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Credit cards with an introductory 0% annual percentage rate (APR) are some of the best card offers around. They give you a period of time to help reduce interest you're paying, pay off balances faster and save on big purchases. Some cards offer a 0% intro APR on purchases, some just on balance transfers—and a handful will give you this great promotional rate on both purchases and transfers for a period of time.
The average American carries $5,315 in credit card debt, according to Experian data. If your credit card balance is higher than you'd like and you want a way to reduce the amount you pay interest—or just want some time to pay off a large purchase you're considering—check out our top choices for 0% intro APR credit cards from our partners. In addition to lengthy intro 0% APR periods, these cards offer benefits and perks worth a look.
Chase Freedom Flex℠
With an introductory 0% APR on purchases for 15 months, up to 5% cash back, and an intro bonus worth $200 if you spend $500 on the card within the first 3 months of account opening, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ has much to offer. (After the promotional period, the variable APR is 14.99% to 23.74% depending on your credit.)
Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined eligible purchases in rotating quarterly categories which could include wholesale clubs, internet and streaming services, gas stations and home improvement stores. You also receive 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 31, 2022; 3% cash back on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery) and drugstores; and 1% cash back on all other purchases. A complimentary three-month DashPass subscription on DoorDash and Caviar is also included; then you're automatically enrolled in DashPass at 50% off for the next nine months if you activate by December 31, 2021.
You must activate bonus rewards each quarter to earn 5% cash back on rotating categories. Want a simpler rewards structure? The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card offers similar perks, without rotating categories but with 1.5% cash back (instead of 1%) on all other purchases. You won't pay an annual fee with either card.Read full review
Chase Freedom Flex℠
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases in rotating categories, 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
5% cash back on Travel
3% cash back on Dining
1% cash back on All Other Purchases
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.
- 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 Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining 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.
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card
This card offers an introductory 0% APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases and qualifying balance transfers made within the first 60 days of account opening. (After the promotion, a 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR applies.) The balance transfer fee is the greater of $10 or 3% of the transfer amount. But what really distinguishes the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card is the chance to choose your own rewards categories. If you're a Bank of America customer, make sure to check out their Preferred Rewards Program.
You can earn 3% cash back on one category of your choice, including gas, online shopping, drugstores, home improvement/furnishings, dining or travel. Get rewarded for online shopping around the holidays or home furnishings when you redecorate. You can change your category once per calendar month. Get an automatic 2% cash back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases (up to $2,500 in combined quarterly purchases from your choice category, grocery stores and wholesale clubs) plus unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Spend $1,000 in the first 90 days of account opening and get a $200 online cash rewards bonus too. There is no annual fee.
You may be matched with this and other cards at Experian CreditMatch™
When to Use a 0% Intro APR Credit Card
A 0% intro APR credit card can help:
- Finance a big purchase. Use a card with a 0% intro APR on purchases and get lots of time to pay off your splurge interest-free.
- Pay down credit card debt. If the card offers a balance transfer promotion, you'll be able to transfer high-interest debt to the card and pay it off before the promotional period expires to save on interest.
- Consolidate balances. With multiple credit cards carrying balances, it's easy to miss due dates. Consolidate balances onto a 0% intro APR card that offers a balance transfer promotion to reduce interest and simplify payment.
How to Use 0% Intro APR Credit Cards
Credit cards with an introductory 0% APR on purchases let you make a purchase now and pay it off over the promotional period without paying interest. Those that additionally offer a balance transfer promotion let you transfer balances from one or more existing cards to the new card. In either case, pay off the balance before the promotional period ends, and you'll incur no interest.
Paying off your balance during the introductory period is key to saving with a 0% APR credit card. After that, any remaining balance accrues interest at the standard—potentially high—rate. Make at least minimum monthly payments during the promotional period, or you could lose your 0% APR.
How To Choose a 0% Intro APR Credit Card
When selecting 0% intro APR credit cards, consider:
- How will you use the card? Do you need an introductory APR on purchases, balance transfers or both?
- How long is the 0% introductory period? A longer promotional period gives you more time to pay off balances or purchases.
- What are the fees? Weigh balance transfer fees against potential savings in interest. Check for annual or foreign transaction fees too.
- When must you transfer a balance? Balance transfers must be initiated or completed (clarify which by reading the card's terms) within a certain time; don't miss your window.
- What is the APR after the promotional period expires? A lower ongoing APR is better.
- Are there any perks? Some cards offer both rewards and a 0% intro APR.
- What happens if you pay late? A late payment on some 0% intro APR cards bumps APR to the standard rate or an even higher penalty APR.
- How is interest charged? Know how different transactions are treated. Some, such as cash advances, might incur interest even during the promotional period.
- Where are you transferring a balance from? You usually can't transfer balances between cards from the same issuer.
Getting Approved for a 0% Intro APR Credit Card
You typically need good to excellent credit to get a 0% intro APR credit card. Before applying, review your credit report and credit score. Reducing debt, paying bills on time and not applying for new credit can help boost your score if needed—and get that 0% intro APR card into your wallet.