Best Low Interest Credit Cards of 2019

Planning a big purchase in 2019? A low interest credit card can help you pay it off over time without accruing a ton of interest. In some cases, these cards also offer a lengthy 0% intro APR period where you don't have to pay any interest over the first few months of your account life (varies by card). Here is our advice and recommendations for the best low interest credit cards from our partners.

Editor's Top Picks: The Best Low Interest Credit Cards

Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. The offers that appear on this site are from companies from which Bankrate.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within listing categories. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and the likelihood of applicants' credit approval also impact how and where products appear on this site. Bankrate.com does not include the entire universe of available financial or credit offers.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.

ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Amalgamated Bank of Chicago's secure website

ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard®

Rewards Rate:
Earn 5x rewards on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter in popular categories such as dining, groceries, travel, and automotive Earn Points on Every Purchase! It’s simple: $1 = 1 Point
Welcome Offer:
Earn $150 Statement Credit after you spend $1,200 on purchases within the first 90 days from account opening
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers
Regular APR:
15.15% - 25.15% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Card Details

  • 0% Intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months; after that the variable APR will be 15.15% - 25.15%, based on your creditworthiness
  • Earn $150 Statement Credit after you spend $1,200 on purchases within the first 90 days from account opening
  • Earn 5x rewards on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter in popular categories such as dining, groceries, travel, and automotive
  • No upper limit on the points you can accumulate, and since points never expire, you can save up for a big award!
  • Earn Points on Every Purchase! It’s simple: $1 = 1 Point
  • No Annual Fee
  • Select Your Rewards Your Way
Terms and Restrictions Apply
USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On USAA's secure website

USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card

Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
9.15% - 26.15% Variable

Card Details

  • Enjoy USAA's lowest rate card
  • No annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, no penalty APR
  • USAA membership is available to active and former military and their eligible family members
  • Special Benefits for Military: Reduced Rate: Get 4% APR on all balances for up to 12 months during deployment or PCS.
  • After 12 months, the variable Regular APR of between 9.15% to 26.15% will apply. This rate will vary with the market based on the prime rate.
Terms and Restrictions Apply
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card Image

Recommended Credit Score

Excellent (740 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On U.S. Bank's secure website

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Rewards Rate:
5% cash back on your first $2,000 in eligible net purchases each quarter on the combined two categories you choose. 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category, like gas stations or grocery stores. 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases.
Welcome Offer:
$150 after you spend $500 in eligible net purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
Annual Fee:
$0*
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0%* intro on BTs for 12 billing cycles
Regular APR:
16.24% - 25.74%* (Variable)

Card Details

  • New Cardmember bonus: $150 after you spend $500 in eligible net purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in eligible net purchases each quarter on the combined two categories you choose.
  • 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category, like gas stations or grocery stores.
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases.
  • No limit on total cash back earned.
  • 0% Intro APR* on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 16.24% - 25.74%
  • No annual fee*
  • Great Offer for Customers of U.S. Bank, a 2018 World's Most Ethical Company® - Ethisphere Institute, February 2018
Charity Charge World Mastercard® Credit Card Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Charity Charge's secure website

Charity Charge World Mastercard® Credit Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn an unlimited 1% cash back that's automatically donated on your behalf through your everyday purchases.
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
1.99% for 6 monthly billing cycles
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
1.99% for 6 monthly billing cycles
Regular APR:
16.24%-22.24% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Donate your cash back to any nonprofit or religious organization of your choice.
  • Earn an unlimited 1% cash back that's automatically donated on your behalf through your everyday purchases.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • An easy way to make a difference (at no cost to you).
  • 100% Tax-Deductible.
  • Low APR between Prime + 6.99%-16.99% dependent on creditworthiness. Balance transfer fee of either $10 or 5% of the amount of each Balance Transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Receive all the benefits of a World MasterCard such as: extended warranty, MasterCard global service, concierge services, ID theft protection, price guarantee, and many more exclusive services.
  • Chip and Apple Pay enabled.
Terms and Restrictions Apply
Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Citi's secure website

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Annual Fee:
$0*
Purchase Intro APR:
0%* 12 months on Purchases*
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0%* 21 months on Balance Transfers*
Regular APR:
16.24% - 26.24%* (Variable)

Card Details

  • The only card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day — just say "representative"
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.


Author: Bankrate Staff | Last Updated: January 14, 2019

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In this article:

Why you should trust Bankrate

Bankrate’s experts have many years of experience offering guidance on some of the most important financial decisions in a person’s life, such as financial advice around home buying, student loans, and investing. Credit cards are a big part of everyday finances and identifying the best card for you can save you on interest expenses and help you to earn cash back on your day-to-day spending. If you have a big expense coming up in 2019 – maybe you’re planning to buy a house and need furniture – then a low-interest card can help you spread out the cost of a large purchase and save on interest. 

Scoring matrix

It’s rarely a good idea to carry a balance on a credit card because of the high rates of interest, however, sometimes it’s unavoidable. A low-interest credit card can help you save on APR expenses or provide that extra layer of peace of mind in case you’re unable to clear your balance one month. Bankrate’s scoring methodology awards each card a score out of 100 and for cards in this category we have focused on the most important elements for low-interest credit card users: APR, introductory APR offer, annual fee, balance transfer offer, and any extras and discounts.

  • APR: We pay close attention to APR which can be split between “standard” and “penalty.” Standard APR can range from below 10% to above 20%. Penalty APR is the rate you would incur if you were late in making a payment, this can reach almost 30%. With low-interest at the top of mind, we pay particular attention to APR in all its forms. 
  • 0% Introductory APR offer: The 0% introductory APR periods can be very generous and can significantly help cardholders looking to use the card as a tool to pay down debt.
  • Annual fee: Many cards charge an annual fee, our experts analyze when the cards annual fee is worth it, such as in cases where the rewards more than make up for the expense.
  • Balance transfer offer: For cardholders looking to consolidate debt from one lender to another, a favorable balance transfer offer is paramount. 

Recap: The best low interest credit cards for 2019

Card name Bankrate score Best for
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card 94/100 Flexible rewards
Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express 89/100 Everyday spending
Discover it® Cash Back 93/100 First year rewards
Citi Rewards+ Card 92/100 Daily spending
Citi Double Cash Card 94/100 Flate-rate cash back
Discover it® Miles 95/100 Basic travel rewards

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

If you’re looking for a card with a low cost of ownership and easy-to-earn flexible rewards, look no further. The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card earns an unlimited 2X the miles on every $1 spent and you can redeem those miles to book travel any way you like. If you’re planning to use the card to finance a large expense you will save on interest and still earn travel rewards, which can get you closer to your 2019 vacation goals.

Highlights:

    • The $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
    • Coming soon, cardholders will be able to transfer miles to multiple airline programs at generous transfer rates.
    • Use Capital One’s “Purchase Eraser” to receive a statement credit for travel booked anyway you choose.
    • There are no blackout dates and no restrictions.

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

If you’re like many suburban households, you spend a lot of time and money at the supermarket and at the gas pump. The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express offers solid rewards for spending in those areas, paying 3% cash back rewards on up to $6,000 in spending at U.S. supermarkets and 2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% back on all other spending.

Highlights:

    • Earnings are automatic, there’s no enrollment or rotating categories to keep track of.
    • There’s no annual fee.
    • There’s an introductory 15-month 0% APR offer on purchases and balance transfers. After that, variable APR of 15.24% to 26.24% will apply.

Citi Rewards+SM Card

The Citi Rewards+ Card is a great no annual fee option for those looking to earn points for everyday spending. Get 2x points at supermarkets and gas stations (on up to $6,000 a year, then 1x) and 1x points on everything else. Plus, you’ll get a 15,000 ThankYou Point bonus when you spend $1,000 within the first three months of account opening. Other benefits include rental car insurance, trip cancellation protection and access to elite events through Citi Private Pass. We’d say the best aspect of the card is that your points are rounded to the nearest 10 on card purchases – that means even the smallest purchases have the potential to earn you hefty points.

Highlights:

  • With the Citi Rewards+ Card, your points are rounded up to the nearest 10 on every card purchase.
  • There is no annual fee for this card.

Discover it® Cash Back

The Discover it® Cash Back earns 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, and more up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Also, earn an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Redeem your cash back any amount, any time because your rewards never expire.

Highlights:

    • At the end of the first year, Discover will match dollar-for-dollar all of your earnings.
    • With this card, the first late payment fee is waived.
    • There’s a 14-month 0% APR introductory interest rate on purchases and balance transfers. Following the intro period, the standard APR is a variable 14.24% to 25.24% based on your creditworthiness.

Citi Double Cash Card

The Citi Double Cash Card offers some of the best value of any no fee cash-back card available today. Cardholders earn 1% cash back when they make a purchase and another 1% back when they pay for their purchase.

Highlights:

    • This card comes with trip insurance and purchase protections.
    • There’s an 18-month 0% introductory APR on balance transfers. After that, the variable APR will be 15.74% – 25.74% based on your creditworthiness.
    • Rewards can be redeemed in several ways—as a statement credit, a check or a gift card.

Discover it® Miles

What makes this card intriguing is that, like most Discover cards, the issuer will match your first-year earnings dollar for dollar. The Discover it® Miles card earns 1.5 miles for every dollar, which is a just-OK rate. But the first-year earnings work out to be 3 miles for every dollar, which puts it on a par with some of the best cash-back cards on the market.

Highlights:

    • There’s no annual fee, foreign transaction fees and the penalty fee of up to $37 is waived with the first late payment.
    • The intro APR is 0% on purchases for 14 months, and balance transfer intro is 10.99% for 14 months. After that, the standard variable APR of 14.24% to 25.24% will apply.
    • Rewards can be redeemed in any amount as cash back or airline miles.

How to get a credit card with a low interest rate

Most issuers offer cards with a variable APR range. If you qualify for the lower end of this range, and you carry a balance, then you will end up paying less interest. Generally, it is inadvisable to carry a balance on a credit card due to the high average interest rates but sometimes it can be unavoidable. If you plan to carry a balance or you are worried that you might, a low-interest card can save you money. To get the best rates you need to have a good or excellent credit score. The first step is to check your credit report, you can find out what your current score is and check for any issues or errors on your report. Improving your credit score takes time but it can be done with these seven steps.

Some cards also offer introductory 0% interest rate periods for purchases, balance transfers or both. The length of time at 0 percent interest typically ranges from 12 months to as long as 21 months, after which the standard variable APR will apply.

Take time before choosing a card with low interest or a zero interest sign-up offer, consider your spending habits first. If you’re trying to pay down a credit card balance have a plan in place to do this within the introductory period. If you almost always carry a balance, you may be better off with a card that has a set low-interest rate than one at 0% that will likely jump up to double digits when the promotional period is over.

You can apply for a low interest credit card online and you’ll usually find out if you’re approved within minutes. But, if your credit is just fair or worse, you may not qualify for a credit card that offers advantageous rates.

Pros and cons of low interest cards

Low interest credit cards are typically good for balance transfers and large purchases. If you have a big life event coming up in 2019 – a birth, marriage, house move, etc. – a 0% APR card can give you some financial breathing room and help you fund larger purchases associated with these big life stages. When used responsibly a low interest card can be a great tool, however, these cards typically come with limited sign-up bonuses.

Pros:

  • Shifting a high-interest balance to a card with a lower rate can save you money.
  • If you have a large purchase to make and you need some extra time to pay it off, a low interest card can be a good option.
  • You can pay off your debt faster since less of your money will be going towards finance charges.

Cons:

  • If you haven’t paid off your debt by the time the 0% promotional period ends, you could end up with a higher rate than before.
  • Having a card with low or no interest could tempt you to spend beyond your means.
  • Some cards will charge you a stiff penalty APR if you miss or make a late payment, so if you aren’t rigorous about paying your bill, you could lose the advantageous rate.

How to save money with a low APR card

With four rate hikes in 2018, the current average variable APR on a credit card is over 17%. It’s clear that for anyone who typically carries a balance, there’s a big benefit to switching to a card with a lower APR.

Here’s the proof in plain numbers: If you have a balance of $10,000 on a card with an APR of 16%, over the course of a year if you leave that balance untouched, you’ll accrue an additional $1,600 in finance charges. But, shift that balance to a card with an introductory 15-month 0% offer and after a year, that same $10,000 balance won’t have racked up any finance charges, saving you $1,600.

Balance transfers onto low interest cards

If you are carrying a lot of high-interest debt, shifting the balance to a card with a lower APR can save you money. But, it’s important to do the math before making the switch. Many cards that offer an introductory 0 percent APR will also charge a balance transfer fee. Typically, this fee ranges from 3%-5% of the amount being transferred.

In some cases, the cost of a balance transfer fee could outweigh the savings of shifting to a low interest card. For example, if you have a balance of $10,000 on a card, but you plan on paying this balance off over the course of a year, it may cost you less in interest than if you shift this balance to a card with a 0 percent introductory offer that has a 5 percent balance transfer fee, which will cost you $500 to move.

Low interest vs. 0 interest

When it comes to choosing a credit card that offers better terms than what you may currently have, it’s important to make the distinction between low interest cards and ones with an introductory zero percent offer. There are no credit cards that offer 0% interest forever, as the definition of a credit card is a card that lets you pay off a balance over time in exchange for accruing interest on the amount of debt you’re carrying. If you want a truly interest free piece of plastic in your wallet, you’d be better off with a charge card which doesn’t carry any interest charges but you have to pay the balance in full every month. Or consider just using a debit card, which subtracts the amount of your purchase directly from your bank account. Keep in mind that using a debit card won’t help you build a strong credit score as transactions on a debit card are not reported to the big three credit reporting agencies.

How to choose the right low interest card for your situation

No one sets out to carry a balance on their credit card. The interest rates for many credit cards is extremely high and your balance can quickly get away from you. However, if you do carry a balance, you are not alone: 38% of households in the U.S. have revolving credit card debt, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling’s annual Financial Literacy Surveys. There are many reasons that people fall into credit card debt, and it’s usually due to an unforeseen event or emergency situation such as getting laid off from work or dealing with a medical expense.

Medical costs have risen 35% over the last decade whereas income has only risen 20% in the same time period, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index, of September 2017. That means medical bills are outpacing income rates which makes it easier to fall into debt if you or a family member falls unwell.

If you lose your job it can be hard to fund the gap while you’re finding a new job. In the interim, you still have a rent to pay or mortgage payments to make, and to provide food and essentials for you and your family. Credit cards are often an easy option — and sometimes the only choice — to cover the gap.

With all of this in mind, it’s important to choose the right low interest card for you that will help you to manage your debt and minimize the amount you owe. It’s important to consider not just the short-term benefits but how you’ll use the card in the years ahead. Take the right steps to ensure that your financial health improves in 2019. As previously discussed, low interest credit cards can be great tools to help you achieve your financial goals but credit card debt can quickly compound.

In general, if you typically carry a balance — or know that there is a good chance you might have to carry a balance in the future — it’s probably best to choose a card that has a low APR over one with an introductory 0 percent offer, as once the offer expires, the variable APR is likely to be higher than that of a card that has a consistently a low interest rate.

The most important thing is to use your balance as sparingly as possible and to pay off your balance as soon as you can. It can seem like an easy short-term solution but credit card interest can make for a long-term headache. Choosing the right card now will save you in the long run.

For anyone looking for a card that will help you spread the cost of a large purchase and pay it off over time, a card with an introductory 0 percent offer makes sense, especially if you find a card that has some lasting value to you after the welcome offer. Again, make sure to pay off your balance before the introductory period ends, or at least ensure that the variable APR rate after the intro period is favorable.

More reviews and research

Still need to do more research? No worries, we have plenty of reviews and helpful content to help you make a decision. We have reviews on almost every major low interest credit card on the market. Check out those and other related review categories below.

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.