A 0% interest credit card may be right for you, if you want to make a large purchase but can’t or don’t want to pay it off in full right away. Let’s discuss two of your 0% financing options — the BankAmericard® credit card and Chase Freedom® — to find out which one is a better choice for you. And don’t forget, whichever card you go with, it’s important to pay off your balance in full before the introductory APR period expires.
|At a glance|
|BankAmericard® credit card||Chase Freedom®|
|Balance transfer fee||The fee for balance transfers is 3% (with a minimum of $10).||3%, with a minimum of $5|
|APR||0% on Purchases for 18 billing cycles and 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days, and then the ongoing APR of 15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR||0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 17.24% - 25.99% Variable APR|
|Rewards program||None||Cash back|
|Signup bonus||None||Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening|
|Who would want each card?|
BankAmericard® credit card vs. Chase Freedom®: The basics
The BankAmericard® credit card is a basic credit card with a long introductory balance transfer APR period and a low interest rate following that period’s expiration. The Chase Freedom® has a slightly shorter introductory period and a slightly higher interest rate. This card also offers 5% rewards on rotating categories and a generous signup bonus.
BankAmericard® credit card vs. Chase Freedom®: Rewards
The BankAmericard® credit card is not a rewards card. The Chase Freedom® offers 5% cash back rewards on rotating quarterly categories on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter. Any purchases beyond the $1,500 or outside the bonus categories will earn cash back at a rate of 1%. Here are the current bonus categories:
|Chase Freedom® bonus rewards categories for 2019|
|Q1 (Jan. 1 - March 31)||Gas stations, tolls and drugstores|
|Q2 (April 1 - June 30)||Home improvement stores and grocery stores|
|Q3 (July 1 – Sept. 30)||"Summer" — TBD
(In 2018: Gas stations, Lyft, Walgreens)
|Q4 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)||"Holiday" — TBD
(In 2018: Department stores, wholesale clubs, Chase Pay)
The Chase Freedom® has an awesome cash signup bonus: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Cardmembers can also earn up to 10% back in rewards when shopping online through the Chase Ultimate Rewards site.
BankAmericard® credit card vs. Chase Freedom®: Fees
The BankAmericard® credit card has an annual fee of $0 and foreign transaction fees of 3%. It comes with a 0% introductory APR balance transfer offer: 0% on Purchases for 18 billing cycles and 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days, and then the ongoing APR of 15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR.
The Chase Freedom® has an annual fee of $0 and foreign transaction fees of 3%. The card has an introductory APR of 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 17.24% - 25.99% Variable APR. You’ll pay balance transfer fees of 3% or $5, whichever is greater.
BankAmericard® credit card vs. Chase Freedom®: Additional benefits
The BankAmericard® credit card is a very straightforward card. No rewards, no frills. That said, it does have an impressive introductory APR period and potentially low interest rates for those with good credit.
The Chase Freedom® is best paired with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. You can transfer your rewards earned on the 5% bonus category purchases to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and use these points to book travel on the Chase Ultimate Rewards site at a rate of 1.25 cents for every point.
The bottom line: Should I get the BankAmericard® credit card or Chase Freedom®?
For most people, the Chase Freedom® is the superior choice. It offers rewards, an impressive signup bonus, a long introductory APR of 0% on balance transfers and purchases, and an annual fee of $0. It’s also a great card for those who already have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
The BankAmericard® credit card has a slightly lower ongoing interest rate, though we don’t encourage anyone to carry credit card debt from one month to the next, so that shouldn’t matter. In truth, the BankAmericard® credit card doesn’t stack up to the Chase Freedom® unless you’re planning on carrying a credit card balance.
Woman image via Shutterstock