Our picks for the Best 0% intro APR Cards
BY DEB HIPP
Are you itching to buy a new refrigerator or flat-screen TV? Maybe you’re struggling to pay off a credit card balance that’s barely shrinking due to a high interest rate. If so, a credit card with a 0% intro APR might be right for you.
The annual percentage rate (APR) is the amount of interest you’ll pay on the card annually. So a credit card with a 0% intro APR that lasts several months can buy time to pay off a pricey purchase before a higher interest rate kicks in. And a balance transfer to a card with a 0% APR might save hundreds of dollars, especially if you’re paying interest on more than one card.
But it’s important to look beyond interest savings alone and choose a card that also suits your needs, lifestyle and budget. Here are four cards with 0% intro offers on purchases and balance transfers that you might want to consider.
Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card
Best for: Consumers wanting a lengthy no-interest timeframe to pay off a major purchase.
Other perks: You can track your finances with the Wells Fargo My Money Map budgeting and money management tools. This card also offers cellphone protection up to $600 (minus $25 deductible) for damage or theft of a cellphone when you pay your cellphone bill every month with the card; free FICO credit score.
Annual fee: $0
BankAmericard® Credit Card
Best for: People looking for an extra long 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfer offers with no annual fee.
Rewards: This card does not offer rewards.
Other perks: No penalty APR. Paying late won’t automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app.
Annual fee: There is no annual fee with this card.
Bonus: This card does not offer a welcome bonus.
Best for: Consumers planning a major purchase who also want travel benefits.
Other perks: Access to HSBC MasterAssist® for pre-trip planning and help with lost luggage. This card also offers Master RoadAssist® roadside services for vehicle breakdowns in the U.S., along with $1 million in travel accident insurance.
Annual fee: $0
Capital One® Quicksilver®
Best for: Someone that wants to earn a welcome bonus and cash back everywhere they make purchases but doesn’t need the longest 0% introductory APR period possible.
Rewards: You’ll receive cash back on all purchases.
Other perks: The Capital One® Quicksilver®credit card offers no foreign transaction fees, auto rental collision damage waiver, travel accident insurance, and extended warranty coverage.
Annual fee: This card does not charge an annual fee.
Bonus: Earn a cash bonus after spending a predetermined amount on purchases within three months from opening your account.
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
Best for: Consumers wanting a lengthy period to pay off a major purchase or want balance transfers with no interest but don’t need travel benefits.
Other perks: Cellphone protection up to $600 (minus $25 deductible) for damage or theft when you pay your cellphone bill every month with the card; choose payment due date; free TransUnion credit score.
Annual fee: $0
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Best for: People that want to earn a high cash back rate on their purchases, but don’t need an extended 0% introductory APR on purchases period.
Rewards: For the first year, you’ll earn 3% cash back on up to $20,000 of spending. The rate drops to 1.5% cash back after $20,000 or after your first year, whichever comes first.
Other perks: The Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers extended warranty protection as well as purchase protection. Purchase protection covers new qualifying purchases for up to $500 per claim or $50,000 per account. The coverage lasts for 120 days and covers damage or theft.
Annual fee: This card does not have an annual fee.
Bonus: While not a traditional welcome bonus, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is offering $150.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
Best for: Shoppers eyeing a major purchase who want a long time to pay it off with no interest, and love hitting the town for concerts and sporting events.
Other perks: Citi® Private Pass® for purchasing tickets to concerts, sporting events and dining events. You’ll also get access to Citi® Concierge assistance with travel, shopping, dining and entertainment.
Annual fee: $0
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card
Best for: Those that may need to transfer a balance, but are also looking for a nice welcome bonus with cash back rewards.
Rewards: 5% back on two categories you choose — plus 2% back on additional categories.
Other perks: You don’t have to pay a balance transfer fee on balances transferred within 60 days of opening the account. This card doesn’t charge a penalty APR for paying late. You’ll receive purchase protection for 120 days on new qualifying purchases. This protection is for damage or theft on up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
Annual fee: The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card does not charge an annual fee.
Bonus: Earn a $150 bonus after you apply online and spend $500 in eligible net purchases.
Which Card Should You Choose?
For someone looking for a very long 0% introductory APR on purchases period, the obvious choice that will bring your wallet the most joy is the BankAmericard credit card.
However, for those that don’t need quite as long of an introductory period, the Capital One Quicksilver card’s welcome bonus, 1.5% cash back rate and other perks will likely make your wallet happier.
If consolidating debt is your goal, you might want to go with the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa or U.S. Bank Visa Platinum cards, each of which provides a 3% balance transfer fee.
Just remember, you should plan to pay off the balance before the 0% introductory APR on purchases period ends. If you don’t, the regular purchases APR will apply, which can be quite a shock after many months without paying interest.