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

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash 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.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 6 months
0% for 18 months
13.24% - 24.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
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 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 16.40%-26.24% 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 15 months
0% for 15 months
16.40%-26.24% (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
  • 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 16.24-24.99%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
16.24% - 24.99% 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 16.24-24.99%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • 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% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
16.24% - 24.99% 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
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards instantly at Amazon.com checkout.
  • No annual fee.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
13.24% - 24.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card Review

at Wells Fargo'ssecure website

EXCELLENT CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • 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 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 14.24%-26.24% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
14.24%-26.24% (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
  • We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles.
  • Unlimited 1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases, every day, with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates - fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
10.99% for 14 months
13.24% - 24.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

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
  • New! Earn unlimited 10x miles on hotels when you pay with your VentureOne card at hotels.com/venture
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 13.24%-23.24% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
13.24% - 23.24% (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® with Free Credit Score Tracking Review

at Credit One'ssecure website

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Find the card that’s right for you without affecting your credit score.
  • Show off your personality by selecting from a variety of card designs, a fee may apply.
  • Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases including gas, groceries, and services such as mobile phone, internet, cable and satellite TV, terms apply.
  • Set up custom email or text alerts so you'll always be aware of your payment due date, when your payment posts, or if your available credit runs low.
  • Don’t get stuck with a payment date that doesn’t work with your schedule. Credit One Bank allows you to choose your monthly payment due date. Terms apply.
  • Take advantage of free online access to your Experian credit score and credit report summary so you can track the key factors impacting your credit health. Terms apply.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24% - 25.24% 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. Plus, 1% cash back on all 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 & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • 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
14.24% - 23.24% Variable
$0
Fair
Discover it® for Students Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.4

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants or Amazon.com up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, 1% cash back on all 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 & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • 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
14.24% - 23.24% 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
  • Seeing if you Pre-Qualify is fast, easy, and secure
  • Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchase, terms apply
  • Rewards post automatically to your account each month.
  • Looking for more credit? Get credit line increase opportunities, a fee may apply
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Pick a card that fits your style. Multiple card designs are available, a fee may apply
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24% - 25.24% Variable
$0 - $99
Poor
Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit Review

at Credit One'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.0

OVERALL RATING

3.7/5.0
  • See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score
  • Track your progress with free online access to your Experian credit score, terms apply
  • Looking to rebuild credit? We report to the major credit bureaus monthly
  • Receive opportunities for credit line increases, a fee may apply
  • Make paying your bill easier with the ability to choose your payment due date, terms apply
  • Stay in-the-know with customizable account alerts via email and text
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24% - 25.24% 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.
  • Your Secured Credit Card requires a refundable security deposit up to the amount we can approve of at least $200 which will establish your credit line. You will need to provide your bank information when submitting your security deposit.
  • We will automatically begin reviewing your account starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit.
  • 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.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
10.99% for 6 months
24.24% 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.