How To Compare 0% Apr And Low
If you’re not sure whether a 0% APR card or a low interest credit card is the right choice, ask yourself the following questions.
- Are you carrying debt from a high interest credit card? Then you should consider a balance transfer credit card with up to 20 months no interest.
- Do you plan on making a large purchase? A 0% APR card can provide you with a lengthy intro period that allows you to pay off debt for over a year with no interest.
- Do you carry a balance month to month? A low interest credit card offers a relatively consistent APR every month, compared to 0% APR cards that typically charge high interest rates after the into period ends.
After you determined which credit card you want to apply for, compare cards by these key factors:
Citi Diamond Preferred Card Pros & Cons
This card offers a lengthy introductory period on purchases and balance transfers.
It’s also a solid option for those looking to consolidate high-interest debt.
Wells Fargo Reflect Card
Best for long intro APR offers
- This card is best for: Anyone looking to finance a large purchase or refinance high-interest debt.
- This card is not a great choice for: Anyone who doesnt need a long intro APR offer.
- What makes this card unique? The chance to have a long period of up to 21 months to pay off expenses or debt.
- Is the Wells Fargo Reflect Card worth it? This is a great option if you need a break from paying interest charges for an extended period of time.
Jump back to offer details.
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One: Focus On Your Credit Score
The better your credit score, the better your chances of getting approved for a credit card with a low interest rate. So get your credit score and your credit report and look them both over.
To improve your credit score, there are a number of steps you can take. These include:
- Pay all your bills on time
- Pay down debt and maintain a low
- Check your credit report for errors
How Do I Avoid Interest On A Credit Card
The simplest way to avoid interest charges on a credit card is to pay your balance in full by the due date. However, there’s an exception with 0% APR cards. During the length of the intro period, you are only required to make the minimum payments on your balance, and you won’t be charged interest on new purchases and/or balance transfers. Once the intro period ends, any lingering balances or new purchases and transfers will incur the regular APR.
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What Is A Good Credit Card Interest Rate Now
In this time of historically high credit card rates, the very best credit card interest rates are still offered to those with top credit scores, usually considered 700 or above. What’s more, rewards credit cards may have some of the higher APRs available, since card issuers are aware that consumers with good credit are typically using these cards for the rewards and paying them off monthly.
While rates may vary according to the type of card you get, the average credit card interest rate clocks in at around 16%.
Opening a new credit card can improve your credit score if you use it responsibly and pay your bill fully and on time.
The problem is that when you apply for a card, you can only see the card’s range of interest. You won’t know the exact interest rate you’re likely to receive until you’re approved and actually receive your card.
You can take an educated guess that if your credit score is 700 and above, you’ll probably get the lowest of the range for that card. If your scores fall in the mid to high 600s, you’ll likely hit the card’s mid-range interest rate, and if your scores are lower than the mid-600s, you can count on being offered the highest end of that card’s interest rate range.
Disadvantages Of Low Apr Credit Cards
As a general rule, youll only be eligible for a low APR credit card if your existing credit rating is good. If you have a history of bad debt or late bill payments, then be prepared for credit card companies to turn your application down.
Credit card companies want you to prove that you are responsible with credit, says Charlotte Burns, personal finance expert and founder of the money-saving blog Lotty Earns. It’s worth keeping an eye on your credit rating and doing everything you can to get it in the best position possible before applying for credit such as ensuring you’re on the electoralroll.
Even if youre accepted, card companies dont have to give you the advertised APR, continues Sue.Legally, they only have to give this to 51% of successful applicants, so you could be offered the card at a slightly higher rate.
If you’re successful in signing up for a low APR credit card, then one thing to look out for are balance transfer charges if you plan on transferring existing debt over to your new card.
If possible, go for a low APR credit card that offers an introductory interest-free period and no balance-transfer fees.
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In The News: Fed Poised To Begin Rate Hikes In March
From a declining stock market to labor shortages, theres been no end lately to concerns over the economy. One topic on most peoples minds is the continuing rise of inflation, which has been eroding our purchasing power.
In an effort to combat rising inflation, interest rates are expected to rise three times in 2022. When that happens, it will be more expensive to carry debt on your credit cards even low-interest credit cards.
CreditCards.com senior reporter, Poonkulali Thangavelu, has more information on the Federal Reserves plans to hike interest rates in 2022.
Do Secured Cards Offer Low Aprs
Yes, secured cards generally offer low APRs. But not all secured cards have low APRs.
Some, like the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card and First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card have low APRs. Others, like the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card and Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card, charge higher APRs.
Youre borrowing money from yourself by paying a refundable deposit on a secured card, so you should search for the lowest APR you can find.
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Verdict: Earn 2% Cash Back On All Purchases
The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card is our pick for the best cashback low interest credit card. That’s because it offers a winning combination of a great cash rewards program along with a long introductory APR on purchases.
Cardholders Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases. There are on quarterly activations or limitations, and the card also has a $0 annual fee.
The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card also has a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers . Another great feature of the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card is that you can get up to $600 in cell phone protection if your phone is lost or stolen.
The Best Credit Cards With Low Interest Rates
Here’s a roundup of cards with relatively low interest rates, including their introductory APR offer and their interest rate ranges for comparison.
- Discover it® Cash Back: 0% intro APR on purchases for 14 months, then 11.99% – 22.99% Variable APR
- Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card: 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months after opening, then a 14.99% – 24.99% Variable APR
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from account opening , then a 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR
- Citi® Double Cash Card: 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months from the date of first transfer , then a 13.99% – 23.99% Variable APR
- Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card: 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months after opening, then a 14.99% – 24.99% Variable
- Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card: 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer and for 12 months on purchases from account opening, then a 13.74% – 23.74% Variable
- Chase Freedom Flex: 0% intro APR for 15 months after opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a 14.99% – 24.74% Variable variable APR
For comparison’s sake, here are some credit cards, including some rewards cards, without intro APR offers and with APRs that start much higher than those on the cards above:
Read more: The best rewards credit cards of 2021
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Mbna True Line Gold Mastercard*
This cards 8.99% interest rate is less than half of a typical cards rate, making it a strong contender for the best low-interest-rate credit card in Canada. And while it isnt a no-fee card, its reasonable $39 annual fee is worth it, considering this card helps you save in the long run.
- Annual fee: $39
- Interest rate: 8.99% on purchases and balance transfers
- Additional benefits: Savings with Avis and Budget Rent A Car protection against fraudulent charges purchase protection and extended warranty
- Note: This offer is not available for residents of Quebec.
Four: Apply For The Card That Best Matches Your Needs
When youre ready, youll only want to apply for one credit card. As the credit reporting agency Experian notes, applying for multiple credit cards at once has two main drawbacks: It can hurt your credit score, and it suggests to creditors that you are more likely to take on more debt than you can handle and will be unable to make your payments. This can lead to you getting denied on your applications or getting an offer with a higher interest rate.
Want to know more? Heres how to find and apply for a credit card thats right for you.
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Citi Custom Cash Card
Our pick for: 0% intro period and bonus category cash back
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 . The list of eligible 5% categories is varied and includes biggies like restaurants, grocery stores and more. And unlike competitors, there’s no activation schedule or bonus calendar to keep track of. Read our review.
Why Should You Get A Low Interest Rate For A Credit Card
Getting a low interest rate on a credit card can save a few hundred dollars a month over the course of a year. Whether you do a balance transfer or open a new card, getting the lowest APR possible on a credit card will benefit you.
Heres an example using a $5,000 outstanding balance on a credit card with 18 percent APR versus a balance transfer card with a 12-month 0 percent APR introductory offer. The typical balance transfer fee of 3 percent of the amount being transferred would be paid upfront. Even factoring in the transfer fee, a 12-month payoff plan with a balance transfer card would have distinct advantages.
Lets say you wanted to pay off the cost of an upcoming $3,000 vacation using your current credit card, which charges a typical APR of 18 percent variable. Your budget cant absorb paying the entire cost in one payment, so you plan to chip away at it over a period of 12 months. A zero-interest card with a 15-month 0 percent APR introductory offer on purchases could help you avoid interest for the length of the intro offer. We used Bankrates to illustrate payment scenarios for different cards, isolating that $3,000 vacation.
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The Best 0% Apr Credit Cards
Introductory APR offer: Qualify for 0% APR on balance transfers for 21 months from the date of first transfer and purchases for 12 months from account opening, followed by a 13.74% – 23.74% Variable APR.
Balance transfer fee: 5%
Annual fee: $0
Read more: Citi Diamond Preferred card review
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card doesn’t offer any rewards, but it does offer one of the longest 0% introductory offers on the market today. A balance transfer fee of 5% applies, but this card is still ideal for anyone with a ton of high-interest debt they want to consolidate and pay down over time.
Introductory APR offer: Qualify for 0% APR on balance transfers for 21 months from the date of first transfer and purchases for 12 months from account opening, followed by a 14.74% – 24.74% Variable APR.
Balance transfer fee: 5%
Annual fee: $0
Read more: Citi Simplicity card review
If you want to consolidate high-interest credit card debt without having to worry about extra fees or penalty rates, the Citi Simplicity® Card is a great choice. It offers a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 21 months and a 0% APR on new purchases for 12 months from account opening .
The card doesn’t add late fees or charge a penalty rate, and there’s no annual fee either. You won’t earn rewards for your spending, but if debt consolidation is a priority, this card is a good choice.
Balance transfer fee: 5%
Annual fee: $0
How To Compare 0% And Low
When choosing a 0% APR credit card or a low-interest credit card, let your specific needs be your guide:
If 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 to pay it down at a lower cost, you’ll want a card with a 0% intro period and a low 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.
Once you’ve decided what type of card to look for, compare cards based on the following factors.
Introductory APR period
Dozens of cards offer newcomers a 0% APR period of a year or more when they first open the account. This includes a number of popular rewards cards, where you can get 0% interest for as long as 15 months. If you’ve got a big purchase coming up and will need time to pay it off, a 0% offer is perfect. In general, the longer the 0% period, the better, but there are a few things to keep in mind:
Balance transfer fee
Required credit profile
Free credit score
Rewards and perks
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Upgrade Visa Card With Cash Rewards: Best For Managing Payments
Why we picked it: This card has a special feature designed to help with making regular, on-time payments. Your balance is automatically put into an installment plan with a fixed monthly payment so that you know exactly how much youre paying. With a regular APR of 8.99% to 29.99%, cardholders who qualify for the low end may see some benefit.
Pros: Additionally, there are no fees of any kind, and youll earn 1.5% cash back on your purchases when you make a payment.
Cons: This card does not offer an introductory 0% interest window and does not allow for balance transfers, making it a less-than-stellar option for those looking to manage debt from an existing credit account.
Who should apply? If you have a tendency to make only the minimum payment, the Upgrade Cards automatic installment feature can help keep balances in check, deter overspending and reward you with an unlimited 1.5% cash back every time you complete a payment.
Who should skip? Anyone mulling over a potential balance transfer should keep looking, as its not an option with this card. The flat-rate 1.5% cash back on purchases may not be the best match for big spenders looking to maximize top spend categories.
Read our Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards review.
Moneygeeks Quick Guide To Low
A low-interest-rate credit card is an excellent product to have in your wallet to give yourself spending flexibility. In addition, using your credit card responsibly and ensuring your statement is paid on time each month can quickly improve your credit score.
However, just because a card has a low interest rate doesnt mean that any extra money out of your pocket is a good thing. When looking for a low-interest credit card, be sure to read the terms and conditions of each credit card carefully. If the card advertises an APR over 12%, that would be considered a high interest rate. Anything below 10% is regarded as a low-interest credit card.
More: What Is a Good APR for a Credit Card?
If you have a large purchase coming up, or revolving credit card debt, consider sitting down and running the numbers of how much interest you would accrue with a low-interest-rate credit card. Interest rates are important, but what youll spend in interest overall is just as crucial to consider.
Here are a few benefits to having a low-interest credit card.
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