Low & 0% APR Credit Cards - Compare & ApplyBy Joe Taylor Jr.
Zero percent credit cards serve two important roles in your personal finance plan. First, they can help you spread out the cost of a major purchase without incurring finance charges. Second, they can help you get out of debt by using balance transfer offers to cut most of the interest charges from your monthly budget. Used responsibly, a zero interest credit card can protect your cash while offering you purchase protection and other perks.
Ins and outs of zero interest balance transfers
Remember that banks aren't offering 0 percent balance transfer deals just to be charitable. If you qualify for such an offer, it's because the bank thinks you'll help them make money in one of two ways. Either you'll ride out a large balance beyond the introductory period, triggering hundreds or even thousands of dollars in finance charges. Or, even if you manage to bring your balance to zero at the end of the introductory period, you'll use the account for day-to-day purchases that help generate transaction fees.
If you're planning on carrying a balance beyond the end of your promotional period, seek out the lowest "go-to rate" you can find. No-frills cards tend to offer lower interest rates than rewards credit cards or accounts with lots of perks. You'll get the absolute best deals from banks that face shareholder or government pressure to get excess cash out of their vaults and into the wallets of short-term, low-risk borrowers.
How the Federal Reserve protects your zero percent credit card offer
Rules that govern how banks offer zero percent credit cards changed radically in 2009 with the passage of the Credit CARD Act. The resulting regulations affect the kinds of offers you'll see:
Account terms can't change without notice. You won't find very many fixed rate credit cards, because financial industry economists know that low rates won't last forever. That's why most promotional offers feature a variable go-to rate, usually tied to the prime lending rate.
You can use a low interest credit card to escape poor service from a competing bank. Before the Credit CARD Act, some banks used a "universal default" policy to cancel promotional terms if a cardholder's credit report turned up a late payment or any collections activity on other accounts.
The best zero percent credit cards offer introductory periods that last anywhere from 12 to 21 months. The higher your credit score, the longer an introductory period you're likely to receive.
Potential pitfalls of zero percent credit cards
Because zero percent credit cards have become more common (and more competitive) in recent months, you'll want to review offers carefully for fees and penalties that can eliminate your savings:
Verify how a bank intends to bill your balance transfer fee. Most balance transfer offers require a flat fee of up to 5 percent of any balance you transfer from another lender. Some banks may charge you interest on this fee, even during your introductory period.
Complete all balance transfers within the allotted time. Balance transfer promotions typically give you 30-60 days from account opening to make transactions that are eligible for the promotional interest rate.
Pay your monthly minimum balance on time. Missing a payment by just one day could trigger the expiration of your promotional period. Some banks may even charge you interest for your entire balance from day one.
Understand your introductory offer's deadlines and go-to rates. Many retail credit cards will charge interest on any portion of your original purchase if you fail to zero out your balance by the end of your promotional period. A handful of zero percent balance transfer offers have started using similar terms.
The best credit cards use clear language that makes it easy to understand what you'll pay for the privilege of a no-interest card. If you can't wait any longer to make a major purchase, or if you've got a big balance you want to knock down over the next year, compare the zero percent credit card offers on our site to learn which accounts may work best with the way you manage your money.
- Created for those with Excellent Credit and approval is based on your credit rating and application review.
- Low 7.25% variable standard purchase APR and platinum benefits
- No balance transfer fee for balances transferred in response to this online offer
- No Annual Fee
- The new Discover it card is out to change the way people think about credit cards.
- Fair...No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee & no pay-by-phone fee. No late fee on your first late payment. And we won't increase your APR for paying late.*
- Generous...5% Cashback Bonus on up to $1,500 in purchases at Home Improvement Stores now through June with free and easy sign-up. And 1% cash back on all other purchases.*
- Plus a Cashback ConciergeSM who guides a free, personalized online tour to help you get the most rewards for how you use your card.
- Flexible...Choose your own due date and pay up to midnight ET online or by phone.
- Human...talk to a real person any time with 100% U.S.-based service.
- 0% Intro APR* on balance transfers for 18 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%.
- 0% Intro APR* on purchases for 6 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. *Click apply for Terms & Conditions.
- 5% cash back on gas purchases paid at the pump**
- 0.25% cash back on all other purchases**
- No caps, limits or tiers on rewards
- Cash rewards automatically awarded to your account every month
- No annual membership fee
- Low variable rate of 7.25%, 10.25%, or 13.25% based on the creditworthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
- Low Introductory APR on balance transfers of 1.99% for your first 6 billing cycles, this rate will not change during the introductory period. Applies to balance transfers processed within three months of your account open date. After that, your APR will be the same as your assigned purchase rate, based on your creditworthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
- Low variable rate of 9.25%, 12.25%, or 15.25% (Prime + 6.00%, Prime + 9.00%, or Prime + 12.00%) based on your creditworthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. (If there is an interest charge, the charge will be no less than $0.50).
- Low Introductory APR on Balance Transfers of 1.99% for the first 6 billing cycles, this rate will not change during the introductory period. Applies to balance transfers processed within three months of your account open date. After that, your APR will be the same as your assigned purchase rate, based on your creditworthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
- Earn up to 17,000 bonus points in the first year of account ownership. An initial bonus of 5,000 points will be awarded with your first purchase and an additional bonus of 1,000 each month purchases of $250.00 or more are made in the first 12 months of account ownership. 1 bonus point for every $1 in qualifying net retail purchases will be earned outside of the initial bonus offer. Rewards can be redeemed with as little as 700 bonus points.
- Earn 1 bonus point for every $1 in qualifying net retail purchases in addition to and outside the initial bonus. You can ScoreMore with Bonus Points - 2X, 3X, 4X or more at participating retailers online and in-store. Turn your points into hotel, gift or experience rewards with as little as 700 bonus points.
- No annual membership fee
- Low variable rate of 9.25%, 12.25%, or 15.25% based on the creditworthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
- Low Introductory ARP on balance transfers of 1.99% for your first 6 billing cycles.After that, your APR will be the same as your assigned purchase rate, based on your creditworthiness. Applies to balance transfers processed within three months of your account open date.
- Turn your points into hotel, gift, or experience rewards
- Product Enhancements include: Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Roadside Dispatch, Travel Emergency Services, and Travel accident coverage.
- Free Online access to credit card account information
in the first year of account ownership
- 5000 Reward Points bonus on first purchase
- 2X Rewards for First 60 days
- $1 purchase = 1 reward point
- Points redemption in Merchandise, Travel, Cash Back
- No Balance Transfer Fee
- Low APR
- No Annual Fee
- No Penalty APR
- No Overlimit Fee