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Credit cards with 0% intro APR periods can be valuable tools for consolidating debt and financing large purchases. Such cards typically offer introductory interest-free periods, on purchases, balance transfers or both, of up to 12 months. But there are cards that offer promotional periods, some as long as 18 months, that give you even more time before interest starts accruing.
With a long introductory 0% APR period, you have a prolonged amount of time to pay off a major purchase, interest-free. And by transferring high-interest credit card balances to a 0% card, you can whittle down what you owe quicker because your entire payment will go toward erasing debt rather than toward interest.
These card options offer lengthy interest-free periods.
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
APR: 0%* intro APR for 20 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers*, and then the ongoing APR of 14.49% - 24.49%* Variable APR
The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers a long 0% intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers, earning it NerdWallet's 2021 award for best 0% intro APR card. The card doesn't offer rewards, which means it won’t provide much long-term value beyond it's interest-free period. But if your focus is paying down debt, a lack of rewards might not be a serious demerit. Plus, it won't cost you anything to carry the card: the annual fee is $0*.
Citi Simplicity® Card
APR: 0% intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR.
Although you should always make your payments on time, this card won't penalize you for the occasional slip-up. It charges no late fees and has no penalty APR. The annual fee is $0.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
APR: 0% intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.74% - 23.74% Variable APR.
This card's 0% intro APR period is similar to what's offered by its sister Citi card (above). The difference is that the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is much less forgiving, assessing fees and a penalty APR for paying late. For more information on how these cards differ, see our comparison story.
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
APR: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.
The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer gets so much attention for its phenomenal rewards rate — 1% cash back on all purchases, plus another 1% back when you pay them off — that it's easy to overlook its great introductory 0% APR period for balance transfers. It's among NerdWallet's top flat-rate cash-back cards, and you can't beat the $0 annual fee.
HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card
APR: 0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening, then a variable APR of 12.99% - 22.99% will apply.
The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card won't earn you rewards, but it does offer a lengthy 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers, not to mention a couple of distinctive features. For instance, you get a one-time late fee waiver if you happen to forget a payment. The card also doesn't charge a penalty APR. The annual fee is $0.
Chase Freedom Flex℠
APR: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ gives you 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in categories that change every quarter, 5% cash back on travel purchases through Chase, 3% back at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other non-bonus-category purchases. There's an easy-to-claim sign-up bonus, too: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. All that for an annual fee of $0.
BankAmericard® credit card
APR: 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and on any balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening, and then the ongoing APR of 12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR.
The defining feature of the BankAmericard® credit card is its lengthy 0% APR period for both purchases and balance transfers. Although the card doesn't earn rewards or benefits beyond its interest-free window, it doesn't charge a penalty APR. This means that any late payments you make won’t cause you to pay a higher interest rate. The card does, however, charge a balance transfer fee of $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Wells Fargo Platinum card
APR: 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 16.49% - 24.49% Variable APR.
The long 0% APR window on the $0-annual-fee Wells Fargo Platinum card makes it a solid option for those looking to finance a major purchase or pay off transferred debt from other cards. Potential cardholders should note, however, that there is a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater, for the first 120 days of account opening. After this introductory period, balance transfers will incur a 5% fee, with a minimum of $5 per transaction. Additionally, the card doesn't offer any rewards, although that shouldn’t be a primary concern when trying to whittle down debt.