Martin Dimitrov/Getty Images

Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on the website are from companies from which this site receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers.

 

In this article:

Bankrate’s best low interest credit cards
Reviews of our 10 favorite cash back cards
How to get a card with a low interest rate
Pros and cons of low interest credit cards
How to save money with a low APR card
Balance transfers onto low interest cards
Low interest vs 0 interest
How to choose the right low interest card for your situation
Recap: Expert takes on our favorite low interest cards

Bankrate’s best low interest credit cards

Editor’s takes on our 10 favorite low interest credit cards

Capital One Venture Rewards Card

If you’re looking for a card with a low cost of ownership and easy-to-earn flexible rewards, look no further. The Capital One Venture Rewards Card earns an unlimited 2X the miles on every $1 spent and you can redeem those miles to book travel anyway you like.

Highlights:

  • The $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
  • Use Capital One’s “Purchase Eraser” to receive a statement credit for travel booked anyway you choose.
  • There are no blackout dates and no restrictions.

Blue Cash EveryDay Card from American Express

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

Highlights:

  • Earnings are automatic, there’s no enrollment or rotating categories to keep track of.
  • There’s no annual fee.
  • There’s an introductory 15-month 0% APR offer on purchases and balance transfers. After that, the standard variable APR of 14.74% to 25.74% will apply.

Discover it® Cash Back

The Discover it® Cash Back earns 5% back at different places each quarter like gas stations, supermarkets and wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Enroll every quarter to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases made in various categories throughout the year. Earn an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Highlights:

  • At the end of the first year, Discover will match dollar-for-dollar all of your earnings.
  • With this card, the first late payment fee is waived.
  • There’s a 14-month 0% APR introductory interest rate on purchases and balance transfers. Following the intro period, the standard APR is a variable 13.49% to 24.49% based on your creditworthiness.

Citi Double Cash Card

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

Highlights:

  • This card comes with trip insurance and purchase protections.
  • There’s an 18-month 0% introductory APR on balance transfers. After that, the variable APR will be 15.24% – 25.24% based on your creditworthiness.
  • Rewards can be redeemed in several ways—as a statement credit, a check or a gift card.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

If you’re up for the challenge of pairing the Chase Freedom Unlimited card with one of the two Chase Sapphire cards, you could potentially squeeze even greater value than the 1.5% cash back offered on this card alone. If you transfer the rewards to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, for example, points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through the Chase portal, and a whopping 50% more for Chase Sapphire cardholders when redeemed for travel through the Chase portal.

Highlights:

  • There’s no annual fee to own this card.
  • This card comes with an introductory 0% APR for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Points can be redeemed for statement credits, gift cards or transferred to another eligible Chase card.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise

If you’re already banking with Wells Fargo, it may be worth your while to consider adding the Wells Fargo Cash Wise card to your roster. The card offers holders 1.5% cash back, which may seem pedestrian at first glance but there’s a first-year bonus of an extra 0.3% back on all purchases made using Apple Pay or Android Pay.

Highlights:

  • Rewards can be deposited into your eligible Wells Fargo bank account, via ATM or credited towards your Wells Fargo mortgage.
  • If you pay your mobile phone bill with this card, you’ll be eligible for up to $600 worth of theft or damage to your device minus a $25 deductible.
  • Rewards can be pooled with another Wells Fargo cardholder.

Citi ThankYou Preferred Card

If a big part of your disposable income goes towards dining and entertainment, you could benefit from the rewards structure of the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card. All purchases on food and fun earn 2 ThankYou points per $1 spent.

Highlights:

  • Citi’s definition of entertainment is broad and includes things like museums and amusement parks.
  • There’s no ownership fee with this card.
  • This card comes with an introductory 15-month 0% APR offer on purchases and balance transfers. After that, the standard variable APR of 15.24% – 25.24% will apply.

Chase Slate

If you’re trying to get a handle on your credit card debt, shifting what you owe to a balance transfer card might help you pay down your debt faster. The Chase Slate card offers new cardholders 15 months at 0% interest on balance transfers and purchases so you can put more money towards the principal and less towards interest during the promotional period.

Highlights:

  • Most cards charge a balance transfer fee of 3% to 5%, the Chase Slate does not charge a balance transfer fee within 60 days of opening an account.
  • There’s no penalty APR, annual fee or overlimit fees on this card.
  • This card comes with fraud protection and purchase protection.

Discover it® Miles

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

Highlights:

  • There’s no annual fee, penalty fee or foreign transaction fees.
  • For 14 months, there’s a 0% APR offer. After that, the standard variable APR of 13.49% to 24.49% will apply.
  • Rewards can be redeemed in any amount as cash back or airline miles.

The Amex Everyday Credit Card from American Express

If you’re looking for a card that has a solid 0% offer, but want it be a card you’ll use long after the introductory period ends, The Amex Everyday Credit Card from American Express delivers. It’s one of the only cards on the market that also won’t charge you a balance transfer fee for transfers made within the first 60 days of opening the account.

Highlights:

  • There’s an introductory 15-month 0% APR offer on purchases and balance transfers. After that, the variable APR of 14.74% to 25.74% will apply.
  • Earn 2X points for every $1 spent on U.S. supermarket shopping, up to an annual cap of $6,000. After that, earn 1 point for every $1 spent.
  • Get a 20% point bonus if you use your card 20 times or more within a billing cycle.

How to get a credit card with a low interest rate

Owning a credit card with a low interest rate can save you money. If you qualify for the lowest rate offered by the issuer, and you typically carry a balance, you’ll pay less over time than if your rates were higher.

There’s also an option with some cards to get an introductory 0 percent interest rate on purchases, balance transfers or both. The length of time at 0 percent interest typically ranges from 12 months to as long as 21 months, after which the standard variable APR will apply.

When choosing a card with low interest or a 0 interest sign-up offer, consider your spending habits first. If you almost always carry a balance, you may be better off with a card that has a set low interest rate then one at 0 percent that will likely jump up to double digits when the promotional period is over.

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

Pros and cons of low interest cards

Low interest credit cards are typically good for balance transfers and large purchases. However, these cards typically come with limited sign-up bonuses.

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

How to save money with a low APR card

The current average variable APR on a credit card is between 16 percent to 17 percent. If you typically carry a balance, you can benefit by switching to a card with a lower APR. For example, if you have a balance of $10,000 on a card with an APR of 16 percent, over the course of a year of you leave that balance untouched, you’ll accrue and additional $1,600 in finance charges. But, shift that balance to a card with an introductory 15-month 0 percent offer and after a year, that same $10,000 balance won’t have racked up any finance charges, saving you $1,600.

Balance transfers onto low interest cards

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

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

Low interest vs. 0 interest

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

How to choose the right low interest card for your situation

Choosing the right low interest card can be daunting. It’s important to consider not just the short-term benefits but how you’ll use the card in the years ahead.

In general, if you typically carry a balance on your credit card, it’s probably best to choose a card that has a low APR over one with an introductory 0 percent offer, as once the offer expires, the variable APR is likely to be higher than that of a card that has a consistently a low interest rate.

But, if you’re looking to make an expensive purchase and want to pay it off over time, a card with an introductory 0 percent offer might make sense, especially if you find a card that has some lasting value to you after the welcome offer.

Recap: Expert takes on our favorite low interest credit cards

Card name Bankrate score Best for
Capital One Venture Rewards Card 94/100 Flexible rewards
Blue Cash EveryDay Card from American Experss 89/100 Everyday spending
Discover it® Cash Back 93/100 First year rewards
Citi Double Cash Card 94/100 Flate-rate cash back
Chase Freedom Unlimited 92/100 Paired value
Wells Fargo Cash Wise 90/100 Wells Fargo bank customers
Citi ThankYou Preferred Card 78/100 Dining and entertainment
Chase Slate 92/100 Balance transfers
Discover it® Miles 95/100 Travel rewards
The Amex Everyday Credit Card from American Express 86/100 Frequent use

CARD SEARCH: Pay off debt cheaply with a low-interest credit card.


This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by any of the referenced financial institutions or companies. Opinions, analysis, reviews or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any financial institutions or companies, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such entity. All products or services are presented without warranty. Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. This post contains references to our partners, and Bankrate may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on certain links posted on this website.