Best for first-year rewards

Apply now
On Discover's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 5% Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • 1% Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
Intro offer
Cashback Match™ 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
12.24% - 23.24% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for high earning potential

Apply now
On Chase's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 5% Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more;
  • 3% 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service
  • 1.5% 1.5% on all other purchases
Intro offer
Earn an Additional 1.5% Cash Back 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
15.24% - 23.99% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for 15-month intro APR offer

Apply now
On Capital One's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 5% Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • 1.5% Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
Intro offer
$200 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for balance transfers

Apply now
On Citi's secure site
Rewards rate

N/A

Intro offer
N/A
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
14.49% - 24.49% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

BEST FOR LONG 0 PERCENT INTRO APR OFFERS

Apply now
On Wells Fargo's secure site
Rewards rate

N/A

Intro offer
N/A
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
13.74% - 25.74% Variable APR
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best cash back card for families

Apply now
On American Express's secure site
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
See if you're pre‐approved for this card with CardMatch™
Rewards rate
  • 3% 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations.
  • 1% 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
Intro offer
$200 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
14.74%-24.74% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for points on everyday purchases

Apply now
On Citi's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 5X For a limited time, earn 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on air travel and hotels up to $6,000 in the first 12 months and then 1 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent thereafter.
  • 2X Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter.
  • 1X Earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.
Intro offer
20,000 points 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
14.24% - 24.24% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for credit-building with cash back

Apply now
On Petal's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 1.5% Up to 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases after making 12 on-time monthly payments.
  • 1% 1% cash back on eligible purchases right away.
Intro offer
N/A
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
13.24%-27.24% (Variable)
Recommended credit
No Credit History 

Best for cash back in multiple categories

Apply now
On Chase's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 5% 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 5% 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service
  • 1% Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Intro offer
$200 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
15.24% - 23.99% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Compare Bankrate’s top low-interest credit cards

Card name Variable APR Best for Bankrate review score
Discover it Cash Back 12.24%–23.24% First-year rewards 4.0 / 5
(Read full card review)
Chase Freedom Unlimited 15.24%–23.99% High earning potential 4.6 / 5
(Read full card review)
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card 15.24%–25.24% 15-month intro APR offers 3.2 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi Diamond Preferred Card 14.49%–24.49% Balance transfers 3.7 / 5
(Read full card review)
Wells Fargo Reflect Card 13.74%–25.74% Long intro APR offers 4.2 / 5
(Read full card review)
Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express 14.74%–24.74% Cash back for families 3.3 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi Rewards+ Card 14.24%–24.24% Points on everyday purchases 3.4 / 5
(Read full card review)
Petal 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa Credit Card 13.24%–27.24% Best for credit-building with cash back 4.0 / 5
(Read full card review)
Chase Freedom Flex 15.24%–23.99% Cash back in multiple categories 4.3 / 5
(Read full card review)

A closer look at Bankrate’s top low-interest credit cards

Discover it Cash Back: Best for first-year rewards

  • What we love about the Discover it Cash Back card: With the Cashback Match™ feature, Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. Furthermore, the first-year rewards from Cashback Match might be a true windfall, especially if you often maximize bonus categories.
  • Who this card is good for: Anyone who’s looking for a low-interest cash back card and is OK with waiting for the new cardholder bonus.
  • Alternatives: If you want to earn cash back but don’t want to deal with the hassle of activating bonus categories every quarter, tracking spending restrictions, and modifying your spending patterns, the Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card may be a better option than the Discover it Cash Back card.

Read our Discover it Cash Back review.
Jump back to offer details.

Chase Freedom Unlimited: Best for high earning potential

  • What we love about the Chase Freedom Unlimited card: It’s one of the cards that is qualified for Chase’s Pay Yourself Back feature, which allows you to redeem rewards for statement credits applied to eligible transactions. If you can maximize the higher-rate categories while remaining responsible with your spending, this low-interest card might pay out huge cash back dividends.
  • Who this card is good for: People interested in earning generous cash back on general purchases and in special higher-rate categories with no limits or spending caps.
  • Alternatives: If you don’t spend much on travel, dining out, or shopping at drugstores, a flat-rate cash back card like the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card may be more suited toward everyday spending.

Read our Chase Freedom Unlimited review or jump back to offer details.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for 15-month intro APR offers

  • What we love about the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card: This card is fairly well-rounded, with decent flat-rate rewards, a reasonable regular variable APR range and few fees. If you want a no-fuss card that earns steady cash back rewards on everyday purchases, the Quicksilver Cash Rewards is a notable consideration for your wallet.
  • Who this card is good for: Consumers who want to earn solid flat-rate rewards on all purchases and have multiple options to redeem earnings.
  • Alternatives: The Chase Freedom Flex Card is an excellent pick if you rather strategize and earn even more cash back by tracking bonus categories.

Read our Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card review or jump back to offer details.

Citi Diamond Preferred Card: Best for balance transfers

  • What we love about the Citi Diamond Preferred card: Few cards can match its intro offer on balance transfers (21 months at 0 percent intro APR, 14.49 percent to 24.49 percent variable APR after).
  • Who this card is good for: Anyone focused on a temporary (but still lengthy) break from interest, as it can help them avoid interest charges for well over a year.
  • Alternatives: Since the Citi Diamond Preferred doesn’t have a rewards program, those looking for cash back, points, or miles may prefer the Citi Rewards+ Card, which offers 2X points at supermarkets and gas stations (on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1X points) with 1X points on all other purchases, as well as 5X points on air travel and hotels for a limited time (on up to $6,000 in purchases, then 1X points) during the first 12 months.

Read our Citi Diamond Preferred Card review or jump back to offer details.

Wells Fargo Reflect Card: Best for long intro APR offers

  • What we love about the Wells Fargo Reflect card: The chance to have a long period of up to 21 months to pay off expenses or debt. This card is a great option if you need a break from paying interest charges for an extended period of time.
  • Who this card is good for: Anyone looking to finance a large purchase or refinance high-interest debt.
  • Alternatives: If you don’t mind a brief intro APR period, the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card may be a better alternative—especially if you want to have the chance to earn rewards.

Read our Wells Fargo Reflect Card review or jump back to offer details.

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express: Best cash back card for families

  • What we love about the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express: Most welcome offers provide three months to meet the spending requirement, but not this one. With the Blue Cash Everyday Card, you’ll earn $200 back in statement credits after spending $2,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership.
  • Who this card is good for: People whose daily routines involve a lot of mealtimes and motoring around. This no-annual-fee card can help you earn considerable cash back at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, as well as select U.S. department stores.
  • Alternatives: If you don’t plan to spend much on gas or groceries, a more flexible cash back category card, such as the Discover it Cash Back Card, for example, may be preferable.

Read our Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express review or jump back to offer details.

Citi Rewards+ Card: Best for points on everyday purchases

  • What we love about the Citi Rewards+ card: The combination of the 0 percent intro APR offer on both purchases and balance transfers with its rewards program makes the Citi Rewards+ Card a solid option for frugal shoppers. Also, the Citi Rewards+ is the only card that automatically rounds your points up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase, with no cap.
  • Who this card is good for: People who want a low-interest card that also earns rewards on everyday spending.
  • Alternatives: If you would rather have a card with a higher rewards rate on grocery store purchases, the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express—which earns 3 percent at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in expenditures each year, followed by 1%) would be the most ideal alternative.

Read our Citi Rewards+ Card review or jump back to offer details.

Petal 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa Credit Card: Best for credit-building with cash back

  • What we love about the Petal 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa card: It can be an effective way to earn cash back as you build up your credit foundations. With the Petal 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Card, making on-time monthly payments can increase the cash back rate earned on eligible purposes, giving you even more reason to stay current. Also, you can occasionally earn 2 percent to 10 percent cash back on offers at select merchants in your area.
  • Who this card is good for: People building their credit profiles who want a cash back program that rewards them for responsibly making on-time credit card payments.
  • Alternatives: If you’re an established credit user who already has a solid credit score, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card is a simpler and more credit-appropriate alternative to the Petal 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa Card.

Read our Petal 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa Credit Card review or jump back to offer details.

Chase Freedom Flex: Best for cash back in multiple categories

  • What we love about the Chase Freedom Flex card: Not many low-interest cards offer the kind of cash back opportunities you’ll find with the Chase Freedom Flex. If you can put in the work to track your spending and maximize the bonus categories each quarter, the returns could be impressive.
  • Who this card is good for: People who want a high-earning cash back card and an easily attainable sign-up bonus ($200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months after you open your account).
  • Alternatives: If you’re not concerned with earning rewards in fixed cash back categories or rotating bonus categories, the Wells Fargo Reflect Card could be a better fit for you.

Read our Chase Freedom Flex review or jump back to offer details.


What is a low-interest credit card?

A low-interest credit card is defined by its APR (annual percentage rate), which can be either variable or fixed. If the low end of the variable percentage is around 12 to 14 percent, it generally qualifies as a low-interest card. Most credit cards are variable-rate credit cards, meaning their APRs fluctuate alongside the prime rate.

Given the cost of credit card interest, it’s important to minimize your exposure to interest charges or avoid them altogether. Bankrate estimates the average credit card interest rate at 16.40 percent variable as of April 27, 2022. Paying your balance on time and in full every month is the surest way to avoid interest and the method that we recommend. On the other hand, a low-interest card could help you pay less in interest if you do carry a balance.

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Bankrate insight
If you carry a credit card balance, you’re not alone: According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling’s 2021 Financial Literacy Survey, 38 percent of adults carry a credit card balance month to month.

Pros and cons of low-interest credit cards

Pros

  • You’ll save on interest: Lower-than-average interest rates mean that if you carry a credit card balance, you won’t incur as much in interest charges.
  • You can save on existing credit card debt: By completing a balance transfer to a low-interest credit card, you can save yourself a lot on interest payments and consolidate high-interest credit card debt to one place, making your debt payoff journey simpler.

Cons

  • Limited perks: Low-interest cards typically come with limited rewards programs. If you’re looking for a card to help you accumulate points, miles or cash back it’s best to look elsewhere.
  • Credit requirements: The credit scores needed to qualify for most low-interest cards trend toward good-to-excellent. If you’re not at the good-to-excellent level yet, you should improve your credit score.

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.

Here’s 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 (in this case, $150) would be paid upfront. Even factoring in the transfer fee, a 12-month payoff plan with a balance transfer card would have distinct advantages.

Interest Monthly payment Total cost
Credit card with 18% APR $500 $458 $5,500
0% intro APR balance transfer card $0 $417 $5,150

Let’s 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 can’t 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 Bankrate’s Credit Card Payoff Calculator to illustrate payment scenarios for different cards, isolating that $3,000 vacation.

APR Monthly payment Interest Total cost
Your card 18% $275 $300 $3,300
Low-interest card 12% $266 $198 $3,198
Zero-interest intro card 0% $250 $0 $3,000

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Bankrate insight
Some balance transfer offers give you the option of transferring multiple debts to the new card, a process called debt consolidation. The thing to remember is that the total amount of debt you transfer generally can’t exceed your credit limit.

Who should get a low-interest credit card?

Credit cards with low interest rates can come in handy for certain types of people in certain situations. Consider a low-interest credit card if you find yourself in these scenarios:

Still unsure if a low interest credit card is right for you? Check out our Credit Card Spender Type Tool where you can get personalized credit card recommendations based on your credit score, spending habits and daily needs.

How to choose a low-interest credit card

It’s best to always pay your credit card balance in full each month, but if you’re unable to and you still want to save, a low-interest card is the way to go. To take full advantage of all of the benefits of a low-interest card and to find the best card for you, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Build your credit to a good/excellent level

People with higher credit scores tend to qualify for lower interest rates on any kind of loan, including credit cards. If your credit is fair or bad, you may not qualify for the most advantageous rates. The first step is to find out what your current score is and check for any issues or errors on your credit report. If your credit needs work, stick to a long-term strategy for improving your credit score.

Step 2: Explore all of your options

One of the keys to finding a low-interest card is how you compare and evaluate these offers. Go online to sort through your viable options and contact your bank or credit union to see what’s available to you. Find cards in your range, weigh the perks, and pay attention not only to the low ends of the variable APRs but also the high end.

Step 3: Look for pre-qualified offers

A pre-qualified offer involves an initial evaluation before beginning the actual process of applying. With pre-qualification, you won’t be subject to a hard inquiry that can temporarily lower your credit score. You can also check out Bankrate’s CardMatch™ tool to see which offers fit you best without impacting your credit score.

How to make the most of your low-interest 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.

Use your low-interest credit card to save on interest for new purchases

Here’s 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 (in this case, $150) would be paid upfront. Even factoring in the transfer fee, a 12-month payoff plan with a balance transfer card would have distinct advantages.

Interest Monthly payment Total cost
Interest Monthly payment Total cost
Credit card with 18% APR $500 $458 $5,500
0% intro APR balance transfer card $0 $417 $5,150

Use your low-interest credit card to finance upcoming expenses

Let’s 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 can’t 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 Bankrate’s Credit Card Payoff Calculator to illustrate payment scenarios for different cards, isolating that $3,000 vacation.

APR Monthly payment Interest payment Total cost
Your card 18% $275 $300 $3,300
Low-interest card 12% $266 $198 $3,198
Zero-interest intro card 0% $250 $0 $3,000

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Bankrate insight
Some balance transfer offers give you the option of transferring multiple debts to the new card, a process called debt consolidation. The thing to remember is that the total amount of debt you transfer generally can’t exceed your credit limit.

How to reduce the credit card interest you pay

One of the common misconceptions about credit cards is that they can be dangerous to your financial health. The truth is that credit cards themselves aren’t bad, but if you’re not careful, interest can quickly plunge you into debt. Low-interest cards are a great way to avoid hefty interest charges. Follow the tips below to keep interest payments at bay with your low-interest credit card:

  • Pay off your balances: Low-interest cards are great for times when it becomes necessary to carry a credit card balance from month to month, but if you use your credit card wisely, interest payments don’t have to be a part of the equation at all. Paying the total of your credit card balance each month allows you to avoid interest charges altogether.
  • Consolidate debt to a low-interest card: If you find yourself with a balance on one or more credit cards with high-interest rates, consider moving that debt to a single low-interest card, if possible. Completing a balance transfer can help reduce the amount you’ll pay in interest and simplify the debt repayment process.
  • Keep future spending in mind: If you plan to finance a significant purchase on a credit card, be sure to keep low-interest cards top of mind. You can save on interest and pay less over time with a low-interest card.

How we chose our top low-interest credit cards

Bankrate scores individual cards using a 5-star system that measures their overall quality and value. For low-interest cards, we highlighted essential criteria including APRs, introductory APR offers, annual fees and balance transfer offers.

APRs

Standard APRs can range from below 10 percent to above 20 percent. A penalty APR is the rate you would incur if you were late in making a payment, and it could approach 30 percent. With low-interest at the top of mind, we pay particular attention to APR in all its forms.

0% introductory APR offers

This temporary interest-free period can significantly help cardholders who are looking to use the card as a tool to pay down debt or pay off a forthcoming large purchase.

Annual fee

Is the card’s annual fee worth it? Do the rewards and benefits justify the expense? We take annual fees into account when judging a card’s overall value.


More information on credit cards, interest rates and APR

Still need to do more research? Bankrate has a wealth of resources on low-interest credit cards and related topics.


Have more questions for our credit cards editors? Feel free to send us an email, find us on Facebook, or Tweet us @Bankrate.

Frequently asked questions about low-interest credit cards

about the author
Former Senior Editor Barry Bridges has been writing about credit cards, personal loans, mortgages and other personal finance products since 2017. Before joining Bankrate, he was an award-winning newspaper journalist in his native North Carolina.
about the editor
Mariah Ackary is a personal finance writer who specializes in small businesses and credit. Mariah is a lifelong writer, but joined the Bankrate team in 2019, excited by the opportunity to help people make good financial decisions. Send your questions to mackary@bankrate.com

* 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.