The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Thursday, September 29, 2022

6 Best Credit Cards for Dental Work

Best Credit Cards Dental Work

credit card advice

Eric Bank

Written by: Eric Bank

Eric Bank

Eric Bank has been covering business and financial topics since 1985, specializing in taking complex subject matters and explaining them in simple terms for consumer audiences. In addition to his work on CardRates.com, Eric has appeared regularly on Credible.com, eHow, WiseBread, The Nest, Get.com, Zacks, Chron and dozens of other outlets. A former software engineer, Eric holds an M.B.A. from New York University and an M.S. in finance from DePaul University.

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Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Florida. Today, she edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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Advertiser Disclosure

A sudden toothache that needs immediate attention can be a problem for folks already struggling to cover their monthly bills. For some, the answer is a credit card that makes it easier to stretch out dental work payments.

While credit cards are no substitute for dental insurance, they can provide a little breathing room by suspending interest payments for defined periods. That can be important when facing an unexpected four-figure dental bill. In the article that follows, we’ll take a look at several of our experts’ top picks for the best credit cards for dental work available today.

0% Financing | Bad Credit | FAQs

The Best No-Interest Cards for Dental Work Financing

Understanding the terms of a dental credit card before applying is important. One offers 0% financing only if paid in full within the specified period. Others provide a 0% financing period without accruing interest. Here is information to help you select the card that best fits your financial needs.

1. CareCredit

You can use the CareCredit card from Synchrony Bank to finance out-of-pocket medical and dental costs from enrolled providers. It offers 0% promotional financing for 6, 12, 18, or 24 months, depending on your creditworthiness.

Photo of the CareCredit Mastercard

  • 0% financing for 6 to 24 months, depending on your credit score
  • 26.99% APR after the 0% period expires
  • Accepted by more than 200,000 healthcare providers
  • No annual fee

If you don’t fully repay your bill before the end of the promotional period, you will be charged interest for the entire original purchase. It also offers longer financing terms of up to 60 months with reduced APRs.

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • One-time $200 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
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • 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 and balance transfers for 15 months; 16.49%-26.49% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
16.49% - 26.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is a solid option for saving on interest thanks to its lengthy 0% APR introductory period offers on both new purchases and balance transfers.  New cardholders can also earn a cash signup bonus if the purchase threshold is met within the first few months.

In addition to the above competitive introductory offers, this card comes with a flat-rate cash back reward structure that earns cash with every purchase, every day. All this and zero annual fee makes for a great option.

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 16.74% - 26.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Get free access to your FICO® Score online.
  • With Citi Entertainment®, get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% 12 months on Purchases
0% 21 months on Balance Transfers
16.74% - 26.74% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card provides introductory 0% APR offers on both purchases and balance transfers. It charges no annual fee and does not accrue interest during the introductory period. Card benefits include $0 liability protection, the ability to choose your payment date, and access to concierge services for help with shopping, dining, travel, and entertainment.

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24% - 25.99%.
  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
17.24% - 25.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers an introductory 0% APR on purchases, with no interest accrual during the period. The card has a tiered cash back rewards system on travel, dining, and drugstores, and a flat-rate cash back on all other purchases. Cash back rewards don’t expire as long as the account remains open. The card protects you with $0 liability protection, free credit scores via Credit Journey, purchase protection for 120 days on product damage or theft, and extended warranty protection.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24% - 25.99%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
17.24% - 25.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

With the Chase Freedom Flex℠, you get an impressive introductory 0% APR offer. This no-annual-fee card offers a modest cash back bonus when you spend the specified amount in the first three months, which may be easily attainable if used to finance your dental procedure. The card pays top-tier cash back (subject to a purchase limit) on quarterly rotating bonus categories that you must activate. There are also set categories earning elevated cash back, then all other purchases earn 1%. Cash back rewards don’t expire while the account remains open.

The Best Card for Dental Work Financing with Bad Credit

You won’t find many credit cards that offer 0% financing to consumers with bad credit. In fact, it can be hard for those with bad or no credit to qualify for any unsecured card. If you need to finance dental work, an unsecured card is more flexible than a secured or prepaid one.

Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit Review

at Indigo® Mastercard®'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.3

OVERALL RATING

  • Pre-qualify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score
  • Less than perfect credit is okay
  • Mobile account access at any time
  • Fraud protection for stolen or lost cards
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.9%
$0 - $99
Bad, Poor Credit

The Indigo® Mastercard® is designed for customers with bad, limited, or no credit. You can prequalify for the card with no credit score impact and receive a decision in 60 seconds. The card lets you choose among several designs. You can access your account at any time via your tablet, desktop, or mobile device.

Can You Pay for Dental Work with a Credit Card?

Virtually all dentists accept credit card payments. Of course, it’s a good idea to check first. The more important question is whether you can obtain a new credit card to take advantage of 0% financing when you need dental work, but you don’t have the cash to pay for it upfront.

Five of the cards we recommend for dental work provide an interest-free introductory period of six to 24 months. Naturally, the longer the no-interest period, the more breathing room you have to pay off the bill.

Photo of the CareCredit Mastercard

The CareCredit card offers the longest 0% financing terms for those who qualify, but you will owe the accrued interest over that period if you don’t pay the full balance before the promotional period expires.

The CareCredit card differs from the others in that you will have to pay all accrued interest if you don’t pay off the bill by the end of the promotional period. This means you run the risk of facing a big payoff amount if you can’t pay off the full balance before the end of the interest-free period.

The other four cards that offer a promotional 0% APR period don’t accrue interest during the period. That means when the promotional period ends, you’ll only begin to accrue interest on any remaining balance owed.

If you can’t obtain a new credit card with 0% financing due to bad credit, you can use your existing credit cards to pay the dentist, assuming you have other cards and they provide enough total credit. Another option is to take out a personal loan to pay your dental bill. A personal loan may charge you less interest than your current credit cards will.

Do Dentists Accept Payment Plans?

Many dentists, but by no means all, offer their own payment plans or can help you obtain a CareCredit card.

Private dental payment plans differ from one practice to the next. This gives you an incentive to shop around to see the plans offered by your local dentists. Even if a dentist offers an attractive in-office payment plan, it makes sense to check online reviews and verify that the dentist is reputable.

Your dentist’s payment plan may require a large down payment. A simple cavity filling can cost several hundred dollars. Caps, crowns, bridges, and implants can easily run up a bill of several thousand dollars.

Screenshot from the CareCredit website

The average cost of common dental procedures, according to the CareCredit website.

It’s likely that your dentist’s plan won’t report your payments to the credit bureaus unless you default. Not reporting your payments can be a good thing, because it means your credit score won’t suffer if you are occasionally late making a payment.

Many dentists offer the CareCredit card to help patients obtain financing. It’s possible your dentist will offer CareCredit in addition to his or her own in-office plan. Check to see if their payment plan charges accrued interest. If not, it may be a better deal. Also, verify whether they report your payments to the credit bureaus. If you are confident that you will make timely payments, then credit bureau reporting can improve your credit score.

Does CareCredit Hurt Your Credit?

There is a scenario in which CareCredit may hurt your credit score. This could happen if you have poor or no credit and qualify for a low credit limit from CareCredit. One dental procedure can cause you to use a large percentage of your available credit.

The credit bureaus monitor your credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of credit you use divided by the credit available to you. The major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, Equifax) frown on high credit utilization ratios because it indicates that you could be vulnerable to default if you suddenly incur another large expense. Under those circumstances, your credit score could suffer.

However, the same concerns apply to the other credit cards we review in this article. In general, your credit limit will depend on your credit score and history. If you have a fair, poor, or no credit history, then you will likely be offered a limited amount of credit, at best. Therefore, your credit utilization ratio can suffer from any of these cards.

On the other hand, if your score is already low, these credit cards can help you improve your credit score by reporting your activity. You must pay on time and pay more than the minimum payment to benefit from credit bureau reporting. You can get free credit reports from the major bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com.

In a similar vein, CareCredit and all other credit cards that do a hard pull of your credit reports can temporarily hurt your credit score. Creditors perform a hard pull to read your credit reports. The effect is minimal and usually lasts no longer than a year.

Who Qualifies for Free Dental Work?

Forgoing dental care can seriously jeopardize your health. You may qualify for free dental care through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or through Medicaid, which offers free dental care for folks who are out of work or have very low incomes.

CHIP covers all enrolled children up to age 19. Medicaid coverage is offered on a state-by-state basis. Some states offer full dental care, and others offer limited dental treatments. The Veterans Administration also provides dental care for certain qualifying veterans, while offering the low-cost VA Dental Insurance Program to all veterans.

If you feel you can’t afford to see a dentist, you can seek out free dental work from several sources:

Dental schools: Dental students need hands-on practice, and most dental schools will offer reduced prices to the public. If you are unable to pay, the school may waive all charges. You may be wary of trusting student doctors with your dental health, however, they are supervised by professionals who teach the correct way to administer treatment.

D-DENT: Dentists for the Disabled and Elderly in Need of Treatment, Inc. is a 501C(3) nonprofit organization in Oklahoma comprised of dentists who offer free dental care to patients who are elderly, developmentally disabled, veterans, or special-needs persons (i.e., patients with cancer and/or awaiting transplants). You must be uninsured and have a low income to qualify. Although D-DENT is limited to Oklahomans, your state may have a similar program of free dental clinics.

Online Directories: Websites such as Tooth Wisdom, Dental Lifeline Network, America’s Dentists Care Foundation, and 211.org, list places offering reduced or free dental care throughout the country. You can find links on these websites to free dental care from dental schools, health departments, federally qualified health centers, dental hygiene programs, and dental clinics.

Mend Your Oral Health with the Right Financing

The price of dental care can be high, but the cost of neglecting your teeth can be a lifetime of disease, disfigurement, and disability. The right credit card can provide dental financing at a reduced cost. By stretching out your payments over several months at a 0% APR, the right credit card can make the difference between good and poor oral health.

Advertiser Disclosure

CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation for referrals for many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across CardRates.com (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.