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Best Low Interest and 0% Intro APR Credit Cards of 2018

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

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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.

Here are our recommended low-interest and 0% credit cards

Best for 0% intro period and late fee waiver

HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card

on HSBC's secure website

HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR: 0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening.
  • Ongoing APR: 12.99%, 16.99% or 20.99% variable APR
  • What our experts like about it

Best for 0% intro period and flat-rate cash back

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's secure website

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best for 0% intro period and bonus category cash back

Chase Freedom®

on Chase's secure website

Chase Freedom®

Best for 0% intro period and low fees

Discover it® Balance Transfer

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

Discover it® Balance Transfer

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR: 0% on Purchases for 6 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months
  • Ongoing APR: 13.99% - 24.99% Variable APR
  • What our experts like about it

Best for 0% intro period for transfers rewards

Citi<sup>&reg;</sup> Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

on Citibank's secure application

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Longest 0% intro APR period

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

on US Bank's secure website

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR: 0%* on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles*
  • Ongoing APR: 11.99% - 23.99% Variable APR
  • What our experts like about it

Best for low interest and low fees

Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®

on Barclays's secure website

Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable 13.99% APR will apply
  • Ongoing APR: 13.99% Variable APR
  • What our experts like about it

Best for low ongoing interest

Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card

on Lake Michigan Credit Union's secure website

Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card

Best for low interest for military

USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card

on USAA's secure website

USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card

Not sure which card saves you the most?

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Our pick for

0% intro period and late fee waiver

  • Intro APR

    0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening.

  • Regular APR

    12.99%, 16.99% or 20.99% variable APR

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • recommended credit score

More on this card
HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card Review
For another option with a similar 0% period
Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card

Benefits

Benefits

The introductory interest-free period on the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card is nice and long: 0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening, then a 12.99%, 16.99% or 20.99% variable APR. The issuer's late fee waiver is a nice break for the chronically forgetful: The fee is waived on your first late payment and any late payment more than 12 billing periods since your last waiver.

Drawbacks

Drawbacks

The lengthy interest-free introductory period is super for purchases, but it comes at a cost for balance transfers: 4% (minimum $10), which adds up for big balances. The late-fee waiver could encourage bad behavior that might eventually affect your credit scores. No rewards or sign-up bonus.

Bottom Line

Bottom Line

This card's long 0% intro APR period and late fee waiver mean you’ll have more time to get rid of debt without adding to it.

Benefits

Benefits

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card recently gave its 0% intro APR period a healthy bump. Whereas the card once gave you 0% for nine months, now you get 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR. This card pays 1.5% cash back on every purchase and offers a tidy sign-up bonus: One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. It's also a good traveling companion, as it charges no foreign transaction fees.

Drawbacks

Drawbacks

Nowadays, a flat cash-back rate of 1.5% is pretty routine. Depending on how you spend, you might be able to accumulate more cash back with a bonus category cash back card.

Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Cash-back rewards make this a solid everyday card that will earn its keep long after the 0% intro APR period has run out.

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

Benefits

Benefits

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

Drawbacks

Drawbacks

It can be a hassle to track bonus rewards categories and opt in to them every quarter.

Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Free money from a sign-up bonus is always nice, and the lengthy 0% intro APR period makes the Chase Freedom® a solid choice for financing a major purchase.

More on this card
Discover it® Balance Transfer Review
For a different 0% APR structure
Discover it® Cash Back

Benefits

Benefits

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

Drawbacks

Drawbacks

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

Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Discover it® Balance Transfer allows you to earn rewards while creating breathing room to get out of debt.

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

Benefits

Benefits

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

Drawbacks

Drawbacks

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

Bottom Line

Bottom Line

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

More on this card
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card Review

Benefits

Benefits

The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card has quietly become one of the top cards in the 0% game. In May 2018, the issuer extended the introductory APR period. You now get 0% on Purchases for 20 billing cycles and 0% on Balance Transfers for 20 months, and then the ongoing APR of 11.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.

Drawbacks

Drawbacks

This card offers no rewards, so there's not a very compelling incentive to keep using it after the 0% intro period runs out. It also requires excellent credit, whereas many low-interest cards require only good credit.
According to the issuer, this card is currently available only in U.S. Bank's marketing area, which it defines as these states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. The issuer says it is "addressing" the geographic restriction.

Bottom Line

Bottom Line

If you live in one of the states where this card is available, have excellent credit and need to spread out payments on a purchase as long as possible without interest, here's your card.

Our pick for

Low interest and low fees

More on this card
Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® Review

Benefits

Benefits

The card has an annual fee of $0, charges no foreign transaction fees and has an ongoing interest rate lower than what you'll find on a lot of other cards with a 0% intro period. Though we don't generally recommend getting cash advances from a credit card, the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® makes advances less taxing, with a $3 flat fee per advance. For balance transfers, this card offers an interesting choice between a 0% intro APR period or a $0 transfer fee. The APR is 0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% Variable APR. Transfers in the first 45 days incur a balance transfer fee of 2% (minimum $5). After 45 days, there is no transfer fee.

Drawbacks

Drawbacks

This card used to offer both a 0% intro APR and no transfer fees. Now it's either-or. If you have to pay a fee anyway, you can find longer 0% periods for transfers on other cards.

Bottom Line

Bottom Line

People with good credit looking for a long-term lower-interest, low-fees option should take a look at the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®.

Benefits

Benefits

While many cards have interest rates that float above 20%, the Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card boasts one of the lowest APRs on any card — as low as the prime rate 3%.

Drawbacks

Drawbacks

No 0% period and no rewards. To get this card, you must be a member of the Lake Michigan Credit Union, although anyone can join with a $5 donation to the ALS Foundation.

Bottom Line

Bottom Line

With one of the lowest ongoing interest rates anywhere, the Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card is worth a look for those who regularly carry a balance.

Benefits

Benefits

If your credit is good enough, the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card offers a very low ongoing rate. The ongoing APR is 8.90% - 25.90% Variable APR. There are no foreign transaction fees, and the card is backed by USAA's well-regarded customer service.

Drawbacks

Drawbacks

Although this card is available to applicants with average credit, the best rate goes only to those with good or excellent credit. There are no rewards, nor is there a 0% period.

Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Military members and their families can get an outstanding interest rate if they qualify.

HOW THEIR INTEREST RATES STACK UP

Card Our pick for .. APR
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card Longest 0% intro APR period 0% on Purchases for 20 billing cycles and 0% on Balance Transfers for 20 months, and then the ongoing APR of 11.99% - 23.99% Variable APR
Chase Freedom® 0% intro period and bonus category cash back 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 16.99% - 25.74% Variable APR
Discover it® Balance Transfer 0% intro period and low fees 0% on Purchases for 6 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 24.99% Variable APR
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card 0% intro period and flat-rate cash back 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR
HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card 0% intro period and late fee waiver 0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening, then a 12.99%, 16.99% or 20.99% variable APR
Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card Low ongoing interest The ongoing APR is 8.25% Variable
Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® Low interest low fees 0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% Variable APR
USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card Low interest for military The ongoing APR is 8.90% - 25.90% Variable APR
Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card Low interest for bad credit The ongoing APR is 13.25% Variable APR

How to choose a 0% or low-interest credit card

When choosing a 0% or low-interest card, let your specific needs be your guide:

  • If you're looking for a low-interest card because 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 from a high-interest card 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.

For more, see our guide to choosing a 0% credit card.

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.

Methodology

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

Last updated December 12, 2018.

To recap our selections...

cheatgame.info's Best Low Interest and 0% Intro APR Credit Cards of 2018

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