Low Interest Credit Cards - How to Choose a Right 0% APR Card

Zero APR credit card offers are becoming a mainstream today; they are offered by almost every major or small bank. Before jumping on the 0% card, it is good to evaluate what you need more: getting a 6-18 months relief from interest charges with a 0% interest, or getting a low regular APR card.

Low ongoing interest

Low APR is everything below the national average of 13.18% - this is an average credit card rate among all cards accounts assessed interest in 2014 (according to Federal Reserve).

It is usually difficult to compare cards with a wide range of APR’s because it is common for APR to vary based on client’s creditworthiness. We’ll use a low-end range of the APR for comparison.

Another detail to mention: after the Credit Card Act of 2009, credit card issuers started to implement a variable APR on credit cards. Today almost all new credit cards are offered with a variable APR that is indexed based on the prime rate changes.

Here are our editor’s pics for best low regular APR offers:

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
excellent
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR7.50% (V)
intro BT APR 7.50% no BT fee

Excellent Credit Required - Applicants that do not have excellent credit will not be approved

Low 7.50% variable standard purchase APR and platinum benefits

No balance transfer fee for balances transferred in response to this online offer

No Annual Fee

read review
read card review
at issuer’s secured site
excellent
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR8.25% Variable
intro BT APR 8.25% no BT fee

No Balance Transfer Fees - start saving immediately!

A low variable APR on balance transfers and purchases

No Annual Fee

Choose your card benefits and features

Get rewarded through the new Giveback™ program, where Barclaycard Ring members get money back for good performance

Get exclusive access to our online community and vote on the card features you like and view the financials of the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard online

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Complimentary FICO® Credit Scores as a benefit to active cardmembers. Opt-in to have instant and convenient access to FICO® Scores from your Barclaycard online account

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read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
good credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 12 monthsregular APR12.24 - 22.24% (V)
intro BT APR 12.24-22.24% no BT fee
rewards 1.25 miles/$1 +20,000 miles bonus
  • earn 20,000 miles for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • get 1.25 miles on all purchases
  • redeem miles as statement credit towards travel expenses

no annual fee

20,000 miles bonus

1.25 mile/$1 for every purchase

0% intro APR for 12 months

read review
read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
good credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR10.99 - 19.99% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 18 months 3% min $5
rewards 4 points per $1 + points on balance
  • 4 points per dollar on purchases
  • 100 points for every $1 of interest charged by bank on your balance with a balance more than $1,500
  • 100 points for every $2 of interest charged by bank on your balance with a balance between $500- $1,500

 

no annual fee

low APR

intro BT APR

points for carrying a balance

read review
read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 12 monthsregular APR10.24 - 21.24% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 12 months 3% min $5

no annual fee

low APR

12 months intro APR

read review
read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
good credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 15 monthsregular APR11.24 - 21.24% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 15 months 3% min $10

no annual fee

low APR 11.24-21.24%

read review
read card review
at issuer’s secured site
good credit
intro purchase APR 0% until March 2016regular APR10.90 - 18.90% (V)
intro BT APR 0% until March 2016 3% BT fee $10 min

no annual fee

low ongoing APR

0% intro APR until March 2016

read review

Zero interest offers

Another way to save on your card is to use a zero introductory APR that is offered for purchases on the card and/or for transferring your balance on the card. These intro 0% APR’s vary from 6 to 18 months with most offers around the 12-month mark.

Here’s our best 0% interest cards list:

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 15 monthsregular APR12.99 - 22.99% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 15 months, 0% BT fee 60 days 3% BT fee $5 min

no annual fee

0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers

0% BT fee for 60 days

free FICO score

read review
read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
excellent
intro purchase APR 0% for 21 monthsregular APR12.99 - 22.99% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 21 months 3% BT fee $5 min

no annual fee

0% APR for 21 months for BT and purchases

read review
read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
excellent
intro purchase APR 0% for 21 monthsregular APR12.24 - 22.24% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 18 months 3% BT fee $5 min

no annual fee

low APR from 12.24%

21 months 0% intro APR on BT and purchases

read review
read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
good credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 12 monthsregular APR11.99 - 21.99% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 12 months 3% min $10
rewards $25 every quarter +$5 per quarter for checking account
  • get $25 every quarter if you pay your balance faster than just minimum payments
  • plus get additional $5 if you have a checking account with BoA
  • cashback is posted to your account automatically

no annual fee

good 0% intro APR offer

up to $30 cashback every quarter

read review

Important 0% APR tips

  1. Read the fine print. Know exactly how 0% APR offer applies. It is common that 0% APR applies only to balance transfers made in the first 60-90 days of the account, and a balance transfer fee of 3% or more applies.
  2. You usually need to make at least minimum payments during intro period. If you miss one, your APR will rise to the penalty APR retrospectively for all previous periods together with late payment fees.
  3. Do not withdraw cash. Do not make cash advance or quasi-cash operations on the card. These operations are exempt from grace period and don’t fall into the intro APR offer. You will owe interest after you get cash from an ATM.

Who needs low APR cards? Good practices and bad cases

If you carry a balance on the card, it is a good idea to forget about rewards and sign-up bonuses and find yourself a lowest APR card instead. Include a card’s annual fee in your considerations.

If you are planning one big purchase which is beyond your monthly spending (like an appliance or furniture) you can benefit from in intro APR to stretch repayment for the purchase for 12-18 months. Just make sure you’re capable of repaying it in full before the intro APR ends. Many consumers screw their credit on overestimating themselves.

If you are struggling with paying your existing balance because of something unexpected (you’ve lost your job for example), and if you believe that you will be able to pay minimum payments and a fixed income situation before the end of the intro period, then go for a zero intro balance APR card. You can transfer your balance on it to get a relief from interest and have some time to regroup. Just remember that if you slip, the fall will be harder this time.  

If you use credit cards wisely, you can enjoy free credit for quite a long period, and credit cards will be much cheaper than a loan (and potentially free), but do not fall into a common trap of funding your everyday expenses with a credit card – this leads nowhere.

How to lower APR on existing card?

A recent review by CreditCard.com shows that about two thirds of clients who bothered to call a bank and ask to lower their APR got what they wanted.

It always pays off to try, just be polite, stay cool, but be persistent. If the answer is no, just ask why, and what can they do for you. Ask another person to the phone or ask for a supervisor if you do not get what you want. Mention an average APR, another offer by the same bank, or competing offers that you are currently considering. If the final answer is no, just get another card if it is possible for your credit situation and transfer a balance on it.

 



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