If you have a big purchase planned or are working on paying off credit card debt, wouldn’t it be better to do so without interest? Zero-interest credit cards can make that happen.
When you spend with a zero-interest credit card or transfer an existing credit card balance, you can avoid paying extra on your debt. Your monthly payments go toward lowering your balance instead of interest, allowing you to work toward crossing the debt payoff finish line sooner.
Here’s what you need to know about zero-interest credit cards and how to find the best one for you.
What to look for in zero-interest credit cards
If you want to take advantage of zero-interest credit cards to get out of debt, you’ll need to choose your credit card carefully.
Terms of the introductory 0% APR
The most important feature is the 0% APR. But don’t get too comfortable – credit cards with zero interest usually only offer that 0% APR for a limited time. Usually, it lasts 12 to 21 months after account opening.
The credit card issuer will outline the terms and conditions of the introductory period in the credit card offer.
Besides interest rates, the right zero percent interest credit card should have low fees.
In particular, watch out for balance transfer fees. These are typically a small percentage of a transferred balance, around three to five percent. However, they can still add to your credit card costs. A card with no annual fee will also help keep costs low.
Several zero-interest credit cards have extra benefits you can take advantage of, such as rewards or cash back. If you’re taking a vacation, for instance, a zero-interest credit card can help you finance and repay it, interest-free. And if it comes with travel rewards, these can help you save even more on your travel expenses.
Top 6 zero-interest credit cards
Here are our favorite picks for credit cards with zero-interest.
1. Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
- 0% intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening, then an APR of 18.24%, 22.24% or 25.24% variable applies
- Earn 2X miles on all purchases
- Redeem miles for statement credits against travel purchases
- Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
- Annual fee is $89 (waived first year)
The information related to Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® has been collected by Student Loan Hero and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.
2. Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®
- 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable 14.24% APR will apply.
- Excellent/Good annual fee
- No balance transfer fees
- No foreign transaction fees
The information related to Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® has been collected by Student Loan Hero and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.
3. Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard
(Update: As of Dec. 2017, the Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard is no longer available)
4. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
- Intro 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 14.74%-25.74% Variable APR applies
- NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions & 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more
- $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Annual card fee of $95
- Balance transfer fee of Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
The information related to Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has been collected by Student Loan Hero and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.
5. Chase Slate®
- 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, then a 16.99% - 25.74% Variable APR applies
- 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months, then a 16.99% - 25.74% Variable APR applies
- Intro $0 on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that: Either $5 or 5%, whichever is greater.
- $0 annual fee
The information related to Chase Slate® has been collected by Student Loan Hero and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.
6. Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 16.99% - 25.74% Variable APR applies.
- Redeem cash rewards at any time, with no minimums
- Double Cash Back: Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
- $0 annual fee
The information related to Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been collected by Student Loan Hero and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.
Things to keep in mind with a 0% credit card
Most zero-interest credit cards will require at least fair or average credit (in the mid-600s for FICO or higher) to qualify. If your credit score is lower, you might want to spend a few months improving your credit before applying.
You also need to be disciplined with your spending and credit card management. Otherwise, you could transfer a credit card balance or get a 0% APR then continue to rack up more charges rather than pay off debt. And if you can’t repay your balance before the introductory 0% interest rate ends, you will face interest charges.
Lastly, make sure you’re comparing the potential interest savings of a 0% APR interest rate with other costs. After factoring in a balance transfer fee and annual credit card fee, the savings might be less than you’re counting on.
Getting a zero percent interest credit card can give you a significant edge in the fight against credit card debt. Just take the time to read your credit card agreement, understand your new credit card’s terms, and figure out how to avoid potential credit card costs.
Once your have your zero-interest credit card, keep your eyes set on the goal of paying off the balance.