15 Best Low-Interest Credit Cards — Compare 0% Intro Rates

15 Best Low-Interest Credit Cards — Compare 0% Intro Rates

credit card advice

Brittney Mayer
By: Brittney Mayer
Posted: July 12, 2017
Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Site may be compensated through the issuer affiliate programs.

According to a 2016 survey on credit card ownership commissioned by Bankrate, more than half of those over 30 own at least one credit card. Of those abstaining from card use, the main reason cited was the potential for accumulating debt.

They have a fair point; collectively, Americans owe around $762 billion in credit card debt. The fact is, however, that credit cards aren’t, on their own, inherently dangerous for your finances. The real culprit is actually the high interest rates and fees that often come with your new card.

Thankfully, choosing the right credit card can go a long way toward reducing the debt risks associated with card use, and, of course, personal spending restraint. For instance, paying your balance fully each month will let you avoid interest altogether. For necessary balances, find cards that charge low (or better, no) interest rates.

Balance Transfers | Excellent Credit | Good Credit | Fair Credit | Bad Credit

The Best No-Interest Introductory Balance Transfer Offers

While choosing the right low-APR offer can help you avoid accumulating a balance on a high-interest card in the first place, it’s not too late if you’ve already made a poor choice for your purchases. All you need is a shiny new balance transfer offer.

In essence, a balance transfer is what it sounds like: you transfer your credit card balance from one credit card to a second credit card with a lower interest rate. The best balance transfer credit card offers will actually come with a 0% introductory APR, meaning you won’t have to pay any interest on your transferred balance for the length of the introductory terms.

Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

  • Our Take: "With a ridiculously good deal on balance transfers, low APR's, and a generous cash-back program, we can see why this card is so popular.
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months
  • 5% cash back in rotating categories that rotate quarterly, up to $1,500 per quarter when you sign up for the quarterly bonus
  • 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Matches the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year (only for new cardmembers)
  • No limit to the amount of cash back that can be matched"
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 6 months
0% for 18 months
11.99% – 23.99% Variable
$0
Excellent, Good
Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card Review

at Wells Fargo'ssecure website

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • 0% Intro APR for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 16.15%-25.99% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply
  • 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
  • Free 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
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 18 months
0% for 18 months
16.15%-25.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • 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 like gas stations, restaurants and drugstores
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
15.99% - 24.74% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

+See More Balance Transfer Offers

On the down side, issuers aren’t going to give you a balance transfer entirely without cost. Most credit cards will charge a balance transfer fee, typically equal to 2% or 3% of the total transferred balance. That said, the interest rate savings over an 18-month period can more than make up for the fees.

Example Balance Transfer Graphic

This graphic from Select the Best shows the potential savings from a balance transfer.

Another thing to note is that you generally can’t transfer a balance between two cards if they are both from the same issuer. For example, you can’t transfer your Chase Freedom balance to a Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card (or vice versa).

You’ll also want to be careful to continue making payments on your original card until you’ve received confirmation from both your old and new cards that the balance has been transferred. A balance transfer can generally be completed within 10 days.

The Best No-Interest Card Offers for Excellent Credit

At the top of the credit food chain, those with excellent credit typically have credit scores north of 750. These consumers have demonstrated good credit behaviors, such as paying their bills on time every month, as well as maintaining low balances and being stingy about new accounts.

In the credit world, financial diligence gets rewarded, often in the form of low rates and fees. When it comes to credit cards, consumers with excellent credit can find a wide range of great no-interest offers on both new purchases and balance transfers, with many offers lasting 12 months or more.

EXCELLENT CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Redeem for cash — any amount, anytime
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
15.99% - 24.74% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good
Discover it® - Cashback Match™ Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

EXCELLENT CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Our Take: "One of our favorite cards, with long 0% intro APRs, low ongoing APRs, awesome cash back rewards, and lots more.
  • 5% cash back in categories that rotate quarterly, up to $1,500 per quarter when you sign up for the quarterly bonus
  • 1% cash back on all your other purchases
  • With Cashback Match you could turn $200 into $400, as the card matches the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year (only for new cardmembers)
  • No limit to the amount of cash back that can be matched"
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
11.99% – 23.99% Variable
$0
Excellent, Good
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card Review

at Wells Fargo'ssecure website

EXCELLENT CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • New! Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on virtually every purchase
  • Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Android 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, then a 13.99%-25.99% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
13.99%-25.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

For those with excellent credit, the choice of 0% APR cards may come down to comparing the non-interest-rate features, rather than simply the terms of your introductory offer. This includes looking at the card’s cash back rewards and signup bonuses, keeping your personal spending habits in mind when comparing rewards programs.

The Best No-Interest Card Offers for Good Credit

Consumers who are in the “good” credit category generally have credit scores of 700 and up. These applicants will qualify for a number of quality 0% APR offers, but may not receive terms as favorable as those offered to their excellent-credit counterparts.

For instance, offers for good credit consumers may have shorter introductory periods than offers for consumers with excellent credit. These offers may also specify the type of balances that qualify for the low introductory rates — new purchases versus balance transfers — rather than offering the same introductory rate for both.

Discover it® Miles Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

GOOD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Our Take: "If you're looking for a card that gives you air miles, your search is over. This card helps you earn free flights with multiple airlines, awards very generous bonuses, and offers a low APR to boot.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar spent
  • Cover travel costs by redeeming the miles in any amount for a statement credit
  • Fly any airline, any time
  • No blackout dates
  • At the end of your first year, the card automatically matches the miles you've earned (only for new cardmembers)"
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
10.99% for 14 months
11.99% – 23.99% Variable
$0
Excellent, Good
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card Review

at Wells Fargo'ssecure website

GOOD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • New! Earn 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 3X points at U.S. gas stations, 2X points at U.S. restaurants, 1X point on other purchases
  • Redeem points for travel, gift cards, cash redemption options or merchandise through Go Far™ Rewards
  • 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 Propel American Express® Card
  • Earn an annual relationship bonus of 10% on non-bonus rewards points if you maintain a qualifying Wells Fargo account
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 13.99%-25.99% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
13.99%-25.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

GOOD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 12.99%-22.99% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
12.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

One of the most important things to remember about 0% APR introductory offers is the “introductory” part. The rate (or lack thereof) being offered is, by nature, a temporary rate, and will expire at the end of the introductory terms.

Example Card Terms for Introductory Offer

Introductory offers providing 0% APR will revert to a higher APR at the end of the offer terms.

Because they are temporary rates, you’ll want to determine the interest rates you’ll be charged after the offer period ends when comparing offers. To avoid paying interest fees on your balances, be sure to pay it off completely before the end of the offer.

The Best Low-Interest Cards for Fair Credit

Possessing credit scores in the 600s, those with fair credit are likely in the process of building — or rebuilding — their credit. As such, the credit card offers these consumers receive will reflect the higher credit risk they represent.

Indeed, no-interest offers for fair-credit consumers will often have much shorter introductory offer terms than the 0% APR offers received by those with better credit. Fair-credit offers may also have other requirements, such as status as a student.

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® - No Deposit Required Review

at Credit One'ssecure website

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • This unsecured card requires no deposit and can help build your credit
  • Receive opportunities for credit line increases, a fee may apply
  • See if you Pre-Qualify in less than 60 seconds
  • Receive 1% cash back on eligible purchases, terms apply
  • Choose your monthly payment due date for added convenience, terms apply
  • Monitor your credit with free online access to your credit score
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99% - 24.99% Variable
$0 - $99
Fair
Discover it® chrome for Students Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.4

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter - no sign-ups needed. 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 cash back each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 6 months
10.99% for 6 months
13.99% - 22.99% Variable
$0
Fair
Discover it® for Students Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.4

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Our Take: "The lack of fees, combined with great perks like cash back and free credit score tracking, make this credit card a solid deal for college students.
  • 5% cash back in categories that rotate quarterly, up to $1,500 per quarter when you sign up for the quarterly bonus
  • 1% cash back on all your other purchases with no limits
  • No annual fee
  • $20 cash back each year your GPA is 3.0 or higher (maximum 5 years)"
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 6 months
10.99% for 6 months
13.99% - 22.99% Variable
$0
Fair

For some applicants, especially those on the lower end of the “fair” category, the choice may come down to selecting a card that simply has a lower all-around interest rate. The rates for these cards will vary based on your individual creditworthiness.

The Best Low-Interest Cards for Bad Credit

As most consumers with bad credit are likely already aware, few issuers are willing to offer low-interest cards to those who present the highest credit risk. In most cases, this means credit scores below 600, though each credit card issuer (and even each specific credit card) will have its own particular credit standards.

For those with bad credit, the lowest interest rates will likely be found on secured credit cards. Requiring a cash down payment to open, a secured credit card otherwise will act exactly like a regular unsecured credit card when you make purchases.

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa® Review

at Credit One'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.0

OVERALL RATING

3.7/5.0
  • Credit One Bank automatically monitors every account for credit line increase opportunities each month. We'll let you know as soon as you're eligible for a higher credit line. A fee may apply.
  • See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score. Find the card that's right for you in less than 60 seconds.
  • Eligible purchases will automatically get you 1% cash back, terms apply.
  • This is a fully functional, unsecured credit card—not a debit, prepaid, or secured card. No need to load funds or tie up cash in deposits. There are no out-of-pocket costs to open your account.
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability
  • Email and text alerts remind you when your bill is due, your payment posts, or your available credit is running low
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99% - 24.99% Variable
$0 - $99
Poor
Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® Review

at Credit One'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.0

OVERALL RATING

3.7/5.0
  • Receive 1% cash back on eligible purchases, terms apply
  • Make paying your bill easier with the ability to choose your payment date. Terms apply.
  • See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score
  • Zero fraud liability protects you from unauthorized charges
  • Monitor your credit with free online access to your credit score
  • Show off your style with a premium card design, a fee may apply
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99% - 24.99% Variable
$0 - $99
Bad Credit
Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
3.9

OVERALL RATING

3.7/5.0
  • No Annual Fee, cash back on every purchase, and helps you build your credit with responsible use.
  • A security deposit of $200 or more will establish your credit line (up to the amount we can approve). Automatic monthly reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an account with no security deposit.
  • Reports to the three major credit bureaus. Plus, get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Tools to assist you; email alerts, text reminders and 24/7 customer service.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
10.99% for 6 months
23.99% Variable
$0
Please refer to issuer's website

When it comes to choosing a card with bad credit, you’ll want to be sure your new card reports to all three major credit bureaus. This will allow you to build your credit and increase your credit score over time as you (responsibly) use your new card.

The Best Way to Avoid Interest is to Pay Your Bill in Full

For many, the idea of paying the average 16.6% APR on their credit card purchases (or worse, more) can be scary — but it doesn’t have to be. Today’s consumers have a variety of options available to avoid paying high interest rates on both new purchases and an existing balance.

Of course, the best way to avoid paying interest on your purchases is to completely pay your credit card balance every month. But qualified applicants can still find interest-fee-free ways to carry a balance on their cards with a little research and a sweet low-interest credit card offer.