be stuck paying the regular APR on your remaining balances.

Types of 0% APR credit cards and when you should use them

When you evaluate a 0% APR card, check which balance the special interest rate applies to: purchases or balance transfers. The card might even offer 0% intro APR for both balances.

Purchase 0% APR cards

When you buy something with your card during the intro APR period, it won’t accrue interest until your promotional interest rate expires. This is like getting a no-interest loan — one that you have the luxury of paying off over an extended period of time.

A 0% purchase APR card is great for large, one-time purchases like furniture, a vacation, holiday shopping or emergency expenses.

Balance transfer 0% APR cards

You’ll get a 0% intro APR for a limited period on debt that you transfer to your card. Consider a 0% APR balance transfer card if you’re paying a high interest rate on existing debt.

For example, you might have a $2,000 balance on your current credit card with a high 25% APR. By transferring the balance to a 0% APR card, you can hit pause on snowballing interest while you pay off your debt.

What is credit card interest?

Interest is the price you pay for borrowing money — for example, by making purchases with your credit card.
Interest is charged based on your APR, or annual percentage rate, and your credit card balance. The higher these two figures, the more interest you pay.

How much can I save on interest with a 0% APR card?

Many people don’t realize how much money they spend on credit card interest. The following table shows the interest you can save on a $2,500 balance with a 0% APR product.

Credit Card ACredit Card BCredit Card C
Purchase balance$2,500$2,500$2,500
Purchase APR0%14.99%22.99%
Repayment period15 months15 months15 months
Monthly payment$167$184$193
Interest Paid$0$257$401

How to choose a 0% APR card

  1. Think about why you need a 0% APR card.
    If you’re making a large purchase to pay off over time, look for a 0% intro APR on purchases. If you want a lower interest rate on your debt, look for a 0% intro APR on balance transfers.
  2. Decide whether you want a 0% intro APR on purchases, balance transfers or both. Also, consider how long you want your intro period to be.
    When a card has a 0% intro APR on purchases, it may also have one for balance transfers. Usually, you’ll get the special interest rate for 12 to 15 months. If you want a market-leading balance transfer intro APR period — 18 months or longer — you might need to settle for a shorter intro APR period on purchases. Many cards have 0% intro APRs only for balance transfers.
  3. Calculate fees you’ll pay.
    Check each card’s annual fee. Ideally, your 0% APR card won’t charge one. If it does, it should have something to offer beyond a 0% intro APR — for example, strong rewards or valuable perks. If you’re making a balance transfer, check your card’s terms for the transfer fee.
  4. Consider other factors before making your final decision.
    The card provider might be a factor in your decision. For example, you generally can’t transfer balances between accounts issued by the same provider. Take a look at each card’s rewards and perks. Your 0% intro APR will end at some point, and these benefits help keep your card valuable after that time.

How to get the most out of your 0% intro APR

So, you’ve been approved for your 0% APR card and you can’t wait to use it. If you use your promotional interest rate wisely, you could squeeze a lot of value from it. Here’s what to do next:

  1. Decide what you’re going to use your 0% intro APR for.
    It’s easy to let a 0% intro APR lure you into a false sense of security. When the rate expires, you’ll start accruing interest at your card’s normal rate. Check with your issuer to see your normal purchase and balance transfer APR.Before taking advantage of your 0% intro APR, be clear on what you need it for. Are you looking to make a big, one-time purchase and pay it off in full before your promotional interest rate expires? Do you need to make a balance transfer to get away from high interest rates? Consider putting only your planned balance on your new card, to avoid snowballing debt.
  2. Make a plan to pay off your balance.
    Ideally, you want to pay off your balance before your 0% intro APR expires. Make a plan of how much you’ll spend and the monthly payments you must make to reach this goal.If you don’t think you’ll pay off your balance before your intro APR expires, check the range of normal APRs you might receive.
  3. Make payments on time.
    Though you have a 0% intro APR, you still need to make at least the minimum payment on your card bill.If you’re more than 60 days late on your card payment, you might lose your intro APR. Your provider may list additional ways you could lose your promotional rate. Read your card’s fine print or call your provider if you’re in doubt.

Be careful with balance transfers

With most cards, your balance transfers only qualify for the intro APR if you make them within a certain time. Transfers you make after that will accrue interest at the normal APR.

What do I do when my 0% intro period ends?

If you still have a balance on your card and your intro APR will expire soon, you have a few options.

  • Try to pay off the balance as soon as possible. If you tighten the belt for a while, you might be able to accomplish this before your balance starts accumulating interest.
  • Let your balance start accruing interest at the normal rate. If your balance isn’t too high, you might not mind your intro APR expiring before you’ve paid off your debt. Consider making a solid plan to pay off your balance so you don’t pay too much interest.
  • Make a balance transfer. You may be able to get a 0% intro APR balance transfer card, which could help you pay off your balance with lower interest. If you do this, however, consider whether you’re making progress toward paying off your debt — or if you’re just shuffling it around.
    Card providers are unlikely to approve you for a balance transfer card if your credit utilization ratio is very high. They’ll be wary of taking you on as a customer if they think you’re drowning in debt.
  • Take out a personal loan. If you don’t want to deal with another card but you want a lower interest rate on your balance, consider a personal loan. You could get an APR that’s substantially better than your credit card’s normal APR.

Bottom line

Getting a 0% APR credit card can be a smart move for certain purchases, and it can be helpful if you need a lower interest rate on existing debt. However, be careful with it — your card provider is hoping you won’t pay off your balance by the time your 0% intro APR ends.
To avoid this, know precisely what you’ll use your card for. Then make a plan to pay off your debt before your 0% intro APR expires.
If you think you’ll carry a balance for a long time, you might like a credit card with a low-interest rate.

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One Response

  1. finder Customer Care
    nikkiangcoMarch 29, 2018Staff

    Hi Toni!

    Thanks for contacting finder – the leading comparison website & general information service built to give you advice in your buying decision needs.

    Yes, you can cancel the card and transfer to a cheaper one after a promotional period. However, you may have to contact your bank how to go about this before your promotional period ends to make sure there is no balance left on the card.

    Please note that we’re a product comparison website and we hold no affiliation with any company we feature on our site. We provide general information on products to assist you in your buying decision process hence we cannot recommend product / service that is rightfully fit for you.

    Hope this helps!

    Best regards,
    Nikki

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