Best 0% Intro APR Credit Cards to Keep Holiday Debt Under Control

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Buying holiday gifts for friends, family and (let's face it) yourself is one of the joys of the season. Not so joyful: Getting your credit card bill in January. You can make the post-holiday blues a little less painful by using a credit card with an introductory 0% annual percentage rate (APR) on purchases. Put your holiday purchases on one of these cards and as long as you pay off the balance before the promotional financing period ends, you won't pay any fees or interest.

To help you make the most of your holiday budget, we've sorted through the offers to uncover the credit cards with the best promotional financing. Some even offer an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers, for even more savings potential. Here are four credit cards that can help keep you out of holiday debt.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

With a 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases, the opportunity to earn bonus cash, and solid cash back rewards in a variety of categories, the new Chase Freedom Flex℠ card has a lot to offer at any time of year—but especially right now. Through March 31, 2022, you'll also earn 5% cash back on Lyft rides. Keep in mind, once the intro APR period ends, your rate will change to 14.99% to 23.74% variable depending on your creditworthiness.

Purchases made with the card are protected against damage and theft for up to 120 days up to $500 per claim by purchase protection, and you can extend the manufacturer's warranty on eligible purchases for an additional year—nice perks for your gift recipients. Since the holidays are prime time for credit card fraud and identity theft, it's good to know the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card protects you with 24/7 monitoring, fraud alerts and $0 liability for unauthorized purchases. If your identity is compromised, Chase provides no-cost identity restoration services.

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ continues to deliver long after the holidays end. You'll also get 3% cash back on restaurant purchases, including takeout and delivery. Use the card to sign up and get a complimentary three-month access to DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service, for unlimited deliveries with no delivery fee on eligible orders over $12 when you activate by December 31, 2021. Once your complimentary subscription ends, you're eligible for a 50% discount on DashPass for the next nine months.

Is holiday travel in your plans? You'll earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Use the card on your trip to get auto collision damage waiver coverage, trip cancellation insurance of up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip, and travel and emergency assistance services away from home. Chase Freedom Flex℠ also gives you access to the perks of the World Elite Mastercard® benefits program, including cellphone insurance of up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year for each phone whose monthly bill is paid with the card.

If you're not planning to shop at Walmart or with PayPal for the holidays, consider the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card. It features the same 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases (14.99% to 23.74% variable once the intro period ends) and most of the same benefits, but without the rotating quarterly categories. Instead, it bumps the 1% cash back on all other purchases that the Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers up to 1.5%.

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Apply

on Chase's website

Apply

on Chase's website

APR

14.99% - 23.74% Variable

Intro APR: 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

Rewards

5% cash back on Rotating Categories

5% cash back on Travel

3% cash back on Dining

1% cash back on All Other Purchases

Intro Bonus

Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

Annual Fee

$0

Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card

If you want a simple cash back card that also offers special financing, look no further than the Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card. This card offers 2% cash back on all your eligible spending—whether that's gifts for your family and friends or groceries for a holiday dinner.

You can pay for new purchases and lingering debt over time thanks to an intro 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. Once the introductory period ends, an ongoing 14.99% to 24.99% variable APR applies.

Balance transfers need to be requested within 120 days of account opening to qualify for the intro APR and the promotional 3% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum). After 120 days, the fee rises to 5% with a $5 minimum.

Apply

on Wells Fargo's website

Rates and Fees

Apply

on Wells Fargo's website

Rates and Fees

APR

14.99%-24.99% (Variable)

Intro APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers

Rewards

2% cash back on Purchases

Intro Bonus

Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$0

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

With the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you can finance your holiday spending with 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months. After the intro period ends, the card's ongoing 14.99% to 23.74% variable APR kicks in.

In addition to special financing, your spending earns cash back. Earn 5% cash back on travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back on dining and at drugstores and 1.5% cash back on all other eligible purchases. The cash back you earn can later be used to offset your holiday bills.

This card also offers a $200 intro bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, you'll earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year—which can come in handy if you're entertaining guests.

Read full review
Apply

on Chase's website

Apply

on Chase's website

APR

14.99% - 23.74% Variable

Intro APR: 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

Rewards

5% cash back on Travel

3% cash back on Dining & Drugstores

1.5% cash back on All Other Purchases

Intro Bonus

Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

Annual Fee

$0

How to Use 0% Intro APR Credit Cards for Holiday Spending

Credit cards offering 0% intro APR on purchases can help you make the most of your holiday budget without racking up interest on your purchases. If the card also offers an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers, you can save some money by transferring high-interest balances from other credit cards.

The key to saving money with these cards is to pay off the balance before the introductory period expires. After that, your APR rises to the standard rate, and you'll start accruing interest on any balance. The APR on some of these cards is fairly high, so if you've let a large balance build up on the card, interest will start adding up quickly.

Qualifying for credit cards offering introductory 0% APR usually requires good to exceptional credit. You can use the Experian CreditMatch™ tool to see credit card offers matched to your credit profile. If you don't see any 0% intro APR offers, it could be a sign that your credit score needs improvement. Signing up for Experian Boost , a free service that gives you credit for your on-time utility, telecom and Netflix® payments, can help to increase your credit score quickly.

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