Best Low-Interest Credit Cards of 2018

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If you’re struggling with some credit card debt or need to make a large purchase, a low-interest credit card with 0% APR for up to 18 months might be right for you. In theory, you should be paying off your balance in full each month, but sometimes things happen, or you want a longer timeframe to pay off big-ticket items. If you’re interested in an interest-free credit card, check out our list, apply online in minutes, and start responsibly enjoying 0% APR today.

Google-X’s best low-interest credit cards for 0% APR

  • Best for balance transfers
  • Best for business purchases
  • Best for everyday purchases
  • Best for cash back rewards

Best for balance transfers


Highlights
Card Highlights Provided by Discover:
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No annual fee.

If the reason you’re looking at low-interest credit cards is to do a balance transfer, then the best card to consider is the . As a cardholder, you’ll benefit from a year and a half of introductory 0% APR on balance transfers giving you a nice, long window to pay down credit card debt without incurring more interest charges. Additionally, you can take advantage of six months of 0% intro APR on new purchases with the card and then the ongoing APR of 13.49% – 24.49% Variable APR.

Another great perk is the rewards. With the card, you’ll earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, you’ll earn 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.

There’s a lot to love about the — 18 months of 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and six months interest-free payments on new purchases (then ongoing 13.49% – 24.49% Variable APR), as well as lots of cash back opportunities!

Best for business purchases


Highlights
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Named "Best Rewards Card for Small Business Owners" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2017
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No Annual Fee

As a small business owner, you may need to make large business purchases time and again, and with the you can take advantage of introductory 0% APR for 12 months on both purchases and balance transfers. If you use the card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months, you’ll also enjoy a $500 signup bonus.

Cardmembers can take advantage of 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year. You’ll also earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent on combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year, plus earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

If the thought of incurring interest is holding you back from growing your small business, then the may be an interest-free credit card to consider.

Best for everyday purchases

Partner Offer

Highlights
  • $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) - that means spending $60 a week at U.S. supermarkets could earn over $180 back per year.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.74% to 25.74%.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Anyone with a large family or who makes a lot of everyday purchases — such as groceries and gas — will benefit from the perks of the , including low interest.

Cardholders will also have the opportunity to earn a lot of cash back. You’ll earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. The high-rates rewards for grocery shopping mean that spending just $60 a week at U.S. supermarkets could earn you more than $180 in cash back per year.

With the you’ll benefit from low interest when doing balance transfers or making large purchases, but then you’ll also benefit from high-rate rewards as you continue to use the card.

Best for cash back rewards


Highlights
Card Highlights Provided by Discover:
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts—Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No annual fee.

If your goal is to pay off a balance or large purchase and earn cash back rewards, then the may be the best option for you. With the second-longest low-interest period on our list, card members will enjoy 14 months of introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers allowing you to pay off balances or large purchases without extra interest costs (then ongoing 13.49% – 24.49% Variable APR).

In addition to the extended low-interest period, cardholders will also enjoy earning 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, you’ll earn 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases. What’s even more exciting is that Discover offers a dollar-for-dollar match of all of your cash back earnings at the end of your first year for new cardmembers.

Anyone wanting to pay off balances with an interest-free credit card while also earning rewards quickly should look into the as an option.

How does a 0 (zero) interest credit card work?

A 0 (zero) interest credit card works to help you pay off a balance or large purchase by extending introductory 0% APR for a set amount of time, typically between 12 and 18 months. This lengthy interest-free window allows you to make payments without incurring extra costs.

For instance, if you were paying $250 a month toward a $3,000 balance on a 15% interest card, it would take you about 14 months to pay it off and cost an extra $268.59 in interest. However, with an interest-free credit card, you could make the same $250 payment a month and pay off the balance in 12 months without paying any extra interest. You can use our debt payoff calculator to explore how different interest rates may affect your debt and payments.

The key is to have a plan to pay your balance off in full before the extended 0% APR period ends. Additionally, you’ll want to keep an eye on balance transfer fees to ensure they won’t cost you more than you’d pay in interest on the original card.

What are balance transfer fees and APR rates?

Balance transfers are among the common reasons for obtaining a low-interest credit card, so APR and its corresponding fees are other key factors. During the introductory 0% APR period, most of the recommended low-interest cards offer 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases. And during the introductory period and after, most of the cards also charge a balance transfer fee. This fee is usually a percentage or set amount — for instance, either $5 or 3% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater.

What is APR and how is it determined?

Credit cards’ interest rates — the price you pay for borrowing money — are generally listed as a yearly rate or annual percentage rate (APR). Upon examining the terms and conditions of each card, you’ll notice that within each APR category, there are often several potential percentages listed, and those percentages are wide-ranging. That range of numbers represents the interest rates you may be charged based on your credit score. In general, the better your credit score, the lower your APR.

Generally, credit card companies calculate their variable interest rates based on the Federal Reserve’s Prime Rate. You should also know that according to 2009’s Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act, your credit card company must notify you 45 days in advance of changing the terms of your agreement, such as updates to interest rates and fees. You must have the opportunity to cancel the card before changes go into effect.

The bottom line

If you have some debt you want to pay off or plan on making a large purchase soon, a low-interest credit card with 0% APR may be an option to give you a longer period of time to make payments without incurring extra costs. The two most important things to consider are the balance transfer fees and the extended APR period. Make sure that the fee is less than you’ll pay in interest on your current card and that you have a plan to pay off the debt or the purchase within the set interest-free timeframe.

Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our rankings and recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. To view a list of partners, click here. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult our advertiser's page for terms & conditions.