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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 with no interest for up to 21 months, so you can maximize savings.

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Credit cards can be a great asset 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 for at least 15 months, so you can maximize savings. Credit card recommendations are broken up by length of intro 0% APR period.

Best 0% APR credit cards

Intro 0% APR for up to 21 months

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

    14.74% to 24.74% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum

  • 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

Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card

On Wells Fargo's secure site
  • Rewards

    None

  • Welcome bonus

    None

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    Introductory 0% APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening; extension of up to 3 months (totaling 21 months) with on-time minimum payments during the intro and extension periods

  • Regular APR

    12.99% to 24.99% 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 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

Intro 0% APR for 20 months

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

On U.S. Bank's secure site
  • Rewards

    None

  • Welcome bonus

    None

  • Annual fee

    $0*

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 20 billing cycles on balance transfers and purchases*

  • Regular APR

    14.49% - 24.49% (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

Intro 0% APR for 18 months

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

    No current offer

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

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

  • Regular APR

    13.99% - 23.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • 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

  • No welcome bonus, so you can’t maximize rewards during the first few months of card opening
  • Minimum cash-back redemption of $25
  • 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

Intro 0% APR for 15 months

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 $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months on purchases, N/A for balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    12.99% to 23.99% 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

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Information about the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 3% on eligible streaming services, 3% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

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

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% introductory APR for the first 15 months that your account is open

  • Regular APR

    14.99% - 24.99% variable 

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% for promotional APR offers; none for balances transferred at regular APR

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • 3% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases and 3% at grocery stores
  • 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% fee for promotional balance transfer offers
  • Only consumers with good to excellent credit typically qualify
  • Estimated cash back earned after 1 year: $546
  • Estimated cash back earned after 5 years: $1,932

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus

Chase Freedom Flex℠

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year, 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

    14.99% to 24.74% 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

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year, 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on drugstore purchases and on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services), and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 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

    14.99% to 24.74% 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
  • Long intro 0% APR period
  • Rewards can be transferred to a Chase Ultimate Rewards card
  • Generous welcome bonus

Cons

  • Below average 1.5% cash back on non-bonus category purchases
  • 3% fee charged on foreign transactions
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $847
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,709

Rewards totals incorporate the cash back earned from the welcome bonus

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, N/A for balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    13.99% to 23.99% 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)

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%), 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, 1% cash back on other purchases. 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 the first 15 months on purchases, N/A for balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    13.99% to 23.99% 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

  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 a year, then 1%)
  • Unlimited 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
  • Amex Offers, which provide statement credits or opportunity to earn more rewards at select merchants
  • Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 15 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.

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

Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card

On Wells Fargo's secure site
  • Rewards

    Unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

  • Welcome bonus

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

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

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

  • Regular APR

    14.99% to 24.99% variable 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 back
  • $200 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

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

On Citi's secure site
  • Rewards

    5% cash back on purchases in top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent (then 1%); unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn $200 cash back after spending $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. The bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

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

  • Regular APR

    13.99% to 23.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum)

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent, Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • 5% cash back in eligible spend categories like restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment
  • $200 cash back welcome bonus if meet spending threshold
  • Introductory 0% APR offer for first 15 months

Cons

  • 5% cash back is limited to top spend category, up to the first $500 spent
  • 3% foreign transaction fee when traveling outside the U.S.

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 15 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening.

  • Regular APR

    13.99% to 23.99% 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

FAQs

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 669) 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.

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. Follow these tips to get the most benefit out of your card:

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 no interest for the first 15 months on balance transfers and purchases (after, 14.99% to 24.74% 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% for the first 18 months on balance transfers (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR), the monthly payment decreases to $250.

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 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 into 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 3% to 5% fees per transfer. This fee can be outweighed by the amount you save on interest but make sure to do the math. 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.

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 new appliances 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 No.1 and No.2, 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, though you'll be limited to how much you can spend and transfer based on the card's credit limit.

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.

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 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, Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit 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.