The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Saturday, May 15, 2021

9 Best Deals on Credit Card Interest Rates (2021)

Credit Card Interest Rates

credit card advice

Brittney Mayer
By: Brittney Mayer
Updated: June 9, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

Although intimidating to some novice cardholders, credit card interest rates isn’t a particularly complicated concept to understand — and it’s certainly worth whatever time it takes to learn. Once you know how credit card interest works, you can find ways to not only minimize the interest you incur on your credit card balances, but how to avoid paying interest fees altogether.

For example, when you understand how your credit card’s grace period operates, you can enjoy interest-free credit card purchases indefinitely, as you’ll know exactly when to pay your balance to avoid racking up fees.

Furthermore, with a bit of credit education, you can even avoid paying fees on your new and existing revolving balances. Indeed, with the proper use of introductory and ongoing interest rate offers, you can score zero-interest and low-interest deals perfect for any balance you need to carry from month to month — or already carry. In the following article, we’ll take a look at some of our top picks for the best credit cards available today with 0% introductory rates on purchases, 0% introductory rates on balance transfers, and ongoing low APRs.

0% Intro (Purchases) | 0% Intro (Balance Transfer) | Low Ongoing APRs

Best “0% Intro Rate on Purchases” Credit Cards

Whether you’ve planned your purchase or are making an impulse buy, putting a few thousand dollars (or more) on your credit card can be a big mistake if you carry the balance for long. That’s because interest fees don’t take long to add up, and while that 19% APR didn’t seem like a big deal at first, it’ll cost you around $1,000 a year to carry a $5,000 balance at that rate — enough to turn your bargain bedroom set into a full-price faux pas.

However, that’s not to say you have no other options; for those purchases that you simply can’t pay off at once, you may still be able to use a card to cover the cost — you simply need to select the right card. Specifically, those with good credit can find introductory APR deals offering 0% APR on new purchases made with your card for the length of the offer. Our top-rated deals provide 0% interest on new purchases for 14 months or more.

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.8

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
  • 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 for 15 months; 15.49%-25.49% variable APR after that
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
N/A
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • For a limited time, get a special 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles, then a variable APR applies
  • Enjoy Cell Phone Protection Coverage when you pay your monthly cellular bill with your U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
  • View your credit score anytime, anywhere in the mobile app or online banking. It's easy to enroll, easy to use, and free to U.S. Bank customers.
  • Fraud Protections detects and notifies you of any unusual card activity to help prevent fraud
  • Choose your payment due date
  • $0 Annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 20 billing cycles
0% for 20 billing cycles
14.49% - 24.49% Variable
$0
Excellent Credit

+See More 0% APR Purchase Offers

Another great benefit to a card offering an introductory 0% APR for new purchases is that you can typically still earn rewards on those purchases during the interest-free period. Since interest fees can be a major reward killer, this can be a great benefit, especially when trying to reach spending requirements for a juicy signup bonus.

Example Card Terms for Introductory Offer

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

Of course, when comparing introductory interest offers be sure to look at more than the length of the offer and the rewards you’ll earn. You also need to look carefully at the default purchase APR you’ll see when your offer terms end, as this will likely be a standard purchase APR in the 12% to 25% range (depending on your individual creditworthiness).

Best “0% Balance Transfer Intro Rate” Credit Cards

As awesome as 0% APR offers are for new purchases, they only work for, well, new purchases, and only new purchases made with that particular card. These offers will do little good for those already carrying a balance on their existing cards; no, that’s when you need 0% APR balance transfer offers, which are good on any existing balance that you transfer to your new card.

For the most part, a balance transfer works exactly as it sounds — you transfer your existing balance from one card to another card. Ideally, the new card has a lower interest rate than the first, reducing your fees and monthly payments. Our top balance transfer offers provide 0% APR on transferred balances for up to 18 months.

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • For a limited time, get a special 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles, then a variable APR applies
  • Enjoy Cell Phone Protection Coverage when you pay your monthly cellular bill with your U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
  • View your credit score anytime, anywhere in the mobile app or online banking. It's easy to enroll, easy to use, and free to U.S. Bank customers.
  • Fraud Protections detects and notifies you of any unusual card activity to help prevent fraud
  • Choose your payment due date
  • $0 Annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 20 billing cycles
0% for 20 billing cycles
14.49% - 24.49% Variable
$0
Excellent Credit

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn cash back twice! Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance Transfers do not earn cash back and will have a fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • 24/7 access to customer service representatives
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 18 months
13.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% intro APR offers on both purchases and balance transfers (balance transfer fee applies), then a variable APR applies
  • Choose a payment due date that works best for you — beginning, middle, or end of the month
  • Stay protected against identity theft with Citi® Identity Theft Solutions
  • $0 liability on unauthorized charges
  • 24/7 access to customer service representatives - save time, just say "representative" when you call, to enjoy fast, personal help
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 18 months
0% for 18 months
14.74% - 24.74% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

+See More 0% APR Balance Transfer Offers

As with most good things in life, balance transfers do have a catch: balance transfer fees. Typically 2% to 4% of your transferred balance, these fees can eat into the savings you achieve by lowering your interest rate, so keep it in mind when considering a transfer.

Furthermore, introductory balance transfer deals will have the same limitation as new purchase offers, due to the temporary nature of the deal. After the introductory period on your balance transfer offer ends, your interest rate will revert to the default rate and you’ll start being charged interest on your transferred balance. Since the average credit card interest rate in the US is around 17%, the new rate can get expensive — fast.

Best “Ongoing Low Interest Rate” Credit Cards

If the introductory offer has a particular weakness, it is the fact that it is introductory. No matter how great the offer, it must come to an end eventually. At that point, the default APR of your credit card becomes remarkably important. The best way to avoid nasty interest rate surprises at the end of your introductory term — or in general — is to find a card that offers a low ongoing APR.

While the exact interest rate you are charged will depend primarily on your individual credit, you can take some of the chance out of the equation with careful card selection. All credit cards will have a designated range of potential interest rates specific to that card, and the range determines the minimum and maximum APR an applicant can receive. The top-rated cards on our list have APR ranges starting as low as 11.99% for qualified cardholders.

Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

LOW APR RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • #1 Most Trusted Credit Card according to Investor’s Business Daily.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
$0
Good/Excellent
Discover it® chrome Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

LOW APR RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn cash back on your next road trip with 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. Based Customer Service available any time.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
$0
Good/Excellent
Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

LOW APR RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Better than Prepaid...Go with a Secured Card! Load One Time - Keep On Using
  • Absolutely No Credit Check or Minimum Credit Score Required
  • Automatic Reporting to All Three National Credit Bureaus
  • 9.99% Low Fixed APR - Your Rate Won’t Go Up Even if You Are Late
  • Activate Today with a $200 Minimum Deposit - Maximum $1,000. * Increase Your Credit Limit up to $5,000 by Adding Additional Deposits Anytime
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
9.99%
$48
Poor/Fair/Limited/Damaged

+See More Ongoing Low APR Offers

Even with the lowest possible ongoing APR, you can still find yourself paying higher interest fees than you are comfortable with. One easy way to reduce the amount of interest you pay is to make multiple payments throughout the month. This is because interest is compounded daily, based on your average daily balance. Making more frequent payments decreases your average daily balance and, thus, decreases your total interest.

Graphic of Cardholder Agreement APR Listing

Credit cards may have multiple APRs for each type of balance, which are listed in the cardholder agreement.

If you are unsure of the exact APR charged by your new (or old) credit card, you can find it listed in your cardholder agreement. Make sure you look at the correct APR for your transaction type, however. New purchases, transferred balances, and cash advances can all have different APRs. Additionally, your card may have a penalty APR that applies if you miss a credit card payment.

Save Big By Lowering Your Credit Card Interest Rates

For all that credit cards are a secure and convenient way to buy, the high interest rates charged for the pleasure of purchasing with plastic can be a pain — an expensive pain. Even the most qualified applicants can be stuck paying interest rates of 14% or more, and as your credit score goes down, your interest rates head in the opposite direction. Be sure to check your credit report at least once a year, if not more often, to make sure there are no mistakes or erroneous information dragging your score down. Many credit cards even come with free credit monitoring these days.

Luckily, with a little knowledge (and the right deal) you can take the sting out of your interest payments, or even eliminate them altogether. Quality low-interest and no-interest credit card offers can be an easy way to decrease the cost of your debt and make it easier to repay your existing balances.

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 from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (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.