BEST OF

Best 0% APR and Low Interest Credit Cards of November 2021

NerdWalletOct 27, 2021

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.

» LOOKING FOR CREDIT CARDS THAT OFFER PRE-QUALIFICATION OR PREAPPROVAL WITHOUT A HARD PULL? Click here to see options.

A low-interest credit card saves you money by reducing the cost of debt: When you're paying less in interest, you can pay back what you've borrowed more quickly. A card with a 0% intro APR period will save you the most on interest in the short term. Look for one with an introductory interest-free period longer than a year. If you tend to carry a balance most months, a card with a low ongoing interest rate will work to your advantage in the long run.

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 and Low Interest Credit Cards of November 2021

Our pick for

0% intro period and flat-rate cash back

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
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 for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers

Regular APR

14.99%-24.99% 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 for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 14.99%-24.99% 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
  • New! 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 14.99% to 24.99% 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 category restrictions or sign ups 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 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card

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

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

Long 0% intro APR period

BankAmericard® Credit Card
Apply now

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

BankAmericard® credit card

4.9

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

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

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and on any balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening

Regular APR

12.99% - 22.99% 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 an intro APR of 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. Unlike many other balance-transfer cards that are available only to those with excellent credit, some applicants may be able to qualify for this card with good credit.

Cons

  • The card doesn't earn ongoing rewards.

Read full review
  • New Offer! $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, 12.99% - 22.99% 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

Longest 0% intro APR period

Wells Fargo Reflect Card
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

12.99%-24.99% 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 for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, and then an ongoing APR of 12.99%-24.99% Variable APR. Intro APR extension of up to 3 months with on-time minimum payments during the intro and extension periods.

Cons

  • You won't earn ongoing rewards, aside from being able to opt into one-time offers from My Wells Fargo Deals. You'll also owe a balance transfer fee.

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. 12.99% to 24.99% 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).

  • Through My Wells Fargo Deals, you can earn cash back in the form of a statement credit while you shop, dine, or enjoy an experience simply by using your eligible Wells Fargo Credit Card

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

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

0% intro period and ongoing cash back

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
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 on Purchases for 15 months

Regular APR

14.99%-23.74% 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 on Purchases for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.99%-23.74% 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 can also get a cash bonus.

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

  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.

  • No annual fee.

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.

  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.

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

    Get Pre-Qualified

Our pick for

Long 0% intro APR period on transfers

Citibank Diamond Preferred Credit Card
Apply now

on Citibank's application

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

4.8

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Citibank's application

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% Intro APR for 21 months on Balance Transfers and 12 months on Purchases

Regular APR

13.74%-23.74% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is all about the long 0% intro APR period. It's about as much breathing room on balance transfers as you'll find anywhere.

Pros

  • The long 0% period on balance transfers is this card's defining feature, giving you more than a year to whittle down debt.

Cons

  • 5% is pricey for a balance transfer fee. And because the card doesn't earn rewards, there's not a lot of ongoing value to it once that 0% period runs out.

Read full review
  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 13.74% - 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.

  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Get free access to your FICO® Score online.

  • With Citi Entertainment®, get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.

  • Shop with confidence knowing that you have dependable protection benefits, including $0 Liability on Unauthorized Purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions.

  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.74% - 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

Our pick for

Long 0% intro APR period

US Bank Visa Platinum Credit Card
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

14.49% - 24.49%* 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

  • The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card gives you a good long time to pay off a major purchase.

Cons

  • This card offers no rewards, so there's not a very compelling incentive to keep using it after the 0% intro period runs out.

Read full review
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 14.49% - 24.49%.

  • Great offer from U.S. Bank, a 2021 World's Most Ethical Company® - Ethisphere Institute, February 2021.

  • No Annual Fee*

  • Flexibility to choose a payment due date that fits your schedule.

  • 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.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our picks for

0% intro period and bonus category cash back

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
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

13.99%-23.99% 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 13.99%-23.99% 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 13.99% - 23.99%, 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.

Discover it® Cash Back
Apply now

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

Discover it® Cash Back

4.8

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

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

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers

Regular APR

11.99% - 22.99% 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 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 11.99% - 22.99% 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

  • The intro period is a bit shorter than the 15-18 months commonly offered by other cards, but it's still well over a year. 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.

  • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.

  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.

  • #1 Most Trusted Credit Card according to Investor’s Business Daily.

  • No annual fee.

  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

0% intro period and flat-rate cash back

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card
Apply now

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

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card

4.9

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

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

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases and on any balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% 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 for 15 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR. You'll also earn 1.5% back on all purchases.

Cons

  • You can find cards with higher reward ongoing rates.

Read full review
  • New Offer! With the new Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card, you can earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every time.

  • No annual fee

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

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

  • 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, 13.99% - 23.99% 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% period on transfers, no late fees

Citibank Simplicity Credit Card
Apply now

on Citibank's application

Citi Simplicity® Card

4.9

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Citibank's application

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% Intro APR for 21 months on Balance Transfers and 12 months on Purchases

Regular APR

14.74%-24.74% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The Citi Simplicity® Card offers a lengthy 0% intro APR period on balance transfers — and in addition, it doesn't charge late fees or a penalty APR.

Pros

  • The card's intro APR period on balance transfers is among the best on the market, but its distinguishing feature is the absence of late fees. Still, a caveat for the forgetful: Your credit scores could still suffer if you pay late enough.

Cons

  • The 5% balance transfer fee is on the expensive side, and there's not much reason to use the card after its intro APR period has ended.

Read full review
  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever

  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.

  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

  • Stay protected with Citi® Quick Lock and $0 liability on unauthorized charges.

Our pick for

0% intro period and bonus category cash back

Chase Freedom Flex
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 on Purchases for 15 months

Regular APR

14.99%-23.74% 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 on Purchases for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.99%-23.74% 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.

  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

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

  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.

  • No annual fee.

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.

  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.

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

    Get Pre-Qualified

Our pick for

0% intro period + grocery and gas rewards

American Express Blue Cash Everyday Credit Card
Apply now

on American Express's website

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

4.3

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on American Express's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% 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 on Purchases for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR. You earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 spent per year, then 1%), 2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% back on everything else. (Terms apply.) There's a nice bonus 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’re actually 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.

  • Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 15 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.

  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.

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

  • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.

  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.

  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits.

  • No annual fee.

  • Terms Apply.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

0% period and flat-rate cash back

Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

4.9

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

14.99%-24.99% 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 14.99%-24.99% Variable APR. 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

  • 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; 14.99%-24.99% variable APR after that

  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees

Our pick for

0% period + 'rounded-up' rewards

Citi Rewards+® Card
Apply now

on Citibank's application

Citi Rewards+® Card

3.1

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Citibank's application

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening

Regular APR

13.49%-23.49% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

Although the rewards that give this card its name aren't a great match for a lot of people, the Citi Rewards+® Card also comes with a solid 0% APR offer for new cardholders.

Pros

  • You get an introductory 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening, and then the ongoing APR of 13.49%-23.49% Variable APR. This card earns 2 points per dollar on the first $6,000 spent per year at supermarkets and gas stations, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Further, rewards on all purchases are rounded up to the nearest 10 points, which amplifies the value for smaller spenders.

Cons

  • If long-term value is a paramount concern, bigger spenders might want to go elsewhere. You'll also pay a fee to transfer a balance. This card is of greatest benefit to people who make a lot of smaller purchases. If that's you, though, definitely give it a look.

Read full review
  • FOR A LIMITED TIME, earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com

  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 13.49% - 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness. There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).

  • The Citi Rewards+® Card - the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap.

  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.

  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.49% - 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

FULL LIST OF EDITORIAL PICKS: BEST 0% APR AND LOW INTEREST 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: Long 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 on transfers

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card offers a super-lengthy 0% intro APR period on balance transfers, and there's also a decent offer on purchases. But the balance transfer fee is pricey. It doesn't have the late-fee forgiveness of Citi's other balance-transfer card, but it's still a great option. Read our review.

Our pick for: Long 0% period on transfers + no late fees

The Citi Simplicity® Card has an excellent 0% intro APR period on balance transfers, and an OK one on purchases. It doesn't charge an annual fee, late fees or penalty APRs either. Its balance transfer fee is on the high side, though. 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: 0% intro period and 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: 0% intro period and 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: 0% intro period and 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 (then an ongoing variable rate of 14.99% - 24.99%). Read our review.

Our pick for: 0% intro period and 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: 0% intro period and 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: 0% intro period + grocery and gas rewards

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express pays elevated rewards at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores. The rewards aren't as rich as on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, but this card doesn't charge an annual fee. New cardholders get a decent bonus offer and an introductory 0% APR period. If you're buying groceries regularly but not necessarily all the time, it's worth a look. Read our review.

Our pick for: 0% intro period and 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: 0% intro period and 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: 0% period + 'rounded-up' rewards

The Citi Rewards+® Card might not be right for everyone, but its unique rounding-up feature means that every purchase will earn at least 10 points. The card offers bonus rewards at gas stations and supermarkets and has no annual fee. And the 0% intro APR period shouldn't be overlooked. Read our review.

OTHER RESOURCES

Understanding interest rates and APRs

The annual percentage rate, or APR, is the interest rate your credit card issuer charges on debt 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 statement.

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 0% or teaser-rate offers, 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 17%, for example, would translate to a daily rate of about 0.0466%. So for every $1,000 in debt, you'd pay about 47 cents a day in interest.

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 land on your statement.

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.

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 credit card issuers set interest rates

Credit card issuers are required by law to clearly state the interest rate on a credit card before you apply. You can find the interest rate (or rates) charged by a card in its "terms and conditions," sometimes referred to as the fine print. When looking at a card online, look for a link that says something like "See terms and fees" or "View rates and fees" or "Offer details." The rate will be prominently displayed in a large chart known as the Schumer box.

  • With some cards, everyone has the same APR. This is common especially with cards for people with bad credit (in which the rate is very high) or super-low-interest cards for people with good credit.

  • Many cards charge a range of APRs. It's common to see a card saying it charges something like "15.99% to 23.99%." When a card has a range of available APRs, the rate you get will usually depend on your creditworthiness. See below for how your credit score affects your interest rate.

  • Rewards cards tend to charge higher APRs. Cash-back and travel-rewards programs are expensive, and one of the ways credit card issuers pay for them is by charging higher interest rates on balances on rewards cards.

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.

How your credit score affects your interest rate

The interest rate you pay on your credit card is heavily dependent on your credit history, which is summed up in your credit scores. Interest rates are how issuers put a price on risk:

  • When you have a low credit score, lenders see a higher risk in lending you money. As a result, the interest rate charged by your credit card will be higher.

  • When you have a high credit score, the risk is lower that you wont repay borrowed money. So the interest rate on your credit card will be lower.

If a card advertises a range of APRs, a lower score will put you toward the higher end of that range (or you might not qualify for a card at all), while a high score will put you on the lower end of the range.

As a very general rule of thumb:

  • If you have good or excellent credit (a score of 690 or more), look for prime + less than 12 points.

  • For average credit (630 to 690), you'll likely see prime + 15 to 20 points.

  • For bad credit (below 630), expect to find APRs more in the range of prime + more than 20 points.

Improving your credit to qualify for a better rate

As with most financial products, the best interest rates on credit cards are available to those with the strongest credit profiles. Improving your credit is the first step toward improving your rate. Steps to take:

  • Know your credit score. You can get free access to your score through NerdWallet. Get your free score here.

  • Make 100% of your payments on time. This applies not only to credit cards, loans and other lines of credit, but also to utility bills and other accounts. Unpaid bills that that go into collections can seriously hurt your credit.

  • Keep your credit utilization low. Don't let your balance on any card (or all cards put together) exceed 30% of the total credit limit.

  • Limit your credit applications. New accounts lower the average age of your open lines of credit, which makes up part of your credit score. Multiple credit inquiries from applications can also ding your score.

  • Keep accounts open. Unless a card has an annual fee, keep it open and active, even if for only one bill a month. This will help both your credit utilization and the length of your credit history.

  • Check each of your credit reports each year for errors and discrepancies.

The high cost of a higher interest rate

A higher APR costs you money in two ways:

  • First, obviously, it increases the amount of interest charged on your purchases.

  • Second, because you are paying more in interest, you have less money available to pay down the principal — the debt you actually put on the card. That means you could stay in debt (and pay interest) for a longer time.

Let's walk through an example and see how a higher APR affects you at every turn.

1. Your interest charges are higher

If you have excellent credit, you might qualify for a credit card with a super-low rate, let's say 8%. Meanwhile, a person with bad credit or no credit history at all might only qualify for a "starter" card with an APR of 26%. Let's say each person carries a $1,000 balance from one month to the next:

  • The 8% APR card produces an interest charge of about $6.58 in the first month.

  • The 26% APR card produces an interest charge of about $21.36 in the first month.

2. Your minimum payments are higher

The minimum payment on a credit card is typically made up of all the accrued interest, plus any fees, plus a percentage of the principal (the money you actually spent on the card). In this case, let's say that percentage is 1.5%.

  • The 8% APR card will have a minimum payment of $21.58 in that first month.

  • The 26% APR card has a minimum payment of about $36.36 the first month.

3. Your debt shrinks more slowly

Now say that each person has only $50 a month to put toward credit card debt. That's more than the minimum (and paying more than the minimum is always good), but it's not enough to cover their debt entirely. This is a common way people use credit cards — they're "revolvers" who pay down slowly over time.

  • With a $50 payment on the 8% APR card, $6.58 goes to interest and $43.42 goes to reduce the debt. The cardholder now has $956.58 in debt left to repay.

  • With a $50 payment on the 26% APR card, $21.36 goes to interest and only $28.64 goes to reduce the debt. The cardholder now has $971.36 in debt left to repay.

After just one month, the person with the lower APR is about $15 ahead of the person with the higher APR in the "race" to eliminate their debt.

4. You're in debt longer and pay more to get out

Say they continue like this, each paying $50 a month. For each cardholder, the interest charges will shrink each month as they pay down the principal. But the one with the lower APR will get out of debt more quickly and pay less in interest:

  • After a year, the person with the 8% card has reduced their debt to about $460. That means $600 worth of payments has reduced their debt by about $540. They'll be debt-free after 22 months, and they'll pay a total of about $76 in interest.

  • After a year, the person with the 26% card has reduced their debt to only about $613. That means $600 in payments has cut the debt by only about $387. They'll need 27 months to get debt-free, and they'll pay a total of $318 in interest.

Reducing your interest costs

As discussed, you can avoid interest entirely by paying your balance in full every month. But that's not always possible for everyone. Sometimes carrying a balance is unavoidable. Here are some options.

Pay more than the minimum due

The minimum payment shown on your billing statement is the absolute least you can pay without incurring a penalty. It won't get you very far toward paying off your debt, though, as the above example makes clear. To see real interest savings, you need to pay interest on less money, and that means attacking the principal by paying more than the minimum.

We've created a calculator to help you see how much you could save in interest by paying down your credit card balance. Enter your balance and choose an interest rate, then see your savings if you reduced the balance by 5% to 50%. See the calculator here.

Ask if you qualify for a lower rate

This may be an option if your credit score has improved considerably since you opened the account. The issuer might knock some points off your rate, or move your account to a card with a lower rate. You issuer might say no to your request, but you don't know unless you ask.

Move debt to a 0% interest credit card 

Transferring high-interest debt to a credit card with an introductory 0% APR period can save you hundreds of dollars in interest. You may have to pay a fee of around 3% of the amount you transferred, but you'll get breathing room to pay down your debt. Keep in mind, though, that 0% interest credit cards are generally available only to people with good or excellent credit.

How to compare 0% and low-interest cards

When choosing a 0% APR credit card or a low-interest 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 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.

  • 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.

Once you've decided what type of card to look for, compare cards based on the following factors.

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 best 0% interest credit cards — those with 0% APR periods of 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.

Some cards don't have a 0% introductory period but instead offer you a super-low teaser rate, say 3%, or the prime rate. These are worth considering, too, especially if the ongoing rate is low.

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

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. Some 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 low-interest or 0% 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. Some cards, however, have forgiveness policies in place: Some don't charge late fees at all, some will waive your first late fees, and some pledge not to charge a penalty rate. 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 perks

As mentioned, many rewards cards offer a 0% interest period, but rewards cards also tend to have higher ongoing APRs. If saving money on interest is your primary motivation, then rewards and perks should be a lesser concern. Still, all other things being equal, a card that offers rewards, perks or other goodies is preferable to one that doesn't.

Making the most of your 0% or low-interest 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.

Although a card with a low ongoing rate can save you a lot of money over time, you're still paying interest. Apply those savings toward whittling down your debt faster. Saving, say, $20 a month on interest means you have $20 more you can use to reduce the balance on your credit card and move that much closer to freedom.

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 low-interest 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

All information about the American Express Cash Magnet® Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The American Express Cash Magnet® Card is no longer available through NerdWallet.  To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, see this page. To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, see this page.

The information related to the Wells Fargo Platinum card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

Last updated on October 27, 2021

Methodology

NerdWallet's Credit Cards team selects the best low interest and 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.

Frequently asked questions