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Sunday, October 24, 2021

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

Low Interest Credit Cards

credit card advice

Brittney Mayer
By: Brittney Mayer
Updated: September 17, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

Low interest credit cards are important when it comes to those big purchases that may require you to carry a balance for a while. This article explores some of the top low interest cards on the market today.

According to a 2018 survey on credit card ownership from Statista, more than half of the consumers from every age group over 18 reported using credit cards. Of those abstaining from card use, a common reason cited is the potential for accumulating debt.

They have a fair point; collectively, Americans owe more than $1 trillion 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.

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

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.

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.7

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 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining 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%.
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
Cash Magnet® Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Earn $200 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 6 months. You will receive the $200 back in the form of a statement credit.
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months from the date of account opening, then a variable APR applies
  • Rental car loss and damage insurance when you use your eligible card to reserve and pay for the entire rental and decline the collision waiver at the rental company counter
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
N/A
13.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

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
  • 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; 14.99%-24.99% variable APR after that
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
14.99% - 24.99% (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.

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.

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
BankAmericard® Credit Card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Earn $100 statement credit online bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then a variable APR will apply
  • An optional overdraft protection service is available to help prevent declined purchases, returned checks or other overdrafts when you link your eligible Bank of America® checking account to your credit card. Transfer fees may apply.
  • No penalty APR. Paying late won't automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Other account pricing and terms apply.
  • Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles
0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles (for balance transfers made in the first 60 days)
12.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • 0% Intro APR for 18 months on purchases from date of account opening and 0% Intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer. After that the variable APR will be 13.74% - 23.74%, 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 3% 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.
  • Shop with confidence knowing that you have dependable protection benefits, including $0 Liability on Unauthorized Purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.74% - 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% 18 months on Purchases and Balance Transfers
0% 18 months on Purchases and Balance Transfers
13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

+See More Balance Transfer Offers

On the downside, 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.

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 a balance from one Bank of America card to another.

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 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
  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles.  There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee.
  • Redeem Miles to pay any part of your monthly bill, including your minimum payment.
  • Turn Miles into cash in any amount, any time. Or redeem as a statement credit for travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more with no blackout dates. However you redeem, Miles keep the same value. And Miles never expire.
  • No Blackout Dates. Simply pay for travel purchases like airlines, hotels, rental cars, and more with your Discover it® Miles card.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 14 months
10.99% Intro APR for 14 months
11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
$0
Good/Excellent

GOOD CREDIT 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 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining 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%.
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

GOOD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get our best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
14.99% - 24.99% (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.

Milestone® Mastercard® - Less Than Perfect Credit Considered Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

3.9/5.0
  • Prequalify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score
  • Less than perfect credit is okay
  • Mobile account access at any time
  • Protection from fraud if your card is stolen
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
  • *Dependent on credit worthiness
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.9%
$35 - $99
Bad, Poor Credit
Discover it® Student chrome Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.4

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • 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! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 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.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • Earn rewards while building your credit history that can help you after graduation. And, get your free Credit Scorecard that includes your FICO® Credit Score and important details that help make up your score.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Refer-a-Friend: Once you become a Discover it® Student cardmember, you can earn a statement credit each time you refer a friend and they’re approved. Over half a million students got Discover Cards from their friends' recommendations.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 6 months
10.99% for 6 months
12.99% - 21.99% Variable APR
$0
Fair/New to Credit
Discover it® Student Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.4

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • 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! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • 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.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • Earn rewards while building your credit history that can help you after graduation. And, get your free Credit Scorecard that includes your FICO® Credit Score and important details that help make up your score.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Refer-a-Friend: Once you become a Discover it® Student cardmember, you can earn a statement credit each time you refer a friend and they’re approved. Over half a million students got Discover Cards from their friends' recommendations.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 6 months
10.99% for 6 months
12.99% - 21.99% Variable APR
$0
Fair/New to Credit

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.

First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card Review

at First Progress'ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★
3.9

OVERALL RATING

2.9/5.0
  • Receive Your Card More Quickly with New Expedited Processing Option
  • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • Quick and Complete Online Application; No credit inquiry required!
  • Includes Free Real-Time Access to Your Credit Score and Ongoing Credit Monitoring powered by Experian
  • Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card; Try our new Mobile App for Android users!
  • Good for Car Rental, Hotels; Anywhere Credit Cards Are Accepted!
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
9.99% (V)
$49
Bad / No Credit
First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card Review

at First Progress'ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★
3.8

OVERALL RATING

2.7/5.0
  • Receive Your Card More Quickly with New Expedited Processing Option
  • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • Quick and Complete Online Application; No credit inquiry required!
  • Includes Free Real-Time Access to Your Credit Score and Ongoing Credit Monitoring powered by Experian
  • Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card; Try our new Mobile App for Android users!
  • Good for Car Rental, Hotels; Anywhere Credit Cards Are Accepted!
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
13.99% (V)
$39
Poor/Limited/No Credit
Discover it® Secured Credit Card Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

3.7/5.0
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • Using your secured credit card helps build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, prepaid and debit cards can’t do that.
  • Establish your credit line with your tax return by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • Earn 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.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
10.99% for 6 months
22.99% Variable APR
$0
New/Rebuilding

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.

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