BEST OF

13 Best 0% APR Credit Cards of August 2022

Aug 18, 2022

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

A credit card with a 0% intro APR period can save you hundreds of dollars in interest if you need to finance a major purchase. The best zero percent credit cards have an introductory 0% period of 15 months or more, and many of them come with  rewards and bonus offers that can amount to a big instant discount on that major purchase.

Some of our selections for the best 0% credit cards can be applied for through NerdWallet, and some cannot. Below, you'll find application links for the credit cards from our partners that are available through NerdWallet, followed by the full list of our picks.

NerdWallet's Best 0% APR Credit Cards of August 2022

Best 0% APR Credit Cards From Our Partners

Our pick for

Longest 0% intro APR period

Apply now

on Wells Fargo's website

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Wells Fargo's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR for up to 21 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers

Regular APR

15.24%-27.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The Wells Fargo Reflect® Card offers a 0% intro APR period that can potentially approach two years, if you make your monthly payments on time.

Pros

  • Few if any cards offer a promotional window like this one: You'll get a 0% intro APR on Purchases for up to 21 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers up to 21 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 15.24%-27.24% Variable APR

Cons

  • You won't earn ongoing rewards, aside from being able to opt into one-time offers from My Wells Fargo Deals.

Read full review
  • 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. Intro APR extension of up to 3 months with on-time minimum payments during the intro and extension periods. 15.24% to 27.24% variable APR thereafter; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min $5

  • $0 Annual Fee

  • Get up to $600 of cell phone protection when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your eligible Wells Fargo card (subject to a $25 deductible).

  • An easy way to earn cash back while you shop, dine or enjoy an experience simply by using your Wells Fargo credit card. Through My Wells Fargo Deals, you can get access to personalized deals from a variety of merchants.

  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

Ongoing cash back

Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

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

Regular APR

16.49%-25.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® starts you out with an excellent 0% intro APR period (and a nice bonus offer) and delivers ongoing value with its cash back rewards.

Pros

  • You get an introductory 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 16.49%-25.24% Variable APR. This card earns 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase; 3% cash back at restaurants and drugstores; and 1.5% on other purchases. New cardholders also get a solid bonus offer.

Cons

  • Depending on your spending patterns, you might earn more rewards with a card that pays higher rates in specific categories. Still, this card's combination of rewards and 0% period makes it a formidable choice.

Read full review
  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

  • Enjoy 6.5% 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; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).

  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!

  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49% - 25.24%.

  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card

  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.

  • See if you qualify for a better offer with Chase:

    Get Pre-Qualified

Our pick for

Long 0% intro APR period

Apply now

on Bank of America's website, or call 800-322-7707

BankAmericard® credit card

4.7

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Bank of America's website, or call 800-322-7707

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 18 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days

Regular APR

15.24%-25.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The BankAmericard® credit card is a solid option for people looking to start out with a long interest-free period.

Pros

  • There's a 0% intro APR on Purchases for 18 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, and then the ongoing APR of 15.24%-25.24% Variable APR.

Cons

  • The card doesn't earn ongoing rewards.

Read full review
  • $100 statement credit online bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

  • 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers.

  • No annual fee.

  • No penalty APR. Paying late won't automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Other account pricing and terms apply.

  • Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app.

  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.

  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

Our pick for

Highest flat-rate cash back

Apply now

on Wells Fargo's website

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Wells Fargo's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers

Regular APR

17.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The $0-annual-fee Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is ideal for financing a large purchase, and it's also a great card to keep around even after that thanks to its high ongoing rewards rate on everything you buy.

Pros

  • The card offers a 0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 17.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% Variable APR. It also earns 2% cash back on all purchases, and there's a generous sign-up bonus, to boot.

Cons

  • It's not an ideal travel buddy because of its foreign transaction fee, which will make international travel more expensive.

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

  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 17.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min: $5

  • $0 annual fee

  • No categories to track or remember and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open

  • Enjoy a premium collection of benefits at a selection of the world's most intriguing and prestigious hotel properties with Visa Signature Concierge

  • Get up to $600 of cell phone protection against damage or theft when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your eligible Wells Fargo card. (subject to a $25 deductible).

  • Select “Apply Now” to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

Bonus category cash back

Apply now

on Discover's website, or call 800-347-0264

Discover it® Cash Back

4.9

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Discover's website, or call 800-347-0264

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

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

Regular APR

13.49%-24.49% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The Discover it® Cash Back earns solid cash-back rewards while giving you breathing room to pay down debt without interest.

Pros

  • You get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 13.49%-24.49% Variable APR. You'll earn 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories that you activate (on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter) and 1% back on all other spending. All the while during your first year, you're earning Discover's signature new-cardholder bonus.

Cons

  • Rewards-wise, it can be a hassle to track bonus categories and opt in to them every quarter.

Read full review
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.

  • Every $1 you earn in cash back is $1 you can redeem.

  • NEW Intro APR: Get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 13.49% to 24.49% Standard Variable Purchase APR applies, based on credit worthiness.

  • No annual fee.

  • Click "Apply Now" to see terms and conditions.

  • View Rates & Fees
Apply now

on Citibank's application

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

4.7

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Citibank's application

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

Regular APR

16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card can help you finance a purchase with a good intro APR offer, and beyond that it gives you the chance to earn 5% cash back each month. Terms apply.

Pros

  • This card offers 0% intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR. Plus, it earns 5% back automatically in your eligible top spending category on up to $500 spent per billing cycle (1% back on other purchases).

Cons

  • You can find cards with longer intro APR periods. You can also find cards with higher spending caps — or no caps at all — on bonus rewards.

Read full review
  • Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness.

  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

  • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for – as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.

  • No Annual Fee

  • Citi will only issue one Citi Custom Cash℠ Card account per person.

Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Flex℠

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

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

Regular APR

16.49%-25.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

If you're willing to put in a little work, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers terrific rewards potential that will endure long after its (excellent) 0% APR period runs out.

Pros

  • You get an introductory 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 16.49%-25.24% Variable APR. This card earns 5% cash back in bonus categories that change every three months (on up to $1,500 per quarter in spending, then 1%); 5% on travel booked through Chase; 3% cash back at restaurants and drugstores; and 1% on other purchases. New cardholders can also earn a cash bonus.

Cons

  • You have to opt in to the bonus categories every quarter, which can be a hassle.

Read full review
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!

  • 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 unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49% - 25.24%.

  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Flex℠ card

  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.

  • See if you qualify for a better offer with Chase:

    Get Pre-Qualified

Our pick for

Customizable cash back

Apply now

on US Bank's website

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card - NerdWallet Exclusive

4.3

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on US Bank's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers

Regular APR

16.74%-26.74% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card - NerdWallet Exclusive is tailor-made for those who like to micromanage their credit card rewards, but the 0% APR offer makes it appealing to just about anyone.

Pros

  • You get a 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 16.74%-26.74% Variable APR. You earn 5% cash back in two categories you choose, on up to $2,000 per quarter in combined spending (then 1%); unlimited 2% cash back in an "everyday" category of your choice; and 1% elsewhere. There's a good sign-up bonus, and the annual fee is $0.

Cons

  • The long-term value of this card depends on your appetite for actively managing your rewards, since you have to choose your own bonus categories. Still, a little effort can be very rewarding.

Read full review
  • New! $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening.

  • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories you choose

  • 5% cash back on prepaid air, hotel and car reservations booked directly in the Rewards Travel Center

  • 2% cash back on one everyday category, like Gas Stations/EV Charging Stations, Grocery Stores or Restaurants

  • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases

  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 16.74% - 26.74%

  • No Annual Fee

  • Pay over time by splitting eligible purchases of $100+ into equal monthly payments with U.S. Bank ExtendPay™ Plan.

  • Terms and conditions apply.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

Grocery and gas rewards

Apply now

on American Express' website

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

4.9

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on American Express' website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

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

Regular APR

16.24%-27.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express combines a great 0% intro APR period with elevated rewards in common household spending categories.

Pros

  • Start with a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24%-27.24% Variable APR. You earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, at U.S. gas stations and on U.S. online retail purchases (on up to $6,000 per year in spending in each category). Other purchases earn 1% back. (Terms apply.) There's a nice welcome offer, too.

Cons

  • This card doesn't offer the transit or streaming benefits of its annual-fee cousin, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. And if you spend at least $61 per week at the supermarket, you may be better off paying the annual fee on that card because you'll come out ahead with the higher rewards rate. But that other card has a shorter 0% intro APR period.

Read full review
  • Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.

  • No Annual Fee.

  • Balance Transfer is back! Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from the date of account opening. After that, 16.24% to 27.24% variable APR.

  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%.

  • New! 3% Cash Back on U.S. online retail purchases, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.

  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.

  • Get $7 back each month after using your Blue Cash Everyday® Card to spend $13.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription to The Disney Bundle, which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. Enrollment required.

  • Terms Apply.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

Longer 0% intro APR period

Apply now

on US Bank's website

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on US Bank's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers

Regular APR

16.74%-26.74% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

If you need to spread out payments on a purchase as long as possible without interest, the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card is your card.

Pros

  • You get a 0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 16.74%-26.74% Variable APR. The card also offers cell phone protection if you use it to pay your wireless bill.

Cons

  • This card offers no rewards, so you might not see a very compelling reason to keep using it after the 0% intro period runs out.

Read full review
  • Limited Time Offer!

  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 16.74% - 26.74%.

  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your U.S.Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card. Certain terms, conditions, and exclusions apply.

  • Choose a payment due date that fits your schedule

  • No Annual Fee

  • Pay over time by splitting eligible purchases of $100+ into equal monthly payments with U.S. Bank ExtendPay™ Plan.

  • Terms and conditions apply.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

Flat-rate cash back

Apply now

on Capital One's website

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

4.6

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

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

Regular APR

16.49%-26.49% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card might be the best-known name in the 1.5% cash back game, but it also starts you off with a terrific 0% intro APR period.

Pros

  • You get 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 16.49%-26.49% Variable APR; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months. Every purchase earns 1.5% cash back, with no limit to what you can earn. Bonus offer: One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

Cons

  • Depending on your spending patterns, you might earn more rewards with a card that pays higher rates in specific categories. Still, simplicity is a primary part of this card's appeal.

Read full review
  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day

  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees

  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply

  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn

  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 16.49%-26.49% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months

Apply now

on Bank of America's website, or call 800-343-3246

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Bank of America's website, or call 800-343-3246

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days

Regular APR

16.24%-26.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card offers a lengthy intro APR period on purchases, and it also earns solid rewards, meaning it could be worth keeping around after that intro period has expired.

Pros

  • The $0-annual-fee card offers a 0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24%-26.24% Variable APR. You'll also earn 1.5% back on all purchases.

Cons

  • You can find cards with higher ongoing reward rates.

Read full review
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase. That means you could earn 1.87%-2.62% cash back on every purchase with Preferred Rewards.

  • No annual fee.

  • No limit to the amount of cash back you can earn and cash rewards don’t expire.

  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers.

  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.

  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

Our pick for

Long 0% intro period

Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase Slate Edge℠

4.8

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers

Regular APR

16.49%-25.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The Chase Slate Edge℠ gives you plenty of time to pay off debt interest-free, as well as a way to whittle down your ongoing APR and boost your credit limit.

Pros

  • This card has a 0% intro APR for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 16.49%-25.24% Variable APR. Cardholders are automatically considered for a 2% APR reduction each year (until reaching the prime rate plus 9.74%) when they make their card payments on time and spend at least $1,000 by their account anniversary. Spend $500 in the first six months and make timely payments, and your account will automatically be reviewed for a higher credit line.

Cons

  • This card has no rewards, so its usefulness may be limited after the 0% intro period runs out.

Read full review
  • Start off strong with 0% Intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers. A variable APR of 16.49% - 25.24% on balance transfers and purchases after the introductory period ends.

  • Lower your interest rate by 2% each year. Automatically be considered for an APR reduction when you pay on time, and spend at least $1000 on your card by your next account anniversary.

  • Raise your credit limit. Get an automatic, one-time review for a higher credit limit when you pay on time, and spend $500 in your first six months.

  • All for no annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Slate Edge℠ card

  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more

FULL LIST OF EDITORIAL PICKS: BEST 0% APR CREDIT CARDS

Click the card name to read our review. Before applying, confirm details on the issuer’s website.

Our pick for: Longest 0% intro APR period

The Wells Fargo Reflect® Card has one of the longest 0% intro APR periods on the market — potentially approaching almost two years, if you meet on-time minimum payment requirements. You'll be hard-pressed to find a longer interest-free promotion, and it applies to both purchases and balance transfers. Read our review.

Our pick for: Longer 0% intro APR period

A lengthy 0% introductory APR period for both purchases and balance transfers has made the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card a NerdWallet favorite. Read our review.

Our pick for: Long 0% intro APR period

The BankAmericard® credit card isn't flashy, nor does it aim to be. You get a decent 0% introductory APR period to whittle down debt or finance a large purchase. And that's about it. Read our review.

Our pick for: Long 0% intro APR period 

The $0-annual-fee Chase Slate Edge℠ is light on flash but features an excellent 0% intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers, plus some other potential incentives for paying on time. Read our review.

Our pick for: Ongoing cash back

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® was already a fine card when it offered 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Now it's even better, with bonus rewards on travel booked through Chase, as well as at restaurants and drugstores. On top of all that, new cardholders get a 0% introductory APR period and the opportunity to earn a sweet cash bonus. Read our review.

Our pick for: Bonus category cash back

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card offers a lot of value for a $0 annual fee: 5% back automatically in your eligible top spending category on up to $500 spent per billing cycle (1% back elsewhere). The list of eligible 5% categories is varied and includes biggies like restaurants, grocery stores and more. And unlike competitors, there's no activation schedule or bonus calendar to keep track of. Read our review.

Our pick for: Highest flat-rate cash back

Among flat-rate cash-back cards, you'll be hard-pressed to beat the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card. It earns an unlimited 2% back on all purchases, which is excellent. But in addition, the card offers a rich sign-up bonus and a generous 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers. That's an impressive, hard-to-find combination of features on a card with a $0 annual fee. Read our review.

Our pick for: Flat-rate cash back

The original 1.5% flat-rate cash-back card still holds its own in a now-crowded field. The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a compelling combination of a good rewards rate, redemption flexibility, sign-up bonus and introductory 0% APR period. Read our review.

Our pick for: Flat-rate cash back

The Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card is one of many 1.5% flat-rate cash-back cards on the market. It comes with a decent sign-up bonus, a generous intro APR period, and the potential to supercharge your earnings through Bank of America®'s Preferred Rewards program. Read our review.

Our pick for: Grocery and gas rewards

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express pays elevated rewards at U.S. supermarkets, at U.S. gas stations and on U.S. online retail purchases. The rewards might not be as rich as on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, but this card doesn't charge an annual fee either. New cardholders get a decent welcome offer and an introductory 0% APR period. Read our review.

Our pick for: Bonus category cash back

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers bonus cash back in quarterly categories that you activate, as well as on travel booked through Chase, at restaurants and at drugstores. Category activation can be a hassle, but if your spending matches the categories — and for a lot of people, it will — you can rack up hundreds of dollars a year. There's a fantastic bonus offer for new cardholders and a 0% intro APR period, too. Read our review.

Our pick for: Bonus category cash back

The Discover it® Cash Back earns bonus cash back in quarterly categories that you activate. In past years, those categories have included common spending areas like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and Amazon.com. Category activation can be a hassle, but if your spending aligns with those categories (and for most households, it probably will), you can rake in serious rewards. You also get the issuer's signature "cash-back match" bonus in your first year. Read our review.

Our pick for: Customizable cash back 

If you don't mind putting some work into your rewards, check out the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card - NerdWallet Exclusive. It might be the most customizable cash back card available. You pick which categories earn the most cash back — you get two 5% categories and a 2% category — and you can change those options every quarter. There's a good bonus offer for new cardholders, too. Read our review.

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OTHER RESOURCES

By Funto Omojola, NerdWallet

Understanding 0% APR credit cards

The annual percentage rate, or APR, is the interest rate your credit card issuer charges on any debt you carry on your card. Some cards charge a single rate for all debt on the card; others charge different rates for different kinds of debt (purchases, cash advances, etc.). APRs are listed on your monthly credit card statement.

When you see a reference to a "0% APR credit card" or a "zero percent credit card," it doesn't mean the card will never charge any interest. Rather, it means that the card has an introductory rate of 0% for a certain period of time. That zero percent rate may apply to purchases, balance transfers or both, but it doesn't usually apply to cash advances.

Issuers commonly set their rates at a certain number of percentage points above the prime rate, which is the rate big banks charge their best customers. For example, your rate might be "prime + 12 points." If the prime rate was 5.5%, your APR would be 17.5%. With the exception of introductory periods with a 0% or super-low "teaser" rate, you're not going to find a credit card APR lower than the prime rate.

Although interest rates are expressed in annual terms, they're usually charged on a daily basis. An annual rate of 19.25%, for example, would translate to a daily rate of about 0.0535%. So for every $1,000 in debt, you'd pay about 54 cents a day in interest. That doesn't seem like much ... but over the course of a month and a year, it really adds up.

How to avoid paying credit card interest entirely

Most credit cards offer a "grace period" that allows you to avoid paying any interest at all.

  • If you pay your balance in full each month, then you will not owe any interest on your purchases.

  • If you carry debt over from month to month, then interest will start accruing on purchases as soon as they're posted to your account.

If you're what the credit card industry refers to as a "transactor" — someone who uses their card for convenience and rewards and pays the bill in full every month — then your APR is pretty much irrelevant, because you'll never pay a dime in interest.

On the other hand, if you're a "revolver" — someone who uses cards to float purchases they can't pay off all at once and carries debt from month to month — then your APR is very important, because it dictates how much you pay in interest.

Whats's the difference between interest and APR?

When you're talking about credit cards, there is no difference between your interest rate and APR. They're the same thing.

That leads to another question: Why do credit card issuers refer to it as the "APR" rather than the interest rate? Mostly because federal truth-in-lending laws require it. The APR is the “real” annual cost of borrowing money, and it includes not just interest on the money you borrow, but also fees and other charges. With some financial products, such as mortgages, the APR can be significantly different from the stated interest rate. Those other charges are not included in the credit card APR calculation, in large part because issuers cannot predict who will have to pay them or how much they will pay.

How do 0% APR offers work?

Say you have a card with an introductory 0% purchase APR for 15 months. A "0%" rate means no interest at all will be charged on purchases, in this case for the first 15 months you have the card. Once that introductory period runs out, interest will be charged at the ongoing APR — but only on your balance going forward. There is no "retroactive" interest. (One note of caution, though: If you have a 0% offer, make sure you pay your bill on time every month; a late payment can cancel your 0% rate and immediately move you to the ongoing rate.)

Zero-percent periods on credit cards are different from the "no interest for 12 months" offers you see in stores. Those are what's known as "deferred interest." In those offers, you don't have to pay interest during the promotional period, but interest is silently being calculated in the background. If you have any balance remaining at the end of the period, you will be charged interest on your whole purchase, going all the way back to the time of purchase. That could cost you hundreds of dollars.

Glossary of APR terms

  • Purchase APR. This is the rate your card charges when you pay for things with the card. Most credit cards offer a grace period: If you pay your balance in full every month, you won't have to pay interest on purchases. If you roll over debt from one month to the next, then interest will start adding up on a purchase as soon as you make it.

  • Balance transfer APR. This is the rate on debt that you've moved to the card from somewhere else. To attract your business, card issuers often offer a low rate, even 0%, on transferred debt.

  • Cash advance APR. This is the rate charged when you use your credit card to get cash from an ATM. Interest usually starts adding up on cash advances immediately. Grace periods don't apply.

  • Introductory APR. Sometimes called a "teaser rate," this is a low interest rate offered when you first open your account. Many credit cards offer people with good credit an introductory rate of 0% on purchases for a year or more.

  • Ongoing APR. This is the "regular" rate that goes into effect once any introductory APR period expires.

  • Variable APR. Most credit card interest rates are tied to the prime rate. When the prime rate goes up (or down), your credit card's interest rate will usually go up (or down) an equal amount. "Variable APR" just means your current rate is not permanent and could change if the prime rate does.

How to compare 0% cards

When choosing a 0% APR credit card, let your specific needs be your guide:

  • If you have a big purchase coming up and will need time to pay it off, your best bet is a card with a lengthy 0% introductory APR period. Many rewards cards offer a year or more at 0%, which allow you to collect rewards on your purchase, then pay it off interest-free.

  • If you want to transfer a balance to pay it down at a lower cost, you'll want a card with a 0% intro period and a low (or no) balance transfer fee. Many of the cards on this list are good for transfers, but check out our best balance transfer credit cards for further options.

If you find you're consistently carrying a balance a from month to month, look for a card with a low ongoing interest rate. Cards with an introductory 0% period tend to charge higher rates down the road.

Use these factors to comapre 0% cards:

Introductory APR period

Dozens of cards offer newcomers a 0% APR period of a year or more when they first open the account. This includes a number of popular rewards cards, where you can get 0% interest for as long as 15 months. If you've got a big purchase coming up and will need time to pay it off, a 0% offer is perfect. In general, the longer the 0% period, the better, but there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • If you're late with a payment, the issuer can cancel your 0% rate, leaving you paying high interest on a big balance.

  • Some cards offer long 0% periods for balance transfers, but shorter ones (or no 0% period at all) for purchases. Read the fine print before applying.

  • The cards with the longest 0% periods — 18 months or more — generally don't offer rewards, so once the 0% interest period runs out, there's not a lot of incentive to use the card, unless the card offers a low ongoing rate.

Ongoing APR

In general, you can get a card with a 0% introductory period or you can get a card with a low ongoing APR, but there aren't a lot of cards that give you both. If you expect that you'll be carrying a balance regularly, the ongoing APR is an important consideration.

Balance transfer fee

If you'll need to transfer a balance, this fee is an important consideration. Most cards charge a fee of 3% to 5% of the amount transferred — equal to $30 to $50 for every $1,000 worth of debt moved to the card. Depending on the APR on the card you transfer the debt to and how long it takes you to pay it off, you could save more in interest than you pay in transfer fees. A few cards charge no transfer fee. Of course, if you're only interested in purchases rather than transfers, this fee is irrelevant.

Required credit profile

You're unlikely to qualify for a 0% APR credit card unless you have good credit, generally defined as a score of 690 or better. Some cards even require excellent credit, generally defined as 720 or better.

Penalty policies

It's important to pay your bill on time every month. Paying late usually results in a stiff fee (often nearly $40), and if you're 30 days or more late, it can badly damage your credit score. Finally, a late payment can trigger a penalty APR, jacking up your interest rate as high as 30% in some cases. When you're on a 0% period or have a low ongoing rate, being bumped up to a penalty rate can be disastrous. If punctuality is an issue for you, look into a card's penalty policies (and, for your own sake, work on your punctuality).

Annual fee

Saving money is the primary reason to get a low-interest credit card, so you shouldn't be paying an annual fee on such a card. However, some rewards cards with 0% interest periods do charge an annual fee; whether it's worth paying depends on how much you expect to earn in rewards.

Free credit score

Most major credit card issuers and many smaller ones give cardholders free access to a credit score. When you're looking to manage debt with a low-interest card, it's smart to keep an eye on your score.

Rewards and bonus offers

As mentioned, many rewards credit cards — usually cash-back cards — offer a 0% interest period. When you're using the card to finance a big purchase, those benefits can amount to an instant discount on the purchase. For example, say you're facing a $3,000 expense, so you get a card that has 0% APR for 15 months, pays 1.5% cash back on purchases and offers a bonus of $200 if you spend $1,000 in the first three months. The $3,000 purchase earns $45 in rewards and qualifies you for the bonus, for a total of $245 cash back. The effective cost of the purchase is $2,755, and you have 15 months interest-free to eliminate the debt.

Making the most of your 0% card

If your card has a 0% intro period, strive to eliminate as much debt as possible before that introductory period ends and the interest resets to its ongoing rate. A 0% card should be a tool for getting rid of debt, not just a place to park debt and forget about it. If you find yourself moving debt from one 0% card to another but never paying it down, it's time to consider other debt solutions.

With any card, watch your balance. For the sake of your credit scores, it's best to keep your balance under 30% of the credit limit on the card. Under 10% is even better. When balances rise above 30% of credit limits, scoring formulas start to interpret that as a sign of financial stress.

Other cards to consider

Looking to transfer a balance to save money? Our roundup of the best balance transfer cards evaluates cards — including many of the cards on this page — with that specific goal in mind.

Do you even need a 0% card? You might not. If you pay your balance in full every month, the APR on your credit card doesn't matter, because you're never actually charged interest. In that case, consider a rewards credit card, which gives you a little something back very time you make a purchase. Rewards cards fall into two major categories: cash back credit cards and travel credit cards.

On the other hand, if you're prone to carrying a balance from month to month, you might be better off with a card that has a low ongoing interest rate.

To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, see this page.

Last updated on August 18, 2022

Methodology

NerdWallet's Credit Cards team selects the best 0% APR credit cards based on overall consumer value, as evidenced by star ratings, as well as their suitability for specific kinds of consumers. Factors in our evaluation include annual fees, the length of a card's introductory 0% APR periods (if any) on purchases and balance transfers, ongoing APRs, balance transfer fees, bonus offers for new cardholders, rewards rates and redemption options, and other noteworthy features such as fee waivers or the ability to qualify with less than good credit. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.

Frequently asked questions