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No Interest Credit Cards: How to Snag the Best Credit Card Rates

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If you need a no interest credit card to pay down debts that you’ve already accrued or to make a big, one-time purchase and hack away at the payments over time, look no further. A low rate credit card can be a boon to anyone who’s struggling with credit card debt, providing a means to consolidate and reduce payments on your debt. Plus, it offers significant advantages over layaway programs, most notably that you can make a purchase and pay it off later, without interest, rather than forking over 5-10% of the cost for the “privilege” of paying early. Here’s a list of NerdWallet’s favorite no interest credit cards, which offer rewards, low balance transfer fees, and some of the best medium-term credit card rates out there.

Longest intro periods

Citibank dominates the 0% intro APR field with three solid offerings and the longest no-interest periods in the market.

Citi Simplicity

Citibank Simplicity Credit Card
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on Citibank's
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Rounding out the Citi trinity is the Simplicity, which we think is the best of the 18-month intro period cards. Like the others, it has a 3% BT fee, but unlike the Platinum and Diamond, it has no penalty interest rate and no late fee, so if you should fall behind on your payments, you won’t be slapped with a $35 fee and 29% APR.

Citi Diamond Preferred

Citibank Diamond Preferred Credit Card
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on Citibank's
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The Diamond Preferred offers a substantial 0% intro APR period of 18 months on both balance transfers and purchases, as well as a lower-than-usual 3% balance transfer fee. The combination makes it a solid choice if you’re looking to keep your interest payments to a minimum.

Rewards plus 0% APR

If you’re looking to rack up some rewards in addition to taking advantage of 0% interest, here are a few more credit cards to consider.

Discover It

Discover It Credit Card
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on Discover's
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The Discover It has a 0% intro APR period for 14 months on both transfers and purchases, and like the Citi cards, has a low 3% balance transfer fee. But in addition to a 0% period, it gives 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories like airfare, groceries and clothing, up to quarterly limits. In addition, you earn an unlimited 1% cash back on non-bonus purchases.

Citi Dividend

The Citi® Dividend World MasterCard® – $100 Cash Back also has 0% APR on purchases and transfers for 12 months*, and gives 5% back on rotating bonus categories. But while the More is subject to quarterly rewards caps, the Dividend limits you to $300 in rewards each year. On the other hand, it has a $100 cash back signup bonus, so it’s probably a better deal in the short run.

Capital One Cash

Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card
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on Capital One's
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This new arrival from Capital One gives what works out to 1.5% rewards on all purchases, as well as 0% interest on transfers and purchases until August of 2012. Plus, it has a $100 cash back bonus if you spend $300 in the first 3 months. The card earns 1% cash back throughout the year, and a 50% one-time bonus of all the rewards you earn that year, spent or unspent.

  • Crystal Rodgers

    I am thinking of applying for a credit card, but I am uncertain and slightly confused on which one I should choice. I recently purchased a condo and I am concerned that I may not have the money to pay for something that breaks or needs to be fixed. Also, thinking of purchasing new furniture or possibly doing some minor remodeling. I do not have a credit card and the last time I did have one I was in my twenties (I am 40 now). I’ve been reviewing some of the different cards on line, but the more I read the more overwhelming it becomes. Do you have any suggestions of which credit card I should choose?

    • Ands

      I did something similar. I purchased a home last year & put an entire bathroom remodel plus some furniture on my new Citi Simplicity card. I’m in the process of paying off the balance now, as my 0% APR promotional period ends in October…and I want to make sure I have paid off 100% of the balance before then to avoid any interest charge. So far I have no complaints. In the months when cash was tight, I only had to pay the minimum balance (which never got about $140 on my $12,000 balance) and when I had spare cash (tax refund, lower monthly bills, etc), I’ve been making large payments. If you’re good at making sure you can pay it down, I’d definitely go with Citi Simplicity, because it also gives you the longest period to pay off the improvements/purchases (a year & a half from when you open the card).

  • Lynda

    I need to have some serious dental work done and will use the credit card for only that. Which card would you suggest? Is paying for doctors, dentists etc. considered a purchase?

    • Ands

      Yes, any new charge on a credit card is considered a purchase.

  • Matt Johnson

    I’m interested in the Citi Simplicity card, basically as a way of deferring wedding expense payments without paying interest. We’re moving and I’d like to keep as much cash in the bank as possible just in case. However, I already have this card. Can I apply for a second one and get the 21 month 0% apr offer?

  • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

    Since you have a high amount of credit card debt, I’d recommend the Chase Slate, which has no balance transfer fee and 15 months of 0% interest on your transfer. That’s probably the best option for you – the cards with 18 months of 0% interest all have 3% balance transfer fees, which in your case adds up to a hefty $420. That’s probably more than you’ll pay in interest in months 15-18.

  • Katie

    Lendtree.com has the best deal because they get you 4 banks that will compete for your business and show you the deal upfront and you most likely will qualify you have somewhat decent credit.

  • Jane Doe

    I do this all the time! It works great IF you calculate the amount of payment needed to pay off in 14 months and are SURE you can muster the payment. I often calculate the amount of weekly payments over the time alloted and pay straight from my bank account with epayments…a smaller bite each week is easier to handle. This is one great way to win the credit card game. Just remember that IF you use your whole balance allotment it makes your credit score go down….until you pay off by half or more…..the standard used by the credit score industry…once you transfer that balance from your higher interest card you will get another 0 interest offer within a few months by the card you just paid off IF you leave that one untouched…I’ve been doing this for years and have paid off most of my debts interest free.

  • Jane Doe

    How much interest will you pay duriing the period the cc company has offered 0% if you leave your loan amount with the bank? Start with that calculation. IF it is more than the 3% transfer fee and you are SURE you can pay off in the time alloted ….you win! This is ok in my book because if you have a high interest card with a high balance the 3% tranfer fee usually adds up to 2 months of interest charges….so you save 10 months of charges and get the zero rate period to pay off this debt. I have done this for years and have saved thousands on interest while paying off my debt…I don’t agree with running up your balance by not transfering because the odds of paying that off before the zero interest runs out are slim and then you are right back where you started….