Coco Chanel once said that the “best things in life are free”. It was an odd choice of words for a woman who founded a designer brand currently charging upwards of $100 for 100ml of perfume (clearly she didn’t consider that to be one of the ‘best things in life') but it does hold true in many areas.
She was, of course, talking about love, happiness, joy and Domino's Pizza coupons (probably) but it applies to credit cards too, because the best credit cards are the ones that offer 0% APR. And if they also throw a reward scheme or two your way, even better.
The Best Low Interest Credit Cards
What follows is a list of our picks for the best 0% interest credit cards and low interest credit cards. Banks aren’t in the business of giving you things for free so there is always a catch, but in the highly competitive world of finance there exists a number of credit cards that offer great rates just so they can be the best. These credit cards seem too good to be true, but if you meet the criteria then they definitely are true.
There is always room for at least one Chase card on our credit card top lists. We have discussed them on our Best Rewards Cards and our Credit Cards for Bad Credit, among others, and they get a mention here too with the Chase Freedom Card.
This card offers you a 0% interest rate for the first fifteen months, with no annual fee. The interest can rise as high as 25.24% after that, but if you have a good credit score then it could be as low as 16.49%. It’s not a permanent 0% interest credit card, but if you came here looking for that then you’re going to be very disappointed.
The benefits of the Chase Freedom card extend beyond this introductory offer and into the very generous rewards card. With the standard Freedom card you can earn up to 5% cashback on purchases up to $1,500 per quarter, with 1% cashback on all purchases after that. There is also a $150 bonus when you spend $500 in the first three months.
Chase Freedom vs Chase Freedom Unlimited
There is also a Chase Freedom Unlimited card. On the surface it appears to be a lesser card by quite someway, but it offers a few additional features that the standard card doesn’t offer and its cashback program may be more beneficial to high earners and big spenders. It comes with the same new account bonus and while it doesn’t have the 5% limited cashback, it does have an unlimited 1.5% cashback.
If you were to spend $20,000 over the course of a year, the standard card would earn you $440 cashback minus bonuses, which is more than the $300 you’d earn with the unlimited. But an annual spend of $50,000 would earn a maximum of $740 with the standard card and $750 with the Unlimited. Every cent more than this that you spend is better spent on the Chase Freedom Unlimited card.
Citi Simplicity Credit Card
There are two standard features of the Citi Simplicity Card. The first is a 0% introductory APR that lasts for a total of 18 months, with an APR of between 15.49% and 25.49% charged after this period. The second is the late fees, or rather the lack of them.
The majority of credit cards will charge you a late penalty fee when you miss a payment, with the average charge being $37. They will then add a penalty interest rate on top this, with most providers charging an eye-watering 29.99%. This just makes a bad situation worse and it’s one of the reasons so many credit card holders find themselves in inescapable debt. But with the Citi Simplicity card, there are no late fees and no penalty rate.
You won’ be charged an annual fee either, which means this card is pretty much free for the first 18 months.
If only Coco were alive to see this.
The only downside to this 0% APR credit card is the lack of a rewards program. This is a common feature on most credit cards these days and it’s something we have discussed—and praised—extensively. It turns what would otherwise be a fantastic card into merely a good card, but it’s still good enough for us to recommend.
Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
No one quite does award cards like AMEX, and when those reward cards also offer a 0% APR period of 12 months, we’re on side.
The Blue Cash Preferred rewards scheme give you up to 6% cashback to a maximum of $6,000 a year, after which the rate drops to 1%. The cashback is at its highest for groceries, but you can also get 3% cashback on gas and every dollar that you spend on the card triggers some kind of cashback.
The “cashback” can be redeemed in the form of gift cards and merchandise, but the best way to redeem it is as statement credits as that way it can be used to purchase anything you want.
This card does come with a $95 annual fee, which is one of the few drawbacks, and you will need a “Good” to “Excellent” credit rating to meet the criteria.
Other Top 0% Interest Credit Cards
There are a few great cards that didn’t quite make the cut for our top three, but are still worthy of a inclusion on this list, they include:
Wells Fargo Platinum Visa
This card has an introductory 0% APR that lasts for 18 months, with no annual fee and a respectable APR when that period ends. It also offers cell phone insurance and a few other notable features.
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards
The introductory 0% APR rate only lasts for 9 months with this card, but it has a bottom APR rate of 14.49% when that period ends, it has no annual fee and it has a great reward scheme, offing 1.5% cashback on every purchase that you make.
Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card
This rewards card comes with no annual fee, an introductory 0% interest rate that lasts for 12 months, and a regular APR of between 16.49% and 24.49% after that. You can earn 1.5 points for every $1 that you spend and you will also get 20,000 points for free if you spend at least $1,000 on the card within the first three months. The points are roughly valued at 1 cent each, which means this 20,000 windfall has a worth of $200.
City ThankYou Preferred Card
When you signup for this reward card then you will benefit from an introductory rate that offers you 0% interest for the first 15 months, with no annual fee to pay and a regular APR of between 14.99% and 24.99%.
The rewards program gives you points on all purchases, with 2x as many points on everything related to dining and entertainment. The points are valued at 1 cent each and can be redeemed as gift cards to use on the official ThankYou website.