Best 0% interest credit cards: 0% intro APR period until 2022

A 0% APR credit card with an introductory offer on purchases, balance transfers or both can help you avoid interest charges well into the year 2021 — or beyond. Bankrate’s personal finance experts have compared dozens of options to bring you a list of the best 0% APR credit cards available from our partners. You can also get advice on how to choose the right card for you and get the most out of it.

Best Intro Zero Interest Credit Cards - Top Offers January 2021

Need more information?

Skip down to read our card profiles and expert advice.

Best for rotating category cash back

Discover 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 Discover's secure website

Discover it® Cash Back

Rewards Rate:
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. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
Welcome Offer:
Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match - only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! There's no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% for 14 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% for 14 months
Regular APR:
11.99% - 22.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match - only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! There's no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • 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.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • #1 Most Trusted Credit Card according to Investor's Business Daily.
  • No annual fee.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.

Best for 0% APR period and unlimited cash back

Capital One 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 Capital One's secure website

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
Welcome Offer:
One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)

Card Details

  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.49%-25.49% variable APR after that
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best 0% APR card for excellent credit

Citi 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 Citi's secure website

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Rewards Rate:
N/A
Welcome Offer:
N/A
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% for 18 months on Purchases
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers
Regular APR:
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)

Card Details

  • 0% Intro APR for 18 months on purchases from date of account opening and 0% Intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer. After that the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Get free access to your FICO® Score online.
  • With Citi Entertainment®, get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.
  • Shop with confidence knowing that you have dependable protection benefits, including $0 Liability on Unauthorized Purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for flexible rewards categories

Bank of America 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 Bank of America's secure website

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Rewards Rate:
Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases). Earn automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases). Earn unlimited 1% on all other purchases.
Welcome Offer:
$200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days
Regular APR:
13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Card Details

  • No annual fee
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
  • No expiration on rewards
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more cash back on every purchase
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best 0% intro APR on purchases for everyday cash back

American Express 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 American Express's secure website

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Rewards Rate:
3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
Welcome Offer:
Earn 20% back on purchases at Amazon.com on the Card in the first 6 months, up to $200 back. Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% on purchases for 15 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
13.99%-23.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 20% back on purchases at Amazon.com on the Card in the first 6 months, up to $200 back.
  • Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Best for no penalty APR

Bank of America 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 Bank of America's secure website

BankAmericard® credit card

Rewards Rate:
N/A
Welcome Offer:
N/A
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days
Regular APR:
12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Card Details

  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • No penalty APR. Paying late won't automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Other account pricing and terms apply
  • Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best credit union card for 0% intro APR

Alliant Credit Union 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 Alliant Credit Union's secure website

Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn two reward points for every dollar spent
Welcome Offer:
Earn 5,000 bonus Alliant Rewards points after spending $500 or more in qualifying purchases during the first 90 days the account is opened.
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
Introductory rates as low as 0% apply for 12 months on purchases after account opening.
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
Introductory rates as low as 0% apply for 12 months on balance transfers after account opening.
Regular APR:
13.24%–23.24% Variable

Card Details

  • As low as 0% introductory rate for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers (After the introductory period, a low standard variable rate applies ranging from 13.24%–23.24%. Balance transfer fee of 2% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum.)
  • Plus, earn 5,000 bonus points with qualifying spend
  • Earn two reward points for every dollar spent
  • $0 fraud liability guarantee from Visa
  • Generous credit line
  • EMV chip for enhanced security
  • Works with Google Pay™, Apple Pay™ and Samsung Pay™
  • No annual fees
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for overall versatility

Chase 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 Chase's secure website

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Rewards Rate:
Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase. Earn 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
Welcome Offer:
Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
14.99 - 23.74% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best 0% intro APR credit card for double cash back

Citi 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 Citi's secure website

Citi® Double Cash Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
Welcome Offer:
N/A
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% intro for 18 months on Balance Transfers
Regular APR:
13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% - 23.99% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for low balance transfer fee

Alliant Credit Union 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 Alliant Credit Union's secure website

Alliant Visa® Platinum Credit Card

Rewards Rate:
N/A
Welcome Offer:
N/A
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
Introductory rates as low as 0% APR applies for 12 months on purchases after account opening.
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
Introductory rates as low as 0% APR applies for 12 months on balance transfers after account opening.
Regular APR:
10.24%–22.24% Variable

Card Details

  • As low as 0% introductory rate for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers (After the introductory period, a low standard variable rate applies ranging from 10.24%–22.24%. Balance transfer fee of 2% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum.)
  • Great for balance transfers to consolidate your debts from high-interest cards into one payment
  • $0 fraud liability guarantee
  • No annual fee
  • Generous credit lines
  • Low standard APRs
  • EMV chip for enhanced security
  • Works with Google Pay™, Apple Pay™ and Samsung Pay™
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.


Some of the offers on this page may have expired.

This page includes information about the Discover it® Balance Transfer product which is no longer offered by Discover. 

The information about the Discover it® Balance Transfer, Citi Simplicity® Card, Wells Fargo Platinum Card, Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

Your guide to choosing and using the best 0-interest credit cards

Credit cards with 0% introductory APR offers can help you temporarily avoid paying interest on purchases and balance transfers for anywhere from several months to a year or more.

As of January 13, Bankrate estimates the three-month trend for variable credit card interest rates at 16.03 percent. If you’ve ever carried a balance on your credit card, you know how much APR can cost. One possible remedy is a credit card with a 0% intro APR offer.

Below you’ll find more information about limited-time, interest-free credit card offers and how to use them for making a large purchase or transferring a balance while getting a temporary reprieve from interest charges. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the best introductory zero-interest cards with the best offers.


Compare Bankrate’s top 0% intro APR credit cards

Card Name Purchase offer Balance transfer offer Regular APR (Variable)
Discover it® Cash Back 14 months 14 months 11.99% – 22.99%
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card 15 months N/A 15.49% – 25.49%
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card 18 months 18 months 14.74% – 24.74%
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles 0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days 13.99% – 23.99% on purchases and balance transfers
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express 0% intro APR for 15 months N/A 13.99% – 23.99%
BankAmericard® credit card 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles 0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days 12.99% – 22.99%
Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card 0% – 5.99% APR for 12 months 0% – 5.99% APR for 12 months 13.24% – 23.24% variable
Chase Freedom Unlimited® 15 months N/A 14.99% – 23.74%
Citi® Double Cash Card N/A 18 months 13.99% – 23.99% variable
Alliant Visa® Platinum Credit Card 0% – 5.99% APR for 12 months 0% – 5.99% APR for 12 months 10.24%–22.24% variable
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card 15 months N/A 15.49% – 25.49%
American Express Cash Magnet® Card 0% intro APR for 15 months N/A 13.99%-23.99%
Citi Simplicity® Card 18 months 18 months 14.74% – 24.74%
Wells Fargo Platinum card 18 months 18 months (on qualifying) 16.49% – 24.49% variable
Discover it® Balance Transfer see terms see terms see terms
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card 0% for 20 billing cycles 0% for 20 billing cycles 13.99% – 23.99% variable

A closer look at our top no-interest credit cards

Discover it® Cash Back

Best for rotating category cash back

You’ll get a 14-month 0% APR introductory period for purchases and balance transfers before 11.99% – 22.99% variable APR takes effect. However, this card’s standout feature is earning 5 percent cash back in rotating categories on up to $1,500 per quarter, then 1 percent (activation required). In addition, Discover will match the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year owning the card.

How to maximize this card’s long-term value

The introductory APR offers aren’t as long as other top cards in this category, but the long-term value of the Cashback Bonus Program helps compensate. This card offers a good match for those who can align their shopping habits with the card’s rotating categories (and remember to activate each quarter, which is crucial.)

Read our Discover it® Cash Back review.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best for 0% APR period and unlimited cash back

This card currently offers a 15-month introductory period for new purchases (then 15.49% – 25.49% variable APR thereafter). Plus, you’ll earn 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases and a $200 bonus after spending $500 within the first 3 months of account opening. If you’re looking for a simple way to earn cash back while you save on interest with an introductory APR offer, you’ve found the right card.

How to maximize this card’s long-term value

Make the Quicksilver your go-to purchase method to keep earning a steady 1.5 percent cash back and keep enjoying the lack of annual fees and foreign transaction fees. You can also take advantage of the Extended Warranty, Travel Accident Insurance and other perks.

Read our Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card review.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Best for excellent credit

With an outstanding 18-month 0% APR introductory period on balance transfers (14.74% – 24.74% variable APR after the intro offer), the Citi Diamond Preferred is one of the industry’s best options for paying off transferred debt. The combination of the 0% intro offer and the competitive regular APR makes this card an intriguing choice if you want to maintain your excellent credit score while reducing your exposure to high interest charges.

How to maximize this card’s long-term value

The card has no rewards program, but if you’re looking to avoid interest on a big purchase or a balance transfer, rewards are probably not your top priority. Still, the regular variable APR could help excellent-credit consumers save money on interest if they keep the card after they’ve taken advantage of the 0% intro offer.

Read our Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card review.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Best for flexible rewards categories

The Bank of America Cash Rewards card currently offers a 0% intro APR period of 12 billing cycles for new purchases, as well as balance transfers made in the first 60 days (then 13.99% – 23.99% variable APR). It also has a choice rewards category that earns 3 percent cash back on one of the following categories such as travel, gas, online shopping, dining, drug stores or home improvement/furnishings and 2 percent on grocery store and wholesale club purchases each quarter (on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases).

How to maximize this card’s long-term value

Selecting the right choice category based on your spending habits is the key to getting the most out of the rewards program. Travel or gas might be ideal for the summer months, online shopping could be a good bet for the holiday season, and so on.

Read our Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card review.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Best for everyday cash back

The 15-month 0% introductory APR on purchases is a great perk, but that’s not all the card offers (13.99% – 23.99% variable APR thereafter). The Blue Cash Back Everyday® Card provides a generous cash back program that allows you to earn rewards with the purchases you make every day, like gas and groceries. To make it even better, the cash back you earn won’t expire for the length of the account, so the rewards that you earn will always be yours.

How to maximize this card’s long-term value

If you decide on this card for the lengthy introductory APR offer, you’ll want to stick around for the rewards program. This card offers considerable benefits to those who spend a lot on items such as groceries, gas and clothing. Spending $6,000 per year in the U.S. supermarkets category alone punches your ticket for $180 in cash back, and the cash back earnings in the other categories are unlimited.

Read our Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express review.

BankAmericard® credit card

Best for no penalty APR

This card’s introductory offer is 12 billing cycles at 0% APR for both balance transfers (made in the first 60 days) and purchases. The regular APR after the intro offer is 12.99% – 22.99% variable. The card doesn’t charge penalty APR, a feature that could come in handy, although it does charge penalty fees (up to $40 for late payment, up to $29 for returned payment).

How to maximize this card’s long-term value

With no rewards program, the long-term value of this card takes a hit. The best use of the BankAmericard credit card is for temporarily avoiding interest on purchases or balance transfers.

Read our BankAmericard® credit card review.

Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card

Best credit union card for 0% intro APR

The Alliant Visa Platinum Rewards card could provide some temporary relief from interest on both purchases and balance transfers. The twin offers last 12 months, with introductory APR ranging from 0% – 5.99% depending on your creditworthiness and regular variable APR of 13.24% – 23.24% after.

How to maximize this card’s long-term value

Under Alliant’s Points Program, this card earns two reward points for every dollar spent. The rewards rate has the potential to help you rack up a considerable amount of points, which you can redeem for cash back, travel, merchandise, charitable contributions and more.

Review for Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card coming soon.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Best for overall versatility

The 15-month introductory period on new purchases (14.99% – 23.74% variable APR thereafter) is solid. Plus, you’ll earn 5 percent on travel purchased through Chase, 3 percent at restaurants and drugstores and 1.5 percent on all other purchases. The higher cash back categories make this much more than a typical 0% intro APR credit card.

How to maximize this card’s long-term value

You’ll need to make travel purchases through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal to earn the 5 percent cash back rate in the travel category. Don’t forget that you can also earn 5 percent cash back on Lyft purchases through March 2022.

Read our Chase Freedom Unlimited® review.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Best for double cash back (1% when you make purchases, 1% when you make payments)

It’s important to note that (1) the Citi Double Cash Card’s intro APR offer is for balance transfers only, not purchases, and (2) balance transfers don’t earn rewards. This card still has a lot of potential for utility and value. Just be sure to make paying off your transferred balance the main priority and focus on earning cash back later.

How to maximize this card’s long-term value

You can earn up to 2 percent cash back with this card — 1 percent when you make purchases, then 1 percent as you pay for them. You might find that this two-part system offers extra motivation to make timely payments in full so that you can reap the full rewards.

Read our Citi® Double Cash Card review.

Alliant Visa® Platinum Credit Card

Best for low balance transfer fee

The Alliant Visa Platinum Credit Card has a balance transfer fee that beats the industry standard. Instead of charging 3 percent of the amount transferred, this card charges 2 percent or $5, whichever is greater. With one large balance transfer or multiple transfers, the low fee could save you a tidy sum.

How to maximize this card’s long-term value

With no rewards program, your best bet for long-term value could come from the checking account benefits that helped Alliant earn Bankrate’s best credit union of 2021 title.

Review for Alliant Visa® Platinum Credit Card coming soon.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best for dining and entertainment

If you have a taste for food and fun but the thought of paying high credit card APR gives you heartburn, consider the Capital One SavorOne. The card has an intro offer for purchases: 15 months at 0% APR, followed by 15.49% – 25.49% variable. As a cash back card, it also earns unlimited rewards in the categories of dining and entertainment (3 percent) and grocery stores (2 percent).

How to maximize this card’s long-term value

If you get this card for the 0% intro offer on purchases for 15 months (15.49% – 25.49% variable thereafter), you just might decide to keep it for the rewards program and the lack of an annual fee. The SavorOne has a lot to offer for consumers who make simple pleasures like meals, movies and music a central part of their daily life.

Read our Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card review.

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

Best for payment flexibility

If you’re planning a big purchase but wondering about the best way to pay for it, the American Express Cash Magnet offers some intriguing options. You can avoid credit card APR for 15 months thanks to the introductory 0% offer on purchases, paying 13.99% – 23.99% variable after the intro period expires. Also, you can take advantage of the Plan It® (Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee).

How to maximize this card’s long-term value

The card earns unlimited 1.5 percent cash back and doesn’t charge an annual fee, both of which increase its value along with the American Express Member Benefits. Be aware that Plan It® applies only to eligible purchases of $100 or more, and your ability to create plans is based on your creditworthiness and other factors.

Read our American Express Cash Magnet® Card review.

Citi Simplicity® Card

Best for long balance transfer offer

The Citi Simplicity Card is a very useful option for transferring or consolidating debt. With an intro 0% APR period of 18 months on balance transfers (14.74% – 24.74% variable APR thereafter), you could save thousands of dollars by temporarily avoiding interest as you pay off debt. This card also does not charge a late fee, although you don’t want to make it a habit to pay late because of the impact on your credit score.

How to maximize this card’s long-term value

This one’s a bit tricky, since the Simplicity card doesn’t have a rewards program. Your best bet for long-term value is probably Citi® Identity Theft Solutions. Keep the card active by making an occasional purchase with it and you can enjoy that extra layer of protection against identity theft.

Read our Citi Simplicity® Card review.

Wells Fargo Platinum card

Best for personal finance management

The main reason to get a zero-interest credit card is to pay off a big purchase or a balance transfer during the introductory period and avoid paying APR. The Wells Fargo Platinum can help you reach that goal thanks to its 18-month intro 0% APR offer on qualifying balance transfers (16.49% – 24.49% variable APR after), but it can also help you pursue the larger goal of better financial health with the My Money Map system.

How to maximize this card’s long-term value

Although this card doesn’t offer a rewards program, using the My Money Map resources to improve your spending and budgeting habits could prove rewarding in the long run. You also get up to $600 protection on your cell phone against covered damage or theft (a $25 deductible applies) when you pay your monthly cellphone bill with the card, and the Wells Fargo Platinum doesn’t charge an annual fee.

Read our Wells Fargo Platinum card review.

Discover it® Balance Transfer

Best for overall balance transfer value

Few cards can match the intro offer for balance transfers: see terms, then see terms variable (see terms; up to see terms on future balance transfers, see terms*). Fewer still combine that kind of balance transfer offer with a rewards program that earns 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories up to $1,500 each quarter after activation and 1% back on everything else. However, we don’t recommend the Discover it Balance Transfer for paying off a big purchase. The introductory see terms for purchases is just see terms, after which variable APR goes to the regular see terms.

How to maximize this card’s long-term value

Much like the Discover it Cash Back, the rewards program holds the key to this card’s long-term value. The potential earnings in bonus categories make the Discover it Balance Transfer well worth considering for a long engagement after the intro APR period ends. The card also features Discover’s Cashback Match™, a dollar-for-dollar match of the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

Read our Discover it® Balance Transfer review.

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

Best 0% APR intro offer on purchases

If you want the maximum zero-interest window to pay for a big purchase, the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum might be your best bet. The card offers an introductory 0% for 20 billing cycles on purchases with 13.99% – 23.99% variable APR after. Most competitors have introductory purchase offers lasting no longer than 18 months.

How to maximize this card’s long-term value

With no rewards program, this card’s signature perk is its cellphone coverage. Use the card to pay your cellular bill every month and you’ll be covered for up to $600 worth of damage or theft per claim for up to two claims per year, with a $25 deductible.

Read our U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card review.


What is an introductory 0 APR credit card?

Using a credit card can be a lot more convenient than paying cash or writing a check. However, the convenience of credit cards sometimes comes with a price — the potential for steep interest charges. If you don’t pay your monthly statement on time and in full, you’ll probably face the additional cost of credit card APR.

What is credit card APR? APR (annual percentage rate) determines how much interest applies to your credit card account for transactions in a particular billing cycle, including purchases, cash advances and balance transfers. You can avoid APR by keeping your credit card balance paid off every month. The credit card issuer determines your APR based on your credit score and other factors.

How does credit card interest work? Any unpaid credit card balance that you carry over past the grace period is subject to APR. Issuers typically use a formula that takes the sum of your balances at the end of each day, divides it by the number of days in that billing cycle and then multiplies that result by your APR. With the interest compounding daily, the cost of interest can grow slowly but steadily.

Fortunately, credit cards with introductory no-interest offers could provide a solution.

A credit card with a 0% APR introductory offer isn’t really an interest-free credit card. It’s a way to help you reduce your exposure to credit card APR for a limited period of time. To meet that goal, you’ll need to pay off your large purchase or transferred balance before the zero-percent intro rate expires and the regular APR takes effect. Some of these cards also let you transfer a balance from a high-interest credit account.

Whether it’s a big purchase or a big balance, this type of credit card could help you temporarily avoid credit card APR.

How to choose the right zero-interest credit card

The type of no-interest credit card you should get depends on what you want to do with it, immediately and in the long run.

Zero-interest APR for purchases

If you have a large purchase planned, getting a credit card with a zero-interest APR offer ahead of time can truly pay off. Putting your big-ticket item on the 0% intro APR credit card instead of your regular card means a chance to avoid paying interest for the length of the intro period. The choice between 0% interest and the average 16 percent interest should be an easy one.

The longer the 0% intro offer on purchases, the better. It will give you more time to take advantage of the zero-interest window as you gradually make the payments.

Learn more with Bankrate: What does 0 percent APR mean?

Zero-interest APR for balance transfers

Results of a recent Bankrate.com survey found that 16 percent of Americans have more debt than they did just a few months ago. One possible remedy for debt involves transferring it to a 0% APR credit card with an introductory balance transfer offer. If you pay off the debt before the introductory zero-interest offer expires, you could save money that would otherwise go to paying interest charges.

Just like a purchase offer, a longer balance transfer offer gives you more time to pay off the debt you’ve transferred plus smaller monthly payments. Some balance transfer credit cards work with more than just credit card debt. In addition to credit card balances, you might be able to transfer debt from personal loans, student loans and other types of credit accounts.

Learn more with Bankrate: What is a balance transfer credit card?

Long-term value

Although some 0% interest cards are short on extras, a good number of them have rewards programs that earn cash back, travel miles or multi-purpose points. We recommend that you focus on paying debt while you’re taking advantage of the introductory zero-interest offer. Once you’ve cleared your debt, you can turn your attention to earning rewards.

Alternatives to a 0% interest credit card

Sometimes a 0% intro APR credit card might not be your best option. If you want to make a purchase you know you won’t be able to pay off within the introductory offer period, consider a personal loan. Getting approved for a balance transfer card with bad credit can be difficult. You might be eligible only for a low-interest introductory offer rather than a zero-interest offer.

How much could you save with a 0% intro APR offer?

If you decide to put a big purchase on a credit card, you have another decision to make when the next bill comes due. You can:

  1. Pay off the entire monthly balance, including the large purchase, and face no APR charges.
  2. Make a partial payment on the monthly balance and pay APR on whatever amount is left over.

Of course, the problem with option B is that it could cost you a lot of money. The cost is likely to increase with every partial monthly payment you make. Over time, you’d have to devote more and more money to paying off not just the original purchase but also the mounting interest of rolling over unpaid debt from month to month.

You can contact your credit card issuer to ask for a lower interest rate. However, this strategy might be a longshot unless you’re a longtime customer with an established history of paying off your balance on time and in full.

A zero-interest credit card offer could help you avoid this kind of cycle by offering a temporary break from APR. Here’s an illustration of how it works, using Bankrate’s Credit Card Payoff Calculator:

A $3,000 purchase with your regular credit card

The average credit card interest rate is about 16 percent. If you were to isolate $3,000 spent on a vacation, for example, and pay it off in equal installments over a year’s time on your regular credit card, the payment schedule would look like this:

Total Principal Paid Total Interest Paid Monthly Payment Total Cost
$3,000 $266 $272 $3,266

In addition to the $3,000, you’d also pay $266 in interest. Interest (in the form of APR) would account for 8 percent of your total cost.

A $3,000 purchase with a 0% intro APR credit card

In the second scenario, you get a new credit card with a 12-month zero interest offer and use that card to pay for your $3,000 vacation. The payment schedule (also one year of equal installments) would look like this:

Total Principal Paid Total Interest Paid Monthly Payment Total Cost
$3,000 $0 $250 $3,000

As long as you paid off the entire $3,000 before the 12-month offer expires, you wouldn’t be on the hook for the $288 in APR charges. Your monthly payment would be $24 less, too.

How to avoid paying credit card interest

A credit card is a type of loan, and virtually every loan involves interest. It’s possible to avoid paying credit card interest, but only under a few well-defined conditions.

  • Paying your statement in full and on time. Keeping up with your monthly payments so that no money carries over into the next billing cycle is the simplest, most effective way to keep from paying credit card interest.
  • Using a 0% interest intro offer. A zero-interest card can help you avoid paying interest on purchases and balance transfers, but only as long as the introductory offer lasts. When the offer runs out, the card’s regular APR applies.
  • Using a grace period. Most credit card issuers offer a grace period that provides a temporary reprieve from interest for a short period of time after a billing cycle ends. However, the key word is “temporary.” The typical grace period is 21 days.

What’s the best 0% intro APR credit card?

Even though no single choice will be a perfect fit for everyone, the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card has the edge over many other options.

The card’s current offer for new purchases and balance transfers is 20 billing cycles at 0% introductory APR, 13.99% – 23.99% variable APR after. Many competitors vying for best 0% APR credit card have introductory offers lasting 18 months. Having an extra two billing cycles could give you more cushion when you’re trying to pay off a big purchase or a transferred balance while avoiding interest. Also, the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum’s regular APR range (13.99% – 23.99% variable) is lower than those of many other 0% APR cards.

However, some of its competitors offer things that the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum doesn’t: welcome offers and rewards programs. One example is the Discover it® Cash Back. Its introductory offer for purchases and balance transfers (14 months at 0% APR,11.99% – 22.99% variable APR after) is significantly shorter, but it does have a cash back program that includes rotating bonus categories. You earn 5% cash back in the rotating categories on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter followed by 1% (enrollment required), as well as unlimited 1% on all other purchases.

While the introductory offers are the key feature of 0% intro APR credit cards, they aren’t the only feature. You might also consider the card’s long-term value, in which rewards programs and welcome offers play a big part.

CardSmart: A zero-percent intro offer in action

Expert advice on choosing and using credit cards from BankrateIn December 2019, a consumer named Carol emailed me for advice. She was considering a 0% intro APR credit card to pay for some upcoming dental work that would cost $8,000.

Using some basic math and Bankrate’s Credit Card Payoff Calculator, I was able to simulate what would happen if she got a credit card with a 12-month zero percent introductory offer to pay for the procedure. Then I compared that outcome with another where she used a regular credit card with a typical APR, which at that time was 18 percent.

Long story short, it looked like Carol could avoid several hundred dollars in interest charges with a 0% intro APR offer:

Interest rate Balance Term Interest cost Average monthly payment
0% intro APR $8,000 12 months $0 $667
18% APR $8,000 12 months $801 $733

The takeaways

  • If she paid off the balance in full before the end of that 12-month promotional period, Carol wouldn’t owe any additional money in interest.
  • If she were to put $8,000 on a regular card with 18 percent APR and pay off the balance in 12 months, she would face $801 in interest charges over time.
  • Her average monthly payment with a regular card would be $733 instead of $667, or about 10 percent higher.

I exchanged a few emails with Carol over the course of a week. She wound up getting a 0% APR card with a 12-month intro offer and made a plan to pay off the cost of her dental work on schedule to avoid interest.

If you have a question about using a zero-interest APR offer to save money like Carol, please email me at bbridges@bankrate.com.

How we chose our best zero-interest credit cards

Bankrate uses a 5-star scoring system to evaluate the credit cards available from our partners. In selecting the cards featured on this page, we further refine the criteria to focus on qualities that define the best credit cards with 0% APR intro offers.

Length of the introductory offer

For zero-interest cards, the longer the period without APR, the better. A longer intro period means more time for you to pay for a big purchase or pay off a transferred balance, whichever the case may be, without facing high APR charges.

Regular variable APR

Regular APR, sometimes called standard “go-to” APR, refers to the interest rate on a credit card’s outstanding balance after the introductory zero-interest period ends. While you shouldn’t carry a balance on your card, choosing a card with a reasonable go-to APR can help ease the burden if you find yourself in a situation where you have to.

Long-term value

Should you keep this card after it’s served the initial purpose? That’s a key question we ask when evaluating credit cards with 0% APR intro offers. Several cards on this list have rewards programs and other features that can make them worth keeping even after you’ve paid for a big purchase or paid off transferred debt.


Senior Editor Barry Bridges has been writing about credit cards, loans, mortgages and other personal finance products for Bankrate since 2018. His work has also appeared on websites including Nasdaq.com, Zillow.com and The Simple Dollar. He was previously an award-winning newspaper journalist in his native North Carolina. Send your questions about credit cards (and fantasy baseball) to bbridges@bankrate.com.

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 on 0% APR credit cards

Although you might be able to qualify for certain cards with bad or fair credit, you'll probably have to settle for less in two critical areas:
  • The introductory offer could be shorter than the 15- to 18-month range typical among the best zero APR cards.
  • The intro offer could involve a low interest rate rather than a zero interest rate.
  • Credit card issuers typically reserve the top zero-interest intro offers for consumers with good to excellent credit scores (670 FICO and up). Your credit score helps issuers evaluate your ability to repay your debt and how much risk they would take on by adding you as a customer. Before applying for a zero APR credit card, check your credit score and credit report. Make sure to fix any incorrect information on your report that could negatively affect your overall credit
A balance transfer is one of the moves you can make to address debt. A zero-percent APR card is one of the tools you can use to do it. A balance transfer involves moving high-interest debt from one or more credit accounts to a different account (often a balance transfer credit card) with low or zero-percent interest. With a credit card that has a 0% intro APR offer on balance transfers, you're exempt from paying interest on your balance during the promotional period, which usually runs between 12 to 18 months. A small number of cards have 0% intro balance transfer offers lasting 20 or 21 months.
A number of factors play a part in credit card APR, including government regulators and banks' lending standards. Rather than diving into a complicated analysis of the federal funds rate, the prime rate and the constant push and pull of various economic forces, try to focus on one factor that you can directly influence: your credit score. Generally, having a higher credit score means you can qualify for lower APR not only on credit cards but also on personal loans, auto loans, mortgages and other forms of credit. A solid track record of diligently paying what you owe tells potential lenders that they face less risk if they decide to do business with you. With credit cards, different types of APR come into play. Some fluctuate with economic factors and others (such as penalty APR for making late payments) are set by credit card issuers.
It's very unlikely that the issuer of your current credit card would agree to cut your APR to zero percent. When you first signed up for the card, you entered into an agreement that included the obligation to pay a certain amount of interest on outstanding balances. On the other hand, many cardholders are able to get a lower rate (even if it's not zero) by contacting their issuers. It's an easier case to make if you're a longtime customer with a record of making on-time payments. To get zero APR, however, your best bet is still applying for a new card with an introductory zero-interest offer.
Used correctly, a 0% intro APR card can have a positive effect on your credit over the long term. Here are two examples:
  • Balance transfer: If you transfer an outstanding balance to a card with an introductory zero-interest offer, you have an opportunity to pay down the balance while temporarily avoiding the interest you were paying previously. Use the money you're saving on interest to make larger regular payments on the transferred balance and erase the debt faster.
  • Purchase offer: As with a balance transfer, using a 0% intro APR offer on purchases provides a temporary interest-free window to pay off a large purchase. The absence of interest frees up money that you can use to pay off the purchase and get that particular debt off the books faster.
Paying down credit card balances and other debts improves your credit utilization ratio, meaning you have less debt in relation to your available credit. We recommend using no more than 30 percent of the total credit available to you, and making it closer to 25 percent if possible.
Once your zero-interest credit card has served its initial purpose, you might assume you don't need it anymore. Don't be too quick to act on that assumption. Closing the card immediately after you've paid off the debt could undo some of the good work you've done with the zero-interest ofer in three ways:
  1. Reducing your available credit, which raises your credit utilization ratio
  2. Lowering the average age of your credit accounts
  3. Affecting your credit mix
Together, these three factors account for 55 percent of your overall credit score. Your best strategy is to keep the zero-interest card open and use it occasionally to keep the account active, while continuing to pay off the balance on time.

* 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.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.