NerdWallet's

Best Low Interest and 0% Credit Cards of 2018

Use the right card and score major interest savings on a big purchase or balance transfer.

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More on this card
Chase Freedom® Review
For a similar card with flat-rate cash back
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Benefits

The Chase Freedom® gives you a little of everything. In addition to a $0 annual fee and a long 0% intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers, it offers a nifty sign-up bonus: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. You get 5% cash back on up to $1,500 per quarter in spending on rotating bonus categories that have included such things as gas stations, supermarkets and restaurants. All other spending earns 1% back.

Drawbacks

The 5% balance-transfer fee is high and could be a burden if you're trying to get out of debt. A $3,000 balance transfer would consume the sign-up bonus. And it can be a hassle to track bonus rewards categories and opt in to them every quarter.

Bottom line

Free money from a sign-up bonus is always nice, and the lengthy 0% APR period makes the Chase Freedom® a solid choice for financing a major purchase. It’s a poor option for balance transfers, though, because of its high fee.

For bonus rewards on groceries and gas
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Benefits

Offering 1% cash back on every purchase and an additional 1% when you pay them off, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer provides easy rewards to go with its lengthy interest-free period on balance transfers and $0 annual fee. This is an excellent card that doesn't require excellent credit: You can qualify with good credit.

Drawbacks

Although the card offers a long 0% APR period to encourage balance transfers, it also comes with a 3% fee on transfers. There's no sign-up bonus, and there's a $25 minimum rewards redemption. Some cards have no minimum.

Bottom line

If you like to keep it simple while paying down transferred debt, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer gives you generous rewards and a lengthy no-interest period. Unlike some transfer cards, this one is a keeper long after the 0% period ends.

For a different 0% APR structure
Discover it® - Cashback Match™

Benefits

The Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer combines a lengthy 0% period on balance transfers with 5% cash-back rewards on rotating bonus categories (on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter) and 1% back on all other spending. There's also an unusual bonus, which Discover describes as: "Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically." No foreign transaction fee is unusual for this category. Discover won’t charge a fee for your first late payment or raise your APR for paying late.

Drawbacks

The 3% balance-transfer fee will eat into interest savings during the introductory period, and the no-interest offer on new purchases is shorter than for other top cards. It can be a hassle to track bonus rewards categories and opt in to them every quarter.

Bottom line

The Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer combines a lengthy 0% period on balance transfers with 5% cash-bac has generous rewards and a lengthy interest-free period for balance transfers, although not as much for new purchases. However, the card allows you to earn rewards while creating breathing room to get out of debt.

For a longer 0% period for transfers but shorter for purchases
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card– 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer

Benefits

The interest-free period on the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever is nice and long: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR. Citi's pledge to never charge fees or a penalty annual percentage rate on late payments is unusual and a nice break for the chronically forgetful.

Drawbacks

The lengthy interest-free period comes at a cost for balance transfers: 5%, which adds up for big balances. The no-late-fee policy could encourage bad behavior that might eventually affect your credit scores. No rewards or sign-up bonus.

Bottom line

This card's long 0% APR period means you’ll have more time to offset the balance-transfer fee in interest savings. Its lack of penalties for late payments can help by not adding to your debt.

Methodology

NerdWallet’s credit cards team selects the best cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen in multiple categories.

Last updated May 22, 2018.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Low Interest and 0% Credit Cards of 2018

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