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 December 2020

Need more information?

Skip down to read our card profiles and expert advice.

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% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. 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 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • 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 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.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • 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 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 and no interest.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms 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:
N/A
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 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 0% APR credit card for rewards

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 Rewards+℠ Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.
Welcome Offer:
Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% intro for 15 months on Purchases
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% intro for 15 months on Balance Transfers
Regular APR:
13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)

Card Details

  • The Citi Rewards+℠ Card - the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap.
  • Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.49% - 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfer fee — either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.49% - 23.49%, 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

Best for cash back in multiple categories

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 Flex℠

Rewards Rate:
Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter! Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase. Earn 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores. Earn 1% 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 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% 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

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 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% intro APR credit card

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 November 11, Bankrate estimates the three-month trend for variable credit card interest rates at 16.02 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 Purchase offer Balance transfer offer Regular APR (Variable) Bankrate Review Score
Chase Freedom Unlimited® 15 months N/A 14.99% – 23.74% 4.6 / 5
(Read full card review)
Discover it® Cash Back 14 months 14 months 11.99% – 22.99% 4.7 / 5
(Read full card review)
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card 15 months N/A 15.49% – 25.49% 4.7 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card 18 months 18 months 14.74% – 24.74% 4.1 / 5
(Read full card review)
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express 0% intro APR for 15 months N/A 13.99% – 23.99% 4.5 / 5
(Read full card review)
Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card 0% – 5.99% APR for 12 months 0% APR for 12 months 13.24% – 23.24% variable N/A
Citi® Double Cash Card N/A 18 months 13.99% – 23.99% variable 4.7 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi Rewards+℠ Card 15 months 15 months 13.49% – 23.49% 4.6 / 5
(Read full card review)
Alliant Visa® Platinum Credit Card 0% APR for 12 months 0% APR for 12 months 10.24%–22.24% variable N/A
Chase Freedom Flex℠ 15 billing cycles N/A 14.99% – 23.74% 4.5 / 5
(Read full card review)
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card 15 months N/A 15.49% – 25.49% 4.6 / 5
(Read full card review)
American Express Cash Magnet® Card 0% intro APR for 15 months N/A 13.99%-23.99% 4.4 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi Simplicity® Card 18 months 18 months 14.74% – 24.74% 4.4 / 5
(Read full card review)
Wells Fargo Platinum card 18 months 18 months (on qualifying) 15.49% – 24.99% 4.1 / 5
(Read full card review)
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card 15 months 15 months (on qualifying) 13.99%-25.99% variable 4.5 / 5
(Read full card review)
Discover it® Balance Transfer see terms see terms see terms 4.6 / 5
(Read full card review)

A closer look at our top zero APR credit cards

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 2020 title.

Review for Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards 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.

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.

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® benefit for more flexibility in payment options on a large purchase.

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 Rewards+℠ Card

Best for rewards

A credit card doesn’t have to be part of an extravagant lifestyle. The Citi Rewards+ can help you do a couple of simple but smart things. One is earning rewards (2X ThankYou Points at supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 in combined purchases per year, plus 1x ThankYou Points on all other purchases). The second is temporarily avoiding interest on purchases and balance transfers (0% intro APR for 15 months, then 13.49% – 23.49% variable APR).

How to maximize this card’s long-term value

If you spend $6,000 or more at supermarkets and gas stations each year, you’ll maximize the value of that 2X Points category. Also, the Citi Rewards+ rounds up all rewards to the nearest 10 points and offers 10 percent points back on the first 100,000 points you redeem every year.

Read our Citi Rewards+℠ Card 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.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Best for cash back in multiple categories

If your first priority is introductory APR on purchases, this card offers the intro rate of 0% APR for the first 15 billing cycles (14.99% – 23.74% variable after). In addition to the intro offer, the Chase Freedom Flex earns exceptional cash back rates in categories including restaurants, drugstore purchases and, for the first year, up to $12,000 in grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) .

How to maximize this card’s long-term value

The 5 percent cash back returns on up to $12,000 in grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) are generous, but that rate applies only during your first year. Still, the other high-earning categories (5 percent on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, 3 percent at restaurants and 3 percent on drugstore purchases) are open-ended. The card also earns 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in Chase’s rotating bonus categories each quarter you activate. The long-term cash back earnings are potentially huge.

Read our Chase Freedom Flex℠ 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 0% APR offer on qualifying balance transfers (15.49% – 24.99% 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.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card

Best for digital wallet users

If you regularly reach for your phone instead of your wallet when it’s time to pay, this card could be the zero-interest option you’ve been looking for. The introductory APR offer lasts 15 months, after which you’ll pay 13.99% – 25.99% variable. The added incentive for digital wallet users is the 1.8 percent cash rewards rate on qualified purchases such as Apple Pay® or Google Pay™, during your first 12 months. (The rate for regular purchases is 1.5 percent.)

How to maximize this card’s long-term value

The 1.8 percent cash rewards on qualified digital wallet purchases goes away after your first 12 months, but the regular rate of 1.5 percent on all purchases can still provide a reliable source of rewards. Don’t forget that using the card to pay your monthly cellphone bill makes you eligible for up to $600 protection against covered damage or theft, with a $25 deductible.

Read our Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® 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.


What is a 0% intro 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.

Fortunately, credit cards with introductory 0% APR 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 interest charges 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 the high cost of interest.

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.

Learn more with Bankrate: Should you use a credit card for large purchases?

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 unpaid 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.

Learn more with Bankrate: Try out the Credit Card Balance Transfer Calculator.

Purchase or balance transfer? Get the right card for the job

Most of the cards we’ve chosen offer an introductory 0% APR rate on both purchases and balance transfers, for the same period of time. If you’re only interested in transferring a balance, you can check out our list of Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards.

Also, don’t forget that some balance transfer 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.

Regardless of what kind of debt you’re transferring, though, you might have to pay the credit card issuer a fee. The typical balance transfer fee can range from 3 percent to 5 percent of the amount being transferred. A small number of cards charge no fee for balance transfers, but in some cases the trade-off might be a shorter intro period or an offer of low interest rather than zero interest.

CardSmart: A zero-percent intro offer in action

Expert advice on choosing and using credit cards from BankrateLast December, 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:

Balance Term Interest 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 to choose the right zero interest credit card

Which type of credit card you should get depends on your long-term goals for the card.

  • To pay for a large purchase: 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.
  • To transfer a balance or consolidate debt: Pay attention to the length of the balance transfer offer (the longer, the better) and the balance transfer fee.
  • To get long-term value out of the card. Do you want to be able to earn rewards long after the zero-interest intro offer ends? Look for a card that offers a generous rewards program for cash back or travel.

Sometimes, though, a 0% intro APR credit card might not be the best option. If you want to make a purchase you know you won’t be able to pay off within the offer period, it might be better to look at your personal loan options. Personal loans charge a much lower interest rate than credit cards, so even if you have to pay some money in interest, you’ll still be saving.

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:

The big buy

You spend $3,000 on a big purchase (a vacation, for example) using a credit card.

With your regular card

The average credit card interest rate is about 16 percent. If you were to isolate the $3,000 vacation purchase 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.

With a 0% intro 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.

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

Looking only at the length of introductory offers, the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card has a 2-month edge among currently available competitors:

Card Purchase offer Balance transfer offer Regular APR (Variable)
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card 20 months 20 months 13.99% – 23.99%
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card 18 months 18 months 14.74% – 24.74%
Citi Simplicity® Card 18 months 18 months 14.74% – 24.74%
Wells Fargo Platinum card 18 months 18 months (on qualifying) 15.49% – 24.99%

While the introductory offers are the key feature of 0% intro APR credit cards, they aren’t the only feature. You should also factor in the card’s long-term value. For instance, many of the zero-interest cards with the longest offers don’t have rewards programs.

Maybe the length of the introductory offer isn’t your only priority. If you want to strike a balance between a card’s 0% intro APR benefits and its rewards programs, consider options such as:

Citi Rewards+℠ Card

Purchase and balance transfer offers: 15 months at 0% intro APR, 13.49% – 23.49% variable APR after

Rewards: 2X ThankYou Points at supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 in combined purchases per year, 1x ThankYou Points on all other purchases

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card

Purchase and qualifying balance transfer offers: 15 months at 0% intro APR, 14.49%-24.99% variable APR after

Rewards: 1.5 percent cash rewards on purchases, with qualified digital wallet purchases earning 1.8 percent during your first 12 months

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Purchase offer: 0% intro APR for 15 months, 13.99% – 23.99% variable APR after

Rewards: 3 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 2 percent cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1 percent cash back on other purchases

What to do when the zero-interest period ends

Should you cancel the card after the purchase or transfer is paid off? Once a zero-interest APR 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.

Canceling a credit card could have a negative effect on your credit score. The reason involves credit utilization, the relationship between two numbers: how much available credit you have vs. how much of that credit you’re using. A canceled credit card lowers the first number, which means you’ll use more of the credit left available to you.

Why is higher credit utilization potentially a problem? It could give lenders the impression that you’re having financial difficulties and make it seem like you’re more of a credit risk.

If you’ve used a 0 interest card for a credit card balance transfer, you should also think carefully before canceling the original card — yes, the one that got you into debt in the first place. Even with a card that doesn’t get much use, putting it in a drawer while leaving the account open could keep your credit score from taking the hit from a cancellation. Also, longstanding accounts generally look good on your credit score.

A 0% APR card can affect your credit in a number of ways, depending on how you use the card. If you’re using your card to consolidate debt, it can actually help boost your credit score over time. A large factor in determining your credit score is your credit utilization ratio. By consolidating and paying down credit card balances, you’re lowering that ratio.

In addition, if you use a zero APR credit card to pay off a large purchase over time, you can boost your credit score just by showing lenders that you can consistently make on-time payments.

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.

Frequently asked questions on 0% intro APR credit cards

What determines the APR on a credit card?

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 the 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.

Should you pay off a 0% APR credit card?

If you get a zero-APR card to transfer a balance or pay for a big purchase, pay off the debt as quickly as you can — but don’t cancel the card once you’re done.
The best use of a zero-APR credit card involves avoiding interest during the intro period. The temporary interest-free window can help you reduce debt faster and improve your credit score, in addition to saving money on the interest charges you’d otherwise pay. However, canceling the card immediately after you’ve paid off the debt could undo some of the good work you’ve done for your credit score 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.

Also, making this card a long-term addition to your wallet means you should try to choose one that doesn’t charge an annual fee — or at least an annual fee that you think you can afford.

Do no interest credit cards hurt your credit?

The APR you pay on a credit card has no direct impact on your credit score. However, a 0% APR credit card could help you lower your credit utilization ratio, which counts for 30 percent of your credit score. Here are two examples:

  • 0% APR balance transfer offer. 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.
  • 0% APR 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.

Having less debt in relation to your available credit lowers your credit utilization ratio. We recommend using no more than 30 percent of the total credit available to you, and making it closer to 25 percent if possible.

What’s the difference between a balance transfer and a zero-percent APR card?

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.

Can you get a zero interest card with bad or fair credit?

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:

  1. The introductory offer could be shorter than the 15- to 18-month range typical among the best zero APR cards.
  2. 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


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.

* 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.