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NerdWallet’s Best 0% and Low Interest Credit Cards, Fall 2014

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If you have credit card debt or need to make a big purchase, a low-interest credit card can be your salvation. Offering over a year of 0% APR to get rid of your debts, these cards are the best in the business, from waived fees to rewards and more. Transfer your balance and you’ll get some time to breathe and, we hope, a chance to get out of debt.

Longest 0% APR period: Citi Simplicity® Card

Citibank Simplicity Credit Card
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on Citibank's
secure website

The Simplicity’s one of our favorites because it treats debtors delicately all around. Not only does it have 18 months of 0% interest on purchases and transfers – the best in the business – it charges no annual fee, forgoes late fees and a penalty APR and has a lower-than-standard 3% transfer fee. In other words, if you pay late, you won’t be slapped quite as hard with fees as you would with another card. Whether you’ve made a few late payments on accident, or need some time to get rid of your credit card debt, the Simplicity is unparalleled.

Best for balance transfers: Chase Slate®

Chase Slate Elite Credit Card
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on Chase's
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The Chase Slate might not stand out among the others for its rewards or intro period like the others – 15 months as opposed to 18 with the Simplicity. A variable APR of 12.99%, 17.99%, or 22.99% kicks in after the introductory period ends. Still, the Slate is worth your attention because of one detail in particular: no balance transfer fee for the first 60 days. It’s the only card that features both a 0% intro period and no balance transfer fee. This can lead to significant savings: let’s say you’re transferring $10,000 and plan to pay off $600 a month. You’d pay no interest with the Citi Simplicity or Discover it, but you’d pay a $300 balance transfer fee. With the Slate, you’d pay between $15 and $27 on interest but no transfer fee. Using the Slate would save you at least $273, even though it has a shorter balance transfer period. There’s no annual fee either, which means this card is easy on your bank account, especially for those who need to consolidate a tall pile of debt.

0% APR meets no fees meets rewards: Discover it®

Discover It Credit Card
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on Discover's
secure website

The Discover it® has it all, whether you’re looking to shed debt or earn rewards:

  • 14 months of 0% interest on purchases and transfers
  • 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories, up to $1,500 spent quarterly
  • No penalty APR or foreign transaction fee; first late payment fee is forgiven
  • Extra perks like purchase, warranty and return protection

The Discover it® is a great way to earn rewards and work towards debt freedom.

Low interest and rewards: Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom - $100 Cash Back Credit Card
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on Chase's
secure website

The Chase Freedom is an excellent choice for folks with excellent credit who also need some time to get rid of debt. The card gives you 15 months of 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers (then a variable APR of 13.99%-22.99%) and even earns rewards. You earn 5% cash back on bonus categories that change every quarter, up to $1,500 spent per period; all other purchases earn a flat 1%. There’s no annual fee, and there’s a signup bonus: Get a $100 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

For long-term credit card debt: Lake Michigan Credit Union

Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Link Platinum Visa Credit Card
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on Lake Michigan Credit Union's
secure website

The Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum won’t give you an introductory period of 0% APR, but they will give you a really low ongoing rate: 6.25%, whereas most cards will charge between 12% and 20%. Further, the card has no annual or balance transfer fee, so it’s a good option if you already have credit card debt and want to pay it off on a lower-rate card.

If you’re going to be in debt for a long time, the LMCU card card might catch your eye . Take the average American’s credit card debt for example – it easily tops $15,000. You probably can’t pay that off in a year and a half, so your card’s ongoing interest should be of concern. Anyone can join with a donation to the West Michigan chapter of the ALS association.

  • Sunnyfunfish

    Thanks for your advice.
    Kathy

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  • http://nomorecreditcards.com/credit-card-relief-programs/ Golden Financial Services

    Yeah good advice on these credit cards.