The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Wednesday, November 20, 2019

11 Best No-Interest Credit Cards for 18+ Months

11 Best No-Interest Credit Cards for 18+ Months

credit card advice

Adam West
By: Adam West
Updated: September 30, 2019

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Nothing’s better than getting something for free. But let’s face it, most things in life aren’t free, so financing them interest-free isn’t a bad consolation prize.

You can save thousands of dollars with the right credit card that offers an extended interest-free introductory period. And whether you’re making a big purchase or paying off existing debt that’s currently sitting on a credit card with a high APR, there’s never been a better time to find the right 0% offer.

That’s because the competition between many credit card issuers has some banks offering new cardholders sweet deals — many of which are unprecedented in the space.

0% APR on Purchases | 0% APR on Balance Transfers | FAQs

Cards with No Interest on New Purchases for 18+ Months

The average credit card APR currently sits at 17.72%. Let’s say you make a $4,000 purchase on a new card at that rate. If you make monthly payments of $222.22, you’ll pay that debt off in 22 months — including $684.09 in interest charges.

With an 18-month interest-free credit card, those payments would eliminate the balance in 18 months with zero finance charges added. That means you’ve saved nearly $700 while paying your debt off sooner.

And many of these cards, like some of those listed below, also offer cash back, travel, or merchandise rewards in addition to 0% interest on new purchases.

  • Get 0% intro APR on new purchases and balance transfers for 18 months. Balance transfers must be made within the first 4 months of account opening
  • Citi® Price Rewind searches for lower prices online for 60 days for your registered purchases
  • $0 liability on unauthorized purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions.
  • Experience great benefits like VIP packages to concerts, sporting events and more with access to Citi® Private Pass®
  • No annual fee
  • Free access to FICO® Scores
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 18 months
0% for 18 months
15.99% - 25.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card gives new cardholders 18 months of interest-free financing on purchases and balance transfers, but boosts its ongoing APR after the intro period to a slightly high 15.99% to 25.99% range.

Cardholders also receive access to Citi® Private Pass®, which gives special access to purchase thousands of events annually, including presale tickets and VIP packages to concerts, sporting events, dining experiences, plus complimentary movie screenings and more.

2. HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card

The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card offers 18 months of interest-free financing for new purchases and balance transfers, as well as no annual fee or added foreign transaction charges.

  • 0% intro APR for 18 mos on purchases and balance transfers
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee

What’s more, cardholders receive $1 million in travel accident insurance and an added one-year extended warranty on items purchased using the card. And, if you find an item you purchased with the card advertised for cheaper within 60 days of the purchase, HSBC will refund the difference to your account.

(The information about the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card has been collected independently by CardRates.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.)

3. U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

New cardholders of the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card can take advantage of a whopping 20 months of interest-free financing on new purchases and balance transfers with no annual fee.

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

  • 0% intro APR for 20 mos on purchases and balance transfers
  • Up to $600 in cell phone insurance if you pay your monthly bill with the card
  • No annual fee

While this card is a tremendous offering if you need to make a large purchase or pay off existing high-APR debt on another card, the lack of rewards and slightly high APR after the introductory period might not make this the best long-term solution for your wallet.

4. Wells Fargo Platinum Card

With the Wells Fargo Platinum Card, new cardholders receive a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months with no annual fee.

Wells Fargo Platinum Card

  • 0% intro APR for 18 mos on purchases and balance transfers
  • Zero Liability protection for promptly reported unauthorized transactions
  • Easy access to your FICO® Credit Score with Wells Fargo Online®

While the card’s terms look appealing on the surface, a little detective work shows some flaws. For starters, you’ll get charged an introductory balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount you’re transferring, whichever is greater. After the introductory period, that balance transfer fee increases to 5% for each balance transfer (or minimum $5).

(The information related to the Wells Fargo Platinum Card has been collected by CardRates.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.)

Cards with No Interest on Balance Transfers for 18+ Months

A 0% balance transfer offer is good for anyone who has a large amount of debt on a credit card with a high APR. Balance transfers work by allowing you to transfer your existing debt to the new card with the added benefit of 0% interest financing, so you’re no longer being charged interest fees for the duration of the promotional period. In the case of these cards, all offer a minimum of 18 months to pay your transferred balance down before the regular APR kicks in.

Discover it® Balance Transfer 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 you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. 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.
  • 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 6 months
0% for 18 months
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

If you’re looking to transfer a high balance, then the Discover it® Balance Transfer card may be for you. While this card offers only six months of interest-free financing on new purchases, you can get 18 months with 0% on balance transfers. On top of that, you’ll also receive 5% cash back on rotating categories after activation each quarter up to the quarterly maximum and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. And, Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. With this card, you can save money on interest and purchases.

6

HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card

This card is currently not available.

Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card charges new cardholders no interest for 18 months without adding an annual fee. After the introductory period, APRs become very competitive for similar cards in the space. Cardholders also receive $1 million in travel accident insurance, extended warranties on items purchased using the card, and a host of other shopping and travel benefits.

CITI® RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

0.0/5.0
  • No late fees, No penalty rate, and No annual fee... EVER.
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for the first 21 months (transfers must be made in the first 4 months)
  • 0% Intro APR on new purchases for the first 12 months
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day - just say "representative"
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 21 months
16.99% - 26.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

Nobody likes fees. And with the Citi Simplicity® Card, you won’t ever pay late fees, annual fees, or receive a penalty APR increase. It’s part of the Simplicity Card’s pledge to keep its charges to a minimum. While this card may offer the longest 0% promotional period on balance transfers we’ve seen, it also charges one of the highest balance transfer fees at 5% of the amount transferred.

8. U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

It’s hard to beat the 20-month interest-free period currently found on the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card. Aside from the absence of interest charges during the intro period, the card also offers a unique cellphone insurance program that offers up to $600 in protection when you pay your cellular bill each month using the card.

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

  • 0% intro APR for 20 mos on purchases and balance transfers
  • Up to $600 in cell phone insurance if you pay your monthly bill with the card
  • No annual fee

The only knock you can find on this card is its lack of rewards. But if you’re looking to transfer a large balance from a high-interest card, the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card will give you longer than almost any other card on this list to pay off your balance without interest.

CITI® RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

0.0/5.0
  • Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases.
  • Receive 0% for 18 months on balance transfers made within 4 months of account opening
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back; transfer fee applies
  • 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
  • No categories to track and no caps on cash back
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 18 months
15.74% - 25.74% (variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

The only thing better than earning cash back is earning double cash back, and the Citi® Double Cash Card gives you just that with 1% back on all purchases plus another 1% when you pay. New cardholders also receive 18 months of 0% financing on balance transfers, but a hefty 5% balance transfer fee applies, and there’s no 0% promotional period on new purchases.

CITI® RATING

★★★★
4.0

OVERALL RATING

0.0/5.0
  • Get 0% intro APR on new purchases and balance transfers for 18 months. Balance transfers must be made within the first 4 months of account opening
  • Citi® Price Rewind searches for lower prices online for 60 days for your registered purchases
  • $0 liability on unauthorized purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions.
  • Experience great benefits like VIP packages to concerts, sporting events and more with access to Citi® Private Pass®
  • No annual fee
  • Free access to FICO® Scores
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 18 months
0% for 18 months
15.99% - 25.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card gives new cardholders 18 interest-free months and access to discounted or presale event tickets through Citi® Private Pass®. If you’re looking for a good introductory rate, this card has your back. But after that intro period ends, be prepared to pay a higher-than-average interest rate.

11. Wells Fargo Platinum Card

New Wells Fargo Platinum Card cardholders get 18 months of interest-free financing, but that rate comes with a price; namely a 3% charge on balance transfers made within your first 120 days with the card. The fee increases to 5% after the 120-day period.

Wells Fargo Platinum Card

  • 0% intro APR for 18 mos on purchases and balance transfers
  • Zero Liability protection for promptly reported unauthorized transactions
  • Easy access to your FICO® Credit Score with Wells Fargo Online®

If you’re going to use the Wells Fargo Platinum Card to pay off a transferred balance, make sure you initiate the transfer within 120 days of opening the card. Depending on the amount you’re transferring, the added 2% charge after four months can amount to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in added charges.

(The information related to the Wells Fargo Platinum Card has been collected by CardRates.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.)

What Does 0% APR for 18 Months Mean?

Your annual percentage rate (or APR) is the annual rate charged by your credit card issuer for the convenience of borrowing money. Credit cards express an APR as a percentage that represents the actual annual cost of credit over the time it takes you to repay the debt.

So, if you have an APR of 21%, you will be charged 21% of your balance as a fee each year. But since banks typically charge interest monthly, that 21% gets divided into 12 months.

In the case of a 21% APR, you’d be charged 1.75% of your existing balance at the end of each billing cycle. Higher balances always mean greater charges.

Repayment of $5,000 Credit Card Balance w/ 21% APR

And those charges are part of the reason why paying only your minimum balance each month works against you. In many cases, your monthly payment barely covers your interest charges alone and doesn’t work to lower your overall balance. Making the minimum payment each month really gets you nowhere over time.

But when you get a 0% introductory offer from a credit card issuer, you won’t pay any interest charges for the length of the intro offer.

Some cards include transferred balances and new purchases in their introductory offer. That means you can transfer balances from an existing high-interest credit card and pay it off over the intro period without paying any of the interest charges you would have on the other card.

That helps you pay the debt off both faster and cheaper — two things that every consumer appreciates. The only thing to be aware of when completing a balance transfer is the potential balance transfer fee.

What are the Best 0% Interest Credit Cards?

No two definitions of “best” are alike — and your idea of the best card will almost certainly depend on what you need to get from the card.

But no matter what you want from your new credit card, the top 0% APR offerings will all include an equal number of months in the introductory rate for balance transfers and new purchases alike. There should also be some sort of rewards structure to thank you for your business, unless you can find a balance transfer offer that doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee instead.

No credit cards currently offer 0% financing for as long as 18 months that do not charge a balance transfer fee, however, you can find card offers with shorter 0% periods without this fee.

Aside from what you can gain from the card, a good credit card shouldn’t overcharge you for membership. After all, what’s the point of saving money through an introductory period if you’re going to give it right back in the form of an annual fee?

HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit cardThe HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card checks off all of these boxes by offering 18 interest-free months on balance transfers and new purchases, no annual fee, and a host of purchase and travel perks — including $1 million in travel accident insurance, extended warranties on items purchased with the card, and price protection that refunds the difference in price if you find an item you purchased with the card advertised for cheaper within 60 days of the purchase.

What’s more, the card continues its utility after the 18-month introductory rate when it converts to its regular APR, which is among the most competitive in the space.

What Credit Card Has the Longest Interest-Free Period?

This will largely depend on your intentions for the card. That’s because some cards offer longer intro periods for balance transfers than for new purchases and vice versa.

And, keep in mind that card issuers change terms and rates regularly — so the best offering now could very well be less-than-stellar six months from now. Some cards also come with caveats.

Take, for example, the Citi Simplicity® Card. While current new cardholders can take advantage of a 0% APR on balance transfers for 21 billing cycles — a typically unheard-of length of time — the interest-free introductory period for new purchases extends to only 12 months.

But Citi doesn’t always offer this extended period for balance transfers. Depending on when you apply, you may receive the standard 18-month offer for new purchases and balance transfers.

You may also find other cards that offer 18 months or more of interest-free balances but tack on an annual fee or balance transfer fee to offset the savings. What’s more, some cards can end your interest-free period early if you record a late payment.

Before you choose the card you want to apply for, be certain that it meets all of your potential needs. You can only benefit from an introductory rate if you know the rules. That may mean completing all of your balance transfers within a 60-day window after opening your card or possibly paying a fee for the balance transfer.

Do No-Interest Credit Cards Hurt Your Credit?

That depends on how you use the card. One of the five factors that determines your credit score — and 30% of your overall score calculation — is your credit utilization, or amounts owed. You can find your current utilization by dividing your balances across cards by your total credit limits combined.

FICO Credit Score Factors

Banks typically express utilization in percentages. So, for example, if you have a credit card with a $1,000 limit, and you’re carrying a current balance of $250, you’re utilizing 25% of your current credit limit.

Credit card issuers and other financiers don’t like to see high utilization. They want to get paid back quickly and don’t want to take on risky borrowers who may be over their head in debt. It is generally recommended to keep your total utilization below 30%.

When you can take advantage of interest-free offers from credit card issuers, you can pay your debt off faster — lowering your utilization without paying those steep interest charges you may be used to seeing on your monthly statements. And when you eliminate your debt, your credit score can see a tremendous jump.

But if you continue to charge on the card from which you transferred the original debt, your utilization will only increase and hurt your credit score. It could also hurt your credit score if you open a new 0% APR card to finance a big-ticket purchase that utilizes most of your available credit limit.

Keep in mind that every 0% interest credit card offer comes with different terms. Some cards will start charging you interest on your remaining balance once the introductory period ends. Others might charge you deferred interest — which is interest on the entire amount charged or transferred — if the balance isn’t paid in full by the end of the introductory period.

If you get stuck with that charge, your balance could quickly increase, leading to a decrease in your credit score because of the added utilization. Interest-free credit cards are best used when the balance is paid off before the regular APR sets in. You can then evaluate whether the card still has benefits worth reserving a spot in your wallet for.

Pay Your Full Balance to Avoid Ever Paying Interest

They say the best things in life are free. But for life’s wants and needs worth paying for, why not take advantage of credit card introductory offers that essentially give you interest-free financing?

No matter what you need to pay off — be it a new purchase or existing debt — the right credit card can save you thousands in interest charges. That’s money you can put into savings or use toward life’s next big necessity.