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14 Best 0% APR Credit Cards of July 2024

Updated: Jul 12, 2024
Paul Soucy
Written by
Lead Assigning Editor
Caitlin Mims
Reviewed by
Content Management Specialist
Kenley Young
Edited by
Fact Checked
Assigning Editor
Fact Checked
Paul Soucy
Written by
Lead Assigning Editor
Caitlin Mims
Reviewed by
Content Management Specialist
Kenley Young
Edited by
Fact Checked
Assigning Editor
Fact Checked
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NerdWallet's Best 0% APR Credit Cards of July 2024

Best 0% APR Credit Cards From Our Partners

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Find the right credit card for you.

Whether you want to pay less interest or earn more rewards, the right card's out there. Just answer a few questions and we'll narrow the search for you.

Find the right credit card for you.

Whether you want to pay less interest or earn more rewards, the right card's out there. Just answer a few questions and we'll narrow the search for you.

Our pick for

Longest 0% intro period

Our pick for

Long intro period + straightforward benefits

Our pick for

Long intro period + low intro transfer fee

Our pick for

Maximum customization

Our pick for

Going out & staying in

Our pick for

Simple cash back

Our pick for

All-around cash back

Our pick for

Grocery, gas & online rewards

Our pick for

Simplicity + relationship rewards

Our pick for

Uncomplicated cash back

Our pick for

Customizable cash back

Our pick for

Automatic 5% rewards

Our pick for

Quarterly categories + cash bonus

Our pick for

Quarterly categories + matching bonus

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

Before applying, confirm details on issuer's website.

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

Our pick for: Longest 0% intro period

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

BankAmericard® credit card

Our pick for: Long intro period + straightforward benefits

The BankAmericard® credit card isn't flashy, nor does it aim to be. You get one of the better introductory APR periods available, providing plenty of time to whittle down debt or finance a large purchase. And that's about it. Read our review.

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

Our pick for: Long intro period + low intro transfer fee

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

Chase Slate Edge℠

Our pick for: Long intro period + interest-saving incentives

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

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

Our pick for: Maximum customization

If you don't mind putting some work into your rewards, check out the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card. 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.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Our pick for: Simple 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 intro APR period 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.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Our pick for: All-around 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 bonus. Read our review.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Our pick for: Going out & staying in

Love the night life but dead-set against paying an annual fee? Consider the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. It pays a lower cash-back rate on dining and entertainment than the regular Savor card, but the rewards are nevertheless quite good (see rates and fees). The sign-up bonus is smaller than on the annual-fee version, too, but it's still solid (see rates and fees). Read our review.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Our pick for: Grocery, gas & online 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 APR period. Read our review.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Our pick for: Uncomplicated 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 APR period (see rates and fees). Read our review.

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card

Our pick for: Simplicity + relationship rewards

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 the Bank of America Preferred Rewards® program. Read our review.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Our pick for: Customizable cash back

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card gives you a little more control over your credit card rewards by letting you choose which category earns the highest cash-back rate, from a list that includes gas stations, restaurants, travel, home improvement and more. You also get bonus rewards at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, plus a great new-cardholder bonus offer. Read our review.

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Our pick for: Automatic 5% rewards

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 on other spending). The list of eligible 5% categories is varied and includes biggies like restaurants, grocery stores and more. And unlike with its competitors, there's no activation schedule or bonus calendar to keep track of. Read our review.

Chase Freedom Flex®

Our pick for: Quarterly categories + cash bonus

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 an intro APR offer, too. Read our review.

Discover it® Cash Back

Our pick for: Quarterly categories + matching bonus

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 specific major retailers. 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.

• • •

OTHER RESOURCES

Understanding 0% APR credit cards

A zero-percent or 0% APR credit card is simply a credit card that offers an introductory interest rate of 0% for a period of time after you open the account. The intro period can be as short as a few months or as long as two years. These cards are sometimes referred to as "interest-free" or "no interest," but they do in fact have an interest rate. It's just that the rate is 0%. This matters, as we'll see a little later.

The 0% intro rate can apply to purchases, to balance transfers or both. Most of the cards featured on this page offer 0% periods for both.

Why do credit card companies make 0% offers?

Credit card issuers want people to apply for their cards, of course. More important, they want people to apply for and then start using their cards. Unless a card has an annual fee, the issuer can't make any money off the account if the cardholder doesn't actually use the card. Purchases made with the card generate transaction fees (aka interchange), and balances carried on the card will (eventually) accrue interest. Both of those generate revenue for the issuer, but they require the card to be used.

A 0% intro APR gives the cardholder an incentive to start using the card, since they can put purchases on it and not have to worry about interest, at least in the short term. Sign-up bonuses are another way issuers incentivize people to get in the habit of using the card. Of note: 0% APR offers are significantly less common on cards with annual fees, although cards with annual fees tend to offer higher sign-up bonuses. None of the cards featured on this page have an annual fee.

What's the catch with a 0% APR credit card?

As long as you pay your credit card bill on time each month, and pay at least the minimum amount due, there isn't really a "catch" with zero-percent cards. No interest will be charged on the card while the 0% APR period is in effect. When the 0% period ends, the card resets to its ongoing interest rate. Any balance you have on the card can start accruing interest from that point forward.

A common misperception about zero-percent cards is that if you don't have the balance completely paid off by the end of the introductory period, you'll get hit with "retroactive" interest going all the way back to the start. This is false and stems from confusion about the difference between zero-percent offers and deferred-interest offers. Deferred-interest offers are typically advertised with language like "no interest for 12 months." They scrupulously avoid using the term "0%," and here's why:

  • With a zero-percent credit card, the interest rate is literally 0% for the duration of the introductory period. No interest is adding up in the background because the rate being charged is — you guessed it — 0%. When the intro period ends, no interest has accrued at all.

  • With a deferred-interest offer, the rate during the "no interest" period is not 0%. It's a regular interest rate, and often a high one in the range of 25% to 30%. Interest starts adding up from the moment you make a purchase. If you pay off the entire balance by the end of the "no interest" period, then the accrued interest is waived, and you're set. But if you have any balance remaining at the end of that period — even just a dollar — all of the accrued interest comes forward and lands on your bill.

The term "0% APR" is regulated under the federal Truth in Lending Act. By definition, if a card is advertised as having a 0% period, it cannot and will not charge retroactive interest. But if you don't see the term "0%," be wary. You're likely dealing with deferred interest.

Does the 0% APR apply to everything on the card?

Read the terms of your card carefully to see what's covered by the 0% intro APR and what's not. The most important rates and fees for a credit card are included in a required disclosure known as the Schumer box. When looking at zero-percent credit cards, pay special attention to:

  • What types of transactions are eligible for the 0% rate. As mentioned, the intro rate might apply to purchases, balance transfers or both. Cash advances are rarely eligible for 0% APR, so you should expect to pay interest on cash advances. (Advances aren't covered by credit card grace periods either, so interest will likely begin accruing on them immediately.)

  • What happens if you pay late. Paying your credit card bill on time is always important, but it's especially so when you have a 0% period in effect. Paying late may be enough to void your promotional rate, in which case the card's ongoing rate will kick in. The issuer might even impose a higher penalty rate, with a late fee on top of that. Some cards distinguish themselves by not charging late fees or penalty APRs, or by forgiving the first late payment, but it's best to not tempt fate in the first place.

Who can qualify for a 0% APR credit card?

Lending money at 0% interest represents a risk, and card issuers look to mitigate that risk by approving such offers only for the consumers who are most likely to pay back what they've borrowed. In general, you need good to excellent credit to qualify for the best zero-percent credit cards. Roughly speaking, that equates to a credit score of 690 or better. That said, credit card companies look at more than credit scores when considering card applications. The issuer may also take into consideration your income, your existing debts and other factors, such as how many other cards you've opened recently.

From time to time, a credit card company might offer you a 0% promotion on a card you're already carrying, especially if you don't use that card much. They do this for the same reason they offer 0% periods to new cardholders — as an incentive to get you to use their card more frequently.

How to choose a 0% APR credit card

Consumers look for zero-percent credit cards for two primary reasons:

  • To finance major purchases over time.

  • To pay down existing debt via a balance transfer.

Let's start with the latter.

Choosing a 0% APR card for a balance transfer

If you're interested in a balance transfer, the primary considerations in choosing a zero-percent credit card are the length of the 0% intro period and the balance transfer fee charged by the card. The longer the 0% period, the more time you have to whittle down the transferred debt. And the lower the transfer fee, the less it will cost you. Transfer fees typically amount to 3% to 5% of the amount transferred.

If you think you'll be able to knock out your transferred debt in a year to 15 months, you'll have a lot of choices in zero-percent credit cards, including some outstanding rewards credit cards that can provide value long after the 0% APR period has run out. If you'll need 18 months or more, the options are fewer, and they tend to be "pure" zero-percent cards, with no rewards (and not a lot of value after the promo period ends).

Another consideration: Purchases earn rewards, while balance transfers do not. Putting a $5,000 purchase on a new zero-percent card that earns 1.5% cash back will net you $75 in rewards and maybe a $200 sign-up bonus, for a total of $275 in cash back. Transferring $5,000 in debt to the same card produces no cash back, and you'll probably pay a fee of $150 to $250.

For more about balance transfers, see:

Choosing a 0% APR card for purchases

It's widely understood that credit cards charge high ongoing interest rates, so usually they're a less-than-optimal choice for financing major purchases over time. But when you have a 0% intro APR period in effect, a credit card can be nearly ideal. A zero-percent card gives you a year or more to pay off the purchase without a penny of interest (and unlike with deferred-interest store financing, there's no danger of retroactive interest if you're still carrying a balance at the end of the period). Here's what to look at when weighing a zero-percent card for purchases:

Length of 0% intro APR period

You'll want an introductory APR period long enough to allow you to pay off the purchase before interest kicks in. As mentioned above for balance transfers, you'll find a lot of good options with intro periods in the range of 12 to 15 months. If you're looking at a time span of 18 months or more, your pickings get more slim. Nowadays it's fairly rare for a rewards credit card to have a 0% period for purchases longer than 15 months. To go beyond that, your best bet is a "pure" zero-percent card with no rewards.

Rewards structure and sign-up bonus

NerdWallet recommends using credit cards for most purchases for a number of reasons, including the rewards you can earn. If you're making a purchase large enough to finance over a number of months with a zero-percent credit card, why not earn rewards or even a sign-up bonus with that same purchase? Take a look at the rewards structures on cards that offer a 0% period, and consider choosing one with categories that align with your spending plans.

In the example above, a $5,000 purchase translated into $275 cash back, effectively providing a 5.5% discount. And that was just with a flat-rate card that earned 1.5% cash back. For another example, take a look at the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card, NerdWallet's 2024 Best-Of Award winner as the best 0% APR card for purchases.

The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card earns 5% cash back in two categories you choose from among a dozen options, on up to $2,000 per quarter in combined spending (then 1%). The available categories include some big-ticket options like electronics stores, department stores and furniture stores. So let's say you're furnishing a new home, you choose electronics stores as a category, and you purchase a suite of home appliances for $5,000. You'd earn 5% on the first $2,000 and 1% on the next $3,000, for a total of $130. The purchase would also be enough to claim the card's bonus offer, which at the time of this writing was $200. All told, that would be $330. (Check our review for the current bonus offer.)

Purchase protections

Many credit cards will refund your money if a purchase arrives damaged, a package is lost or stolen, or a merchant won’t issue a refund. Some purchases are eligible for an extra year of protection beyond the manufacturer’s warranty, and a few cards still even offer price protection, which can refund you the difference if the price of the item drops after you've bought it. If you're laying out money for a big purchase, it's worth exploring these perks.

Ongoing APR

Ideally, you'll have your balance completely paid off by the end of the 0% intro period. If you do — and if you regularly pay your credit card bills in full under other circumstances — then the card's ongoing interest rate doesn't really matter, since you won't be charged interest. But if you're going to be carrying the debt past the 0% period, pay attention to the ongoing rate. With credit card APRs averaging more than 20%, it might provide motivation to wipe out that debt in time.

Alternatives to a 0% APR credit card

Low-interest credit cards: A 0% APR credit card isn't 0% forever. At some point, it resets to its ongoing rate, which is typically much higher. If you foresee needing to carry balances month to month, a card with a low ongoing interest rate might be a better call. Such credit cards were more common when interest rates were low in general, but credit unions and regional banks still offer some decent options. See our best low interest credit cards.

Personal loans: If you need money to finance a big expense, don't automatically default to a credit card, especially if you're going to need a long time to pay it off. If you have good credit, you may be able to get a personal loan at a substantially lower interest rate than what you'd pay on a credit card. See our best personal loans.

Last updated on July 12, 2024

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

Both a 0% credit card and a low-interest credit card save you money on interest, but they do it in different ways — short-term versus long-term.

  • A 0% credit card doesn’t charge any interest at all for a period of time after you open the account, then it shifts to an often-high ongoing interest rate. Zero-percent cards are good for people who want to spread out payments on a large purchase or gain breathing room to pay down debt without interest.

  • A low-interest credit card charges an ongoing interest rate that's lower than other cards on the market. Low-interest cards are good for people who expect to roll over a balance most months (meaning they don’t pay off their balance in full every month).

How much your card payments will be with a 0% APR depends entirely on which bank issued your card, how much you put on the card and how much you are able to pay. Every issuer has its own formula for calculating your minimum payment. It's usually made up of the interest and fees that have added up over the past month, plus a small amount of the actual debt, say 1% or 2%. There may also be a minimum dollar amount for each payment, such as $40 (except in cases where the total statement balance is less than that). When you have a 0% APR in effect, no interest is adding up, so your entire payment can go toward paying down your debt.

A 0% credit card works just like any other credit card except that for a certain period of time after you open your account, the bank doesn’t charge any interest on your balance. You’re still responsible for paying at least the minimum amount due each month. (And be sure you do: If you don't, the issuer might cancel your 0% period.) Once the introductory 0% period ends, your APR rises to the ongoing rate, and you will be charged interest on your balance going forward.

Among credit cards from major issuers, the longest 0% APR periods tend to be around 18 months, although in a few cases you might find 20 or 21 months, especially for balance transfers. (Depending on the card, the 0% period may apply to purchases, balance transfers or both; some cards have different 0% periods for purchases and transfers.) Cards from smaller issuers or credit unions may offer longer 0% periods. It’s most common to see periods of 12 to 15 months.

Credit card issuers use 0% introductory offers to attract new customers, so to get one, your best bet is to apply for a new card that advertises a 0% period. Generally speaking, you’ll need good to excellent credit to qualify for a card with a 0% offer. That roughly translates to a credit score of 690 or better — although credit scores alone do not guarantee approval for any credit card. You’ll also need to be able to show income and meet other requirements.

If the card doesn’t charge an annual fee, there’s no harm in keeping the account open once the introductory 0% rate expires. In fact, closing the account could hurt your credit score by reducing the amount of credit you have available, which could increase your credit utilization. If the card charges a fee, however, or if you fear that the open credit line will tempt you to overspend, then closing it might be the best action.

A credit card with a 0% interest rate doesn't affect your score any more or less than a card with a regular interest rate. Your credit score takes into account how long the card has been open, how much debt you currently have on the card, the utilization ratio on the card (the current debt as a percentage of the total credit limit) and your payment history. The interest rate doesn't factor into scoring. That said, there are a couple of things to be aware of:

  • Credit card issuers offer 0% promotions to entice you to use the card more. Overspending affects how much debt you carry on the card, and that can affect your credit scores indirectly.

  • Charge cards (as opposed to credit cards) do not let you carry debt from month to month. The full balance is due each month. Therefore, these cards charge no interest, so they could be thought of as "no interest" cards. Many charge cards don't have a preset spending limit. Without a specified credit limit, scoring formulas can't calculate utilization for the card, so these cards can have a smaller impact on your score than a regular credit card.

Credit card issuers will sometimes offer you a promotional 0% APR on a card you already have — usually as an incentive to get you to use your card when you haven't been doing so. You can't really count on these offers, though. You could try calling your credit card company and asking for a 0% offer; it doesn't hurt to try. But this isn't likely to work if you've been using the card regularly.

About the author

Portrait of author

Paul Soucy

Paul has been the lead editor for NerdWallet's credit cards team since 2015 and for the travel rewards team since 2023. Previously, he worked at USA Today and the Des Moines Register, then built a freelance writing and editing business focused on personal finance topics. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA. Read more
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