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7 Best low-interest credit cards for 2020

Compare APRs as low as 7.99% variable.

Updated . What changed?

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With good to excellent credit, you have a higher chance of getting a below-average credit card APR. While you should strive to pay off your balance in full each month, a low APR can be helpful if an emergency or life event necessitates carrying a balance for a while. Here are our some of Finder’s favorite credit cards with low interest.

To select our top picks, we compared credit cards on the market with low-interest rates as well as other card features important to consumers looking for such a card. Features we compared include annual fees, introductory APRs, rewards, balance transfer capabilities, and the type of revert APR. Cards that excelled in one or more of these categories were singled out for our top list.

Best low-interest credit cards

You’ll typically find the lowest interest rates with credit unions. With major credit card providers, you’ll likely receive a purchase and balance transfer APR of at least 14% — potentially much higher.

The following cards are market-leading choices for a low APR.

Quick look at the best low-interest credit cards

Best for lowest fixed interest rate (range of APRs)

UNIFY Financial Federal Credit Union Fixed Rate Visa® Credit Card

UNIFY Financial Federal Credit Union Fixed Rate Visa® Credit Card logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
n/a
Rewards
n/a
Welcome offer
You’ll find a range of ongoing interest rates with this card. But if you have excellent credit, you could score an ongoing APR on all balances as low as 9.49% fixed. Your APR won’t fluctuate based on the prime rate.
  • Potentially low APR. Your ongoing purchase, balance transfer and cash advance APR could be as low as 9.49% fixed. With poorer credit, your APR for all balances could be as high as 17.99% fixed.
  • Intro APR. As low as 5.49% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, and on balance transfers for 12 months after your transfer. After that, your APR reverts to 9.49% to 17.99% fixed.
  • Light on fees. No annual, balance transfer, cash advance or foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 5.49% intro for the first 6 months (then 9.49% to 17.99% fixed)
Balance transfer APR 5.49% intro for the first 12 months (then 9.49% to 17.99% fixed)
Welcome offer N/A
Rewards N/A

Best for lowest fixed interest rate (one APR)

Cencap Federal Credit Union Visa credit card

Cencap Federal Credit Union Visa credit card logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
n/a
Rewards
n/a
Welcome offer
While this card doesn't offer the lowest APR on the market, it does have a big advantage. You don't have to wonder what interest rate you'll receive; you'll get a low 9.9% fixed APR on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Normal APR. 9.9% fixed APR for purchases and balance transfers.
  • Fees. No annual fee. No balance transfer, cash advance or foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 9.9% fixed
Balance transfer APR 9.9% fixed
Welcome offer N/A
Rewards N/A

Best for lowest variable interest rate (range of APRs)

UNIFY Financial Credit Union Variable-Rate Visa® Credit Card

UNIFY Financial Credit Union Variable-Rate Visa® Credit Card logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
n/a
Rewards
n/a
Welcome offer
With stellar credit, you might shoot for an even lower interest rate. UNIFY Financial Credit Union Variable-Rate Visa® Credit Card offers a card with an APR as low as 7.99% variable on all balances.
  • Potentially low APR. Your purchase, balance transfer and cash advance APR could be as low as 7.99% variable. With poorer credit, your APR for all balances could be as high as 17.24% variable.
  • Light on fees. No annual, balance transfer, cash advance or foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 7.99% to 17.24% variable
Balance transfer APR N/A
Welcome offer N/A
Rewards N/A

Best fair-credit card with low APR

DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card

DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card logo
Credit recommended (300-579)
Read review
300
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
n/a
Rewards
n/a
Welcome offer
Even if you need a secured card to rebuild your credit, you don't have to pay an exorbitant interest rate. The DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card is a no-annual-fee option that offers a 11.5% variable APR on all balances.
  • APR. 11.5% variable APR on all balances.
  • Fees. No annual fee. No balance transfer, cash advance or foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 11.5% variable
Balance transfer APR 11.5% variable
Welcome offer N/A
Rewards N/A

Best for 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card logo
Credit recommended (740-850)
Read review
Rates & fees

740
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
n/a
Rewards
n/a
Welcome offer
The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers a superb 0% intro APR for 20 months on both purchases and balance transfers, then 13.99% to 23.99% variable.
  • Intro APR. Get a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 20 months, then 13.99% to 23.99% variable.
  • No annual fee. Keep in mind you will pay foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 20 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 20 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Welcome offer N/A
Rewards N/A

Best for secured credit card

Green Dot primor® Mastercard® Gold Secured Credit Card

Green Dot primor® Mastercard® Gold Secured Credit Card logo
Finder Rating: 4 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (300-579)
Read review
300
Min. credit score
$49
Annual fee
n/a
Rewards
n/a
Welcome offer
When you're trying to build your credit, you want to pay as little as possible on card fees and interest. The Green Dot primor® Mastercard® Gold Secured Credit Card touts one of the lowest ongoing APRs for secured cards at a fixed 9.99%. While the annual fee is higher than average for a secured card at $49, the low APR and accessibility more than make up for the price.
  • Fixed APR. The Green Dot primor® Mastercard® Gold Secured Credit Card sports a 9.99% fixed APR.
  • Modest annual fee. You'll pay $49 a year to use this card.
Annual Fee $49
Purchase APR 9.99% fixed
Balance transfer APR N/A
Welcome offer N/A
Rewards N/A

How to choose the best low-interest credit card

Picking the best low-interest credit card comes down to your personal financial needs. Here are some items to consider to help you choose:

  • Do you want an intro APR?
    If you plan on making a big purchase, an intro 0% APR can give you some time to repay that purchase interest free.
  • Are rewards a big deal to you?
    A few low-interest cards offer rewards. However, they often don’t offer as many perks as you’d find with top rewards cards.
  • What are the fees and penalties?
    If you worry about being able to always make your payments, you’ll want a card with low penalty fees and a low penalty APR.

Pros and cons of a low-interest rate credit card

Pros

  • Savings. These cards can be a cheaper option as you pay less interest on purchases, which will help you save money and avoid falling into unmanageable debt.
  • Low fees. Many low-interest rate credit cards are paired with low fees, which can also help you save.
  • Promotional offers. Low-interest rate credit cards sometimes come with 0% promotions on purchases and balance transfers, allowing you to avoid interest altogether for an introductory period.

Cons

  • Less valuable if you pay your balance in full. If you pay your balance in full each month, you won’t have to worry about interest at all. This reduces the overall value of the card.
  • Less competitive rewards. Some low rate credit cards come with rewards programs, but they usually have lower earn rates and bonus points offers than more expensive cards.
  • Fewer extra features. Low rates generally come with fewer extra features, unlike platinum cards which often come with concierge services and airport lounge passes.
  • Revert rates. If your card charges 0% on purchases for a promotional period, it will revert to a higher purchase rate after that.

What is a low-interest rate?

As of this writing, the average credit card APR is around 17%. If you have average credit, it’s not uncommon to receive an APR several points higher than this.

If you have good or excellent credit, however, you might be able to get a below-average interest rate. The lower the APR, the higher the credit score you may need. APRs tend to bottom out at around 7% to 8%.

How is credit card interest calculated?

Credit card interest rates are usually advertised based on the annual rate that applies to the account, also known as the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). However, interest on your account balance is typically calculated daily and then charged monthly on the statement due date. This means that for every day that you don’t make a payment, the interest charges will build up (or compound). In this case, you’re essentially paying interest on interest.

Looking for a more in-depth example of how interest is calculated? Check out Finder’s credit card interest guide for more examples, calculations and data tables.

How much money can I save with a low-interest credit card?

Even a small difference in your credit card’s interest rate can save you a lot of money. Say you have a $2,000 balance on your credit card and you take six months to pay it off. With an interest rate of 20%, you’d pay $118.30 in interest on this debt.

But if you had a low-interest rate card that charged 12% APR, you’d pay $70.60 in interest over the same period of time. That’s a saving of $47.70 compared to the higher interest card. And the bigger your credit card debt, the bigger the difference gets. That’s why comparing interest rates before you apply for a new credit card can help you find one that’s affordable based on your needs.

How can I get a low-interest credit card?

You can apply for a low-interest credit card like any other card, though you’ll have more options, and a better chance of being approved the better your credit score.

To apply, you can visit the provider’s site, find the card you want, and click Apply. You can also peruse available cards using our card comparison tool. From there, you’ll need to provide details about yourself, your employment situation and your financial situation.

In order to prove your identity, you will usually need your driver’s license. Most online credit card applications give you a response within 60 seconds of submitting the completed form.

Is a low-interest credit card right for me?

These cards are designed to help consumers save on interest costs. If you struggle to pay your balance in full by the due date on your statement, a low-interest credit card is your best bet for paying as little as possible for using the card. You could also benefit from a low-rate card if you’re a student or new to paying on plastic and want a cheaper credit card option.

Compare low-interest credit cards

Credit card APRs can vary widely — from as low as around 8% to as high as 30%. Here are a few cards with below-average interest rates.

Name Product Purchase APR Balance transfer APR Annual fee Filter values
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
See issuer's website
See issuer's website
See terms
Use the CardMatch tool to find cards you're likely to qualify for with your credit score, without a hard pull on your credit.
Citi Rewards+℠ Card
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 13.49% to 23.49% variable)
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 13.49% to 23.49% variable)
$0
Get rewards on gas and groceries with no annual fee. Ideal for everyday use, it's the only card that rounds purchases up to the nearest 10 points.
Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card
9.99% fixed
N/A
$48
No credit check is required for this secured card. Make a deposit of at least $200 to open this card and get a low 9.99% fixed APR on purchases.
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Bottom line

You should always plan to avoid carrying a balance on a credit card. However, a low-interest credit card can make for a great emergency card to help you avoid big interest on those unforeseen purchases.

If you’re looking for a card with more bells and whistles though, check out our guide to the best credit cards for a look at what’s available in the wide world of credit cards.

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