We all carry a balance on our credit cards from time to time. Unexpected expenses come up, like medical bills and car repairs. And sometimes you just can’t find another way to get that big ticket item you want. Unfortunately, this can get expensive fast because of the
The good news is that you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by getting an interest-free credit card. These cards will give you a promotional 0% APR period for a year or more.
Let’s take a look at a few of the best cards that offer this valuable perk.
Zero Percent Credit Card That Earns 5% Cash Back: Chase Freedom
The excellent Chase Freedom is a zero interest credit card that does it all. You’ll get an introductory 0% APR period for both purchases and balance transfers, and you’ll earn valuable cashback rewards at a fantastic rate. Plus, you’ll get a solid sign-up bonus and never have to pay an annual fee.
- + 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
- + Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
- + Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend
$500on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of
17.24% to 25.99%. Balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
- Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
- No annual fee
- 3% foreign transaction fee
You’ll start with a quick $150 in your pocket thanks to the card’s sign-up bonus. You have to spend just $500 within the first three months to get the bonus.
You’ll keep earning at a fast pace thanks to the Freedom card’s quarterly bonus categories. Those purchases earn an impressive 5 percent back on up to $1,500 per quarter. Max that out and you’ve got $300 in your pocket every year.
The benefits of this interest-free credit card are many. You can use the card to spread the repayment of a large purchase over a long period of time. You can also transfer balances from your high-interest credit cards. In either case, you’ll get interest-free financing.
Note that balance transfers incur a fee. While there are
Maximize Your Earning by Combining Freedom and Sapphire
If you have one of the premium Chase Ultimate Rewards cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can get even more. That’s because you can transfer the points you earn with the Freedom card to your Sapphire account before redeeming.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- + 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- + No foreign transaction fees
- + 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- No foreign transaction fees
Doing that gives you the option to transfer points to Chase Ultimate Rewards program partners, like airlines and hotels, and redeem directly through them. That can yield a lot of value.
Alternatively, you can purchase travel from just about any hotel or airline through the Ultimate Rewards online travel portal and get more for your points. With the Sapphire Preferred, you’ll get 1.25 cents per point, and the Sapphire Reserve gets 1.5 cents per point. That’s a 25 percent and 50 percent bonus, respectively.
In other words, you could buy a $500 plane ticket through the travel portal for just 33,333 points with the Sapphire Reserve card. Those points are worth just $333 if you redeemed for cash back with the Freedom card. That’s like getting an extra $167 just for having both cards!
You can learn more about the Ultimate Rewards program here.
The Interest-Free Credit Card With the Longest Promotional Period: Citi Simplicity
The Citi Simplicity lives up to its name by simply offering a generous for both purchases and balance transfers, which is one of the longest 0% intro APR periods in the industry. If you need a lot of time to pay off your balance, get this card.
Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever
- + Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day – just say “representative”
- + Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month
- No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
- 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.74% - 26.74%, based on your creditworthiness
- 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.74% - 26.74%, based on your creditworthiness
- If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
- 3% foreign transaction fee
- + There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
While it’s not a rewards or cashback card, Citi Simplicity does not charge late fees or assess a penalty interest rate if you miss a payment. It also keeps costs down by not charging an annual fee. That could make this card a keeper beyond the special introductory interest-free period.
Keep in mind that while balance transfers do not incur interest during the promotional period, they do have a balance transfer fee.
If you want a zero percent credit card with no bells and whistles that
VentureOne Is a Zero Interest Credit Card That Earns Free Travel
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
- $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
- Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
- Earn 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
- Earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
- Transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
- Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 14.24% - 24.24% variable APR after that
- Travel when you want with no blackout dates and fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
- Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
With this no-interest credit card, you’ll earn miles for every purchase you make. Miles can be easily redeemed toward travel purchases at a rate of one cent each.
With this extremely flexible zero interest card, you can use your rewards to buy any travel you want. That includes airfare, taxi rides, train tickets, hotel stays, rental cars and more.
It even comes with a sign-up bonus. Plus, you’ll continue to earn reward miles per dollar for every purchase you make on the card. That’s a real plus for a no-annual-fee card.
Best of all, you’ll be able to take advantage of interest-free financing period for purchases. So you could pay for your next big adventure with this card and pay it off over the next year. Plus, you’ll earn miles for every dollar you spent on that vacation. It’s hard to go wrong with that.
What You Could Save With a No Interest Card
You may be wondering exactly how much you could save with a 0% card. While the math can get complicated, we’ve simplified things to create an easy-to-understand example that shows just how much you might be spending on interest.
If you have a card with a relatively
Granted, those calculations assume that you are not paying off your card balance every month. If you do, you won’t accrue any interest. It also assumes that you aren’t adding to that balance, either. Remember, if you don’t pay off your interest, it will be added to your total balance and will then accrue interest the following month.
In any case, you can see just how much extra money you’re spending just to carry a balance on your card from month to month. You should get a zero percent credit card and start paying down that debt.
What to Look for When Choosing a 0% APR Credit Card
When applying for an interest-free credit card or any credit card for that matter, you should review the pricing and terms and conditions offered.
The financial institution that issues the credit card must disclose all of this information so it’s easily accessible prior to applying for the card. You’ll be able to review the APR charged for each type of transaction, a breakdown of fees you might incur when using the card and the terms and conditions you must follow to avoid incurring fees and interest.
To keep costs down, you’ll also want to select a card that does not charge an annual fee.
0% APR vs. Deferred Interest: What’s the Difference?
While some credit cards have an introductory period offering zero interest on purchases, others offer a deferred interest period. The later is usually offered with co-branded store credit cards. With those cards, interest on a specific purchase is deferred for a certain period of time.
With differed interest, all interest is waived if the purchase is paid off by the deadline. If the purchase is not paid off by the end of the period, interest is added retroactively on the entire purchase price going back to the date that you made the purchase.
As you can imagine, not paying off the balance by the deadline on a deferred interest purchase can cost you a bundle. With the average interest rate on credit cards currently running 16.87 percent, interest costs could be significant. Some cards charge significantly higher default interest rates on deferred interest purchases.
Cards with a promotional 0% APR do not incur interest during the promotional period and do not assess the interest retroactively if you do not pay off your balance by the end of the period. You would be charged the current APR on your balance after the promotional period expires.
Manage Your Zero Percent Interest Credit Card Wisely
You’ll want to manage your interest-free credit card responsibly by making timely payments as a late payment could trigger an end to the promotional interest-free period.
Know when your interest-free period expires and strive to pay off your balance before that date. The terms are very strict, and you will be assessed normal interest charges on any balance left on the account at that time.
Promotional interest-free credit cards offering 0% APR can help you manage your finances when used judiciously and even offer the
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