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Credit Cards

The best 0% APR credit cards: Finance debt or new purchases interest-free for up to 21 months

Select compares the best 0% APR credit cards so you can avoid interest charges and maximize savings.

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Credit cards can be a useful tool for financing new purchases and consolidating old debt. Some of the best credit cards offer no interest on new purchases, balance transfers or both — for up to 21 months.

This can add up to substantial savings if you're carrying a balance on a high-interest credit card, where a portion of your payment goes toward interest charges. If you have lingering debt on an existing card or plan on making a large purchase, it's financially smart to open an intro 0% APR credit card, if you use it responsibly.

Below, Select rounds up some of the best credit cards that offer no interest, so you can maximize your savings.

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Best 0% APR credit cards

Intro 0% APR for up to 21 months

Citi Simplicity® Card

Citi Simplicity® Card

On Citi's secure site
  • Rewards

    None

  • Welcome bonus

    None

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for 21 months on balance transfers; 0% for 12 months on purchases

  • Regular APR

    17.74% - 27.74% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Balances can be transferred within 4 months from account opening
  • One of the longest intro periods for balance transfers

Cons

  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • No rewards program

Who's this card for? The Citi Simplicity® Card is a great option for someone looking to consolidate existing credit card debt from other cards. With this card, you'll earn a 0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer. (variable APR will be 17.74% - 27.74% afterward).

This can also be a good option for someone that is actively looking to move credit card debt as new cardholders have four months to complete balance transfers (longer than the typical 60 to 90 days).

The only drawback is that it does not offer cash-back or any other type of rewards.

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

On Wells Fargo's secure site
  • Rewards

    None

  • Welcome bonus

    None

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. Intro APR extension for 3 months with on-time minimum payments during the intro period. 15.99% - 27.99% variable APR thereafter; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate

  • Regular APR

    15.99% - 27.99% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Introductory fee of 3% ($5 minimum) for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5% ($5 minimum)

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees and our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Long introductory APR period up to 21 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee ($5 minimum) for first 120 days
  • Access to Visa Signature Concierge
  • Get up to $600 cell phone protection
  • Access to My Wells Fargo Deals to earn cash back in the form of a statement credit when shopping, dining

Cons

  • No rewards
  • No welcome bonus
  • 3% fee charged on foreign transactions

Who's this card for? The Wells Fargo Reflect® Card is ideal for someone looking to either pay off large purchases over time or consolidate existing debt.

The card offers a 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (15.99% - 27.99% variable APR afterward). However, you can receive an intro APR extension for three months with on-time minimum payments during the intro period, bringing the total 0% intro APR period up to 21 months.

Keep in mind that this card doesn't offer any sort of spending rewards, but it does offer cell phone protection.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

On Citi's secure site
  • Rewards

    None

  • Welcome bonus

    None

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for 21 months on balance transfers; 0% for 12 months on purchases

  • Regular APR

    16.74% - 26.74% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Balances can be transferred within 4 months from account opening
  • One of the longest intro periods for balance transfers

Cons

  • 3% foreign transaction fee

Who's this card for? The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is another great option for financing large purchases or transferring existing credit card debt. Cardholders get 0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from the date of first transfer and 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases (16.74% - 26.74% variable APR afterward).

Unfortunately, this card doesn't offer any sort of spending rewards.

Intro 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers

Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card

On Citi's secure site
  • Rewards

    2% cash back: 1% on all eligible purchases and an additional 1% after you pay your credit card bill

  • Welcome bonus

    For a limited time, earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 18 months on balance transfers; N/A for purchases

  • Regular APR

    16.99% - 26.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    For balance transfers completed within 4 months of account opening, an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies; after that, a balance transfer fee of 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Good/Excellent

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • 2% cash back on all eligible purchases
  • Simple cash-back program that doesn't require activation or spending caps
  • One of the longest intro periods for balance transfers at 18 months

Cons

  • 3% fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $443
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,213

Who's this card for? The Citi® Double Cash Card is a generous cash-back credit card to use on daily expenses that also comes with a great balance transfer offer.

Upon approval for the card, you'll get a 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers (16.99% - 26.99% variable APR afterward; balance transfers completed within 4 months of account opening). Then, as you spend on the card, you will earn 2% cash back — 1% when you make a purchase and an additional 1% when you pay your credit card bill.

Plus, for a limited time, new cardholders can earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first six months of account opening.

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

  • Rewards

    None

  • Welcome bonus

    None

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 18 billing cycles on balance transfers and purchases

  • Regular APR

    17.49% - 27.49% (Variable)

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2% to 3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees and our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • 20 billing cycles of no interest on balance transfers and purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Cell phone protection plan

Cons

  • No rewards program
  • 2% to 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Balances must be transferred within 60 days from account opening

Who's this card for? The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card is useful for those looking to transfer existing credit card debt or finance new purchases at a great rate. With this card, you'll earn a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 billing cycles of card membership (17.49% - 27.49% variable APR afterwards) .

The card doesn't come with any spending rewards, but it has a solid cell phone coverage benefit and no annual fee.

Intro 0% APR for 15 months

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Information about the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    2X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1X), 1X Membership Rewards® points per dollar spent on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you make $2,000 in purchases in your first 6 months of card membership

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, N/A for balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    15.99% - 26.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2.7%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees and our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Competitive intro period on purchases
  • 20% extra point bonus when you make 20 or more purchases in a billing period

Cons

  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee

Who's this card for? The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card is for someone interested in earning transferrable travel rewards, as well as having an interest-free financing option.

When you're approved for the card, you will have 0% intro APR purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from the date of account opening (15.24% to 26.24% variable APR afterward; see rates and fees). As you spend on the card, you'll earn 2X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1X) and 1X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on all other purchases.

In addition, you can earn a simple welcome bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points after you use your new card to make $2,000 in purchases in your first six months of card membership.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

On Capital One's secure site
  • Rewards

    3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 3% on eligible streaming services, 3% at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®) and 1% on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months

  • Regular APR

    17.99% - 27.99% variable 

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • 3% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases
  • Ability to redeem rewards at any amount, unlike some other cards with $25 minimums
  • Competitive special financing offer on both new purchases and balance transfers
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • 3% balance transfer fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months

Who's this card for? The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great pick for someone looking for tiered cashback rewards as well as interest-free purchases. In fact, I used this card to pay for my taxes last year, and was able to come out slightly profitable with the welcome bonus and cash back rewards.

Cardholders get 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (17.99% - 27.99% variable APR afterward). The rewards rates are as follows:

  • 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and tickets at Vivid Seats
  • 5% on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 3% on dining and entertainment
  • 3% on eligible streaming services
  • 3% at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®)
  • 1% on all other purchases

In addition, you can earn an easy welcome bonus of $200 by spending $500 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1%), 5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on drugstore purchases and on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services), 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    17.24% - 25.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Intro fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Generous welcome bonus
  • Opportunity to earn up to 5% cash back in select categories upon activation
  • Rewards can be transferred to a Chase Ultimate Rewards card

Cons

  • Bonus categories must be activated each quarter
  • 3% fee charged on foreign transactions
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $852
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,844

Rewards totals incorporate the cash back earned from the welcome bonus

Who's this card for? The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a terrific option for someone looking for a card with rotating spending categories, as well as interest-free financing.

With this card, you'll get 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers (17.24% - 25.99% variable APR afterward).

In addition, you can earn solid cash back with the card, including up to 5% cash back on travel purchases through the Chase travel portal and 3% on drugstore purchases and on dining. However, the real value of this card is spending within Chase's quarterly 5% cash-back categories, so if you regularly spend in different categories, this card may be a good fit.

As an added bonus, new cardholders can currently $200 cash back after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    Enjoy 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 1.5% on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    17.24% - 25.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Intro fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Rewards can be transferred to a Chase Ultimate Rewards card
  • Generous welcome bonus

Cons

  • 3% fee charged on foreign transactions

Who's this card for? The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is another great cashback card with interest-free features and is similar to the Freedom Flex card above.

You'll get a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers (17.24% - 25.99% variable APR afterward). However, the main difference is that this card doesn't offer the rotating cash-back categories. Instead, you'll earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on drugstore purchases and on dining and a flat 1.5% on all other purchases.

The card also has a slightly different welcome bonus: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy on up to $20,000 spent in the first year.

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

Information about the American Express Cash Magnet® Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in purchases within your first 6 months of card membership.

  • Annual fee

    None

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, N/A for balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    16.99% to 27.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2.7%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees and our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months from the date of account opening

Cons

  • 2.7% fee on purchases outside the U.S.
  • Cash back comes in the form of a statement credit (with a minimum redemption of $25)

Who's this card for? The American Express Cash Magnet® Card is a solid cashback card for someone looking for simplicity, as well as a 0% intro APR period.

With this card, you'll have a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months from the date of account opening, then a variable APR of 16.24% to 26.24%, (see rates and fees). As you spend on the card, you'll earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

New cardholders have the opportunity to earn a $200 bonus after spending $2,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%), 3% cash back on U.S. online retail purchases, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months.

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, from the date of account opening

  • Regular APR

    16.99% - 27.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2.7%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees and our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 a year, then 1%)
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%)
  • Amex Offers, which provide statement credits or opportunity to earn more rewards at select merchants

Cons

  • 2.7% fee on purchases made abroad
  • Not great for people who don’t regularly go grocery shopping
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $547
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $1,935

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus

Who's this card for? Depending on your spending habits, it might make more sense to get the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. The Blue Cash Everyday Card is similar to the Cash Magnet Card above as it also offers a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months from the date of account opening, then a variable APR of 16.24% to 26.24%, (see rates and fees). The main difference is the earning rates.

As you spend on the card, you'll earn as follows:

  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)
  • 3% at U.S. gas stations (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%)
  • 3% on U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%)
  • 1% on all other purchases

Similar to the Cash Magnet Card, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers a welcome bonus of $200 after spending $2,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

On Wells Fargo's secure site
  • Rewards

    Unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate

  • Regular APR

    17.99%, 22.99%, or 27.99% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Introductory fee of 3% ($5 minimum) for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5% ($5 minimum)

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees and our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Unlimited cash rewards
  • $200 cash rewards welcome bonus
  • No annual fee
  • Introductory APR period for first 15 months
  • Access to Visa Signature Concierge
  • Get up to $600 cell phone protection

Cons

  • 3% fee charged on foreign transactions

Who's this card for? The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is a great choice for earning cash rewards on your everyday purchases, as well as interest-free financing.

To start, this card comes with 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (17.99%, 22.99%, or 27.99% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate). Then, as you spend on the card, you will earn 2% cash rewards on all eligible purchases.

The card also comes with a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in the first three months of card membership.

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card

  • Rewards

    Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, but you earn 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase if you're a Preferred Rewards member

  • Welcome bonus

    $200 online cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days from account opening.

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    Introductory 0% APR for your first 18 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening.

  • Regular APR

    16.99% - 26.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $10 or 3%, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Good/Excellent

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Unlimited cash-back
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus

Cons

  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Can't receive a greater cash-back rate unless you're a Preferred Rewards member
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $532
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $1,860

Rewards totals incorporate the cash-back earned from the welcome bonus and 1.5% back

Who's this card for? The Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card is another solid option for someone looking for simple cash-back options as well as favorable financing options.

With this card, you will get 0% intro APR for your first 18 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made within the first 60 days of opening your account (16.99% to 26.99% variable APR afterward). As you spend on the card, you will earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Additionally, you can earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days from account opening.

How to get the most benefit from 0% APR cards

A 0% APR card is most beneficial when you understand the terms of the offer and set up a plan to pay off your debt. Here's what to keep in mind if you're considering a 0% intro APR credit card for your wallet.

Read the fine print

Make sure you familiarize yourself with any fine print associated with the 0% APR offer, such as expiration date, timeline for completing a balance transfer, any balance transfer fees and the interest rate once the intro period ends.

Create a repayment plan

You'll need to come up with a plan to pay off credit card debt. The amount you need to pay each month in order to have a zero balance at the end of the intro period depends on the length of the intro period.

For example, if you have a $4,500 balance on the Chase Freedom Flex, which offers a intro APR period of no interest for the first 15 months on balance transfers and purchases (after, 17.24% - 25.99% variable APR), you'll need to pay $300 each month to pay off your old balance before the intro period ends.

But if you have the Citi® Double Cash Card, with 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers (then 16.24% - 26.24% variable APR), the monthly payment decreases to $250. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.

Pay off your balance in full

It's very important to pay off any transferred debt or lingering new purchase balances before the intro 0% APR period ends. If you don't, expect to be hit with the regular purchase APR. And if you have a store card, you could be hit with a bill for all the interest you accrued since the date you made your purchase or transfer (known as deferred interest). None of the cards on this list charge cardholders deferred interest.

Learn more: 5 things to do once your balance transfer is complete.

How to compare 0% APR and low-interest cards

If you're not sure whether a 0% APR card or a low-interest credit card is the right choice, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Are you carrying debt from a high interest credit card? Then you should consider a balance transfer credit card with up to 20 months of no interest.
  • Do you plan on making a large purchase? A 0% APR card can provide you with a lengthy intro period that allows you to pay off debt for over a year with no interest.
  • Do you carry a balance month to month? A low interest credit card offers a relatively consistent APR every month, compared to 0% APR cards that typically charge high-interest rates after the intro period ends.

After you determined which credit card you want to apply for, compare cards by these key factors:

  • Length of intro APR period: Cards can have intro periods anywhere from three months to 20 months. Many popular rewards cards offer no interest for 15 months, and non-rewards cards can have 18- and 21-month intro 0% APR periods. For new purchases or lingering debt, the longer the better, but if you're completing a balance transfer, consider the cost of any balance transfer fees before applying.
  • Regular APR: Credit cards offering intro 0% APRs tend to have higher regular APRs than low-interest cards. Consider the regular APR before settling on a card if you think you may carry a balance once the intro 0% APR period ends.
  • Balance transfer fee: Many balance transfer cards charge a fee per transfer. This fee can be outweighed by the amount you save in interest, but make sure to do the math. If you want to avoid fees, check out the best no-fee balance transfer credit cards.
  • Annual fee: Most 0% APR cards and low interest cards have no annual fee, but some may. Make sure to review the annual fees associated with the cards.
  • Rewards and added perks: The best 0% APR cards also offer cash back, points and miles, in addition to added perks, such as purchase protection and exclusive entertainment access. While these are nice benefits, paying off debt should be your primary goal.

FAQs about 0% intro APR credit cards

The Select team researched the most commonly asked questions about 0% intro APR credit cards from consumers and found answers that may help you make the best card selection for your specific needs.

How do 0% APR credit cards work?

A 0% APR credit card offers no interest for a set amount of time, usually 12 to 20 months. During the intro 0% APR period, you won't be charged interest on new purchases or balance transfers. These cards can help you consolidate credit card debt with a balance transfer, pay for new purchases over time without incurring interest charges or both.

Balance transfer credit cards may set a limit on the amount of debt you can transfer, which is often less than your overall credit limit. Plus you may be charged a balance transfer fee, typically 3% per transfer.

Learn more: How 0% APR cards work and how to complete a balance transfer

What credit score is required for 0% APR credit cards?

Most 0% APR credit cards are reserved for consumers with good (670-739) or excellent (740 and greater) credit. If your credit score is fair (580 to 669) or poor (below 580) you may have trouble qualifying for a 0% APR card.

How does your credit score affect your interest rate?

In general, the lower your credit score, the higher your interest rate will be. It's important to have a good credit score for a variety of reasons: It affects your ability to get certain types of loans and/or credit cards, the size of those loans and the interest rate on your card and/or loan.

A 0% APR credit card can help you avoid interest charges for a certain period. Using the extra cash you save not paying interest can help you pay down your debt faster, lower your credit utilization and increase your credit score.

When should I avoid a 0% APR credit card?

A no-interest credit card is a great tool for financing new purchases, but you need to be careful how you use one. If you have a history of overspending, you may be tempted to spend more on a 0% APR card since you have upwards of a year to pay off your entire balance without interest, compared to a regular card that requires you to pay your balance in full each billing cycle to avoid interest charges.

Learn more: How do 0% APR credit cards work? 8 things to know before applying

What's the best way to use a 0% APR credit card?

Credit cards that offer no interest on purchases and/or balance transfers are a great asset for consumers looking to save on interest charges when they carry a balance month-to-month. The best way to use a 0% APR card depends on your individual situation, but typically falls into one of three ways:

  1. If you plan on making large purchases, such as a new iPhone or workout equipment, and need more time to pay them off, a 0% APR card can help you pay over time with no interest charges.
  2. If you have debt on a high-interest card, completing a balance transfer to a card with no interest for up to 20 months can help you pay it off faster and cheaper.
  3. If you fall into both categories, a card with no interest on new purchases and balance transfers can help you pay off large expenses and old debt at the same time.

Keep in mind that you'll need to make minimum payments on your balance and pay it off in full before the intro period ends to avoid interest.

How do I avoid interest on a credit card?

The simplest way to avoid interest charges on a credit card is to pay your balance in full by the due date. However, there's an exception with 0% APR cards. During the length of the intro period, you are only required to make the minimum payments on your balance, and you won't be charged interest on new purchases and/or balance transfers. Once the intro period ends, any lingering balances or new purchases and transfers will incur the regular APR.

Do 0% APR credit cards hurt your credit?

When you apply for a credit card (including a 0% APR card), you'll have a hard credit pull on your credit report, which typically comes with a dip of a few points in your credit score. However this dip is temporary and you're credit score should rise in a few months.

However, if you use a large amount of your credit line on your card for either purchases or a balance transfer, your credit utilization ratio could rise and cause a more significant drop in your credit score. Experts generally recommend keeping your credit utilization ratio below 30% of your total credit line. For example, if you had a $10,000 credit limit you'd want to keep your monthly spending under $3,000 to keep your credit utilization low.

Are there any 0% APR credit cards for 21 months?

There are a few credit cards that offer 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers for up to 21 months.

  • The Citi Simplicity® Card offers 0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from the date of first transfer and 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening (after, 17.74% - 27.74% variable APR; balance transfers must be completed within four months of account opening).
  • The Wells Fargo Reflect® Card offers 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. You can receive an intro APR extension from three months with on-time minimum payments during the intro. After the introductory period, the interest rate will increase to 15.99% - 27.99% variable APR thereafter. Balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee.
  • The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card offers 0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers and 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases (variable APR is 16.74% - 26.74% after; balance transfers must be completed within four months of account opening).

Bottom line

0% intro APR cards are powerful tools if you need flexible financing. However, needlessly holding onto debt is never a good idea, so be sure to have a plan in place to pay off any debt you have.

And if you're considering a 0% intro APR card, be sure to also consider one that earns cash-back or travel rewards so you can get something back on your purchases.

Our methodology

To determine which credit cards offer the best value, Select analyzed 234 of the most popular credit cards available in the U.S. We compared each card on a range of features, including rewards, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, balance transfer fee and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit and customer reviews when available. We also considered additional perks, the application process and how easy it is for the consumer to redeem points.

Select teamed up with location intelligence firm Esri. The company's data development team provided the most up-to-date and comprehensive consumer spending data based on the 2019 Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can read more about their methodology here.

Esri's data team created a sample annual budget of approximately $22,126 in retail spending. The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953). General purchases include items such as housekeeping supplies, clothing, personal care products, prescription drugs and vitamins, and other vehicle expenses.

Select used this budget to estimate how much the average consumer would save over the course of a year, two years and five years, assuming they would attempt to maximize their rewards potential by earning all welcome bonuses offered and using the card for all applicable purchases. All rewards total estimations are net of the annual fee.

While the five-year estimates we've included are derived from a budget similar to the average American's spending, you may earn a higher or lower return depending on your shopping habits.

Information about the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Card, Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, American Express Cash Magnet® Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuers of the cards prior to publication.

For rates and fees of the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
Plenty of rewards and benefits including 4X points per dollar for dining at restaurants worldwide