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Best 0% Interest Credit Cards of 2019

Jennifer Blocker
Updated on: 01/14/2019

Although I recommend never carrying a balance on a credit card, there are times when it may be necessary. When unforeseen circumstances arise, you might have to spend beyond your means. Credit cards can offer you a lifeline in an emergency. If you need to finance a large purchase, a credit card with 0% interest is one of the best options. Many of these cards will give you at least a year to pay and some may give you up to 21 months of interest-free financing. They are a much better choice than store cards or special financing, which can leave you with an unexpected lump sum of interest to pay. Wouldn’t it be better to get rewards instead?

6 Top Rated 0% Credit Cards

When you use your credit cards right, they can be extremely rewarding. Beyond just getting points or miles, 0% interest cards can help you buy the things you need when you might not be able to purchase them outright, all while avoiding interest. As we know, paying interest negates the value of rewards. And although I never advise spending beyond your means, there are circumstances which may make this necessary. Don’t settle for just any card, compare the rewards and benefits that come with a variety of cards to find the best one for you. The details can be crucial, especially when it comes to making a big purchase. You can’t use the benefits and maximize your rewards if you don’t know what they are.

Apply for a 0 Interest Credit Card from Our Partner

Apply for a 0 Interest Credit Card from Our Partner
Learn More
Intro APR on Purchases
0% (up to 15 months)
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% (up to 15 months)
Regular APR
See Site
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Program
Miles or Cashback
about this credit card:
    • Summer 2019: Best 0% Credit Cards on Purchases
    • Clicking "Apply Now" will take you to the Credit-Land.com website to view card offers
    • Saving with 0% Intro APR
    • Offers Available for Excellent and Good Credit
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Learn More
Intro APR on Purchases
0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months
Regular APR
15.74% - 25.74% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Program
Capital One® Cash Back Rewards
about this credit card:
    • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
    • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
    • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
    • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.74% - 25.74% variable APR after that
    • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 15.74% - 25.74% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
    • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees

Travel Benefits

Travel Upgrades and Savings:

With your access to the Luxury Hotels & Resorts program, you can enjoy complimentary room upgrades, early check in and late checkout, subject to availability.

Travel Protection:

Get reimbursed up to $1,500 per trip for non-refundable travel costs if your trip is canceled or ends early.

Wi-Fi:

Only A-List Preferred status members get inflight Wi-Fi at no charge.

Why should you get this card?

  • Great Earning Potential: For every purchase you make you’ll earn 1.5% cash back. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
  • Hassle-Free Redemptions: You can redeem your cashback at any time with no minimums! You’ll either get a statement credit or a check in the mail—whatever works for you.
  • Great Sign-Up Bonus: This card comes with a sign-up bonus of $150 after spending only $500 within the first 3 months. After a few cell phone payments and trips to the grocery store, you’ll have a cool $150 very quickly!
  • No Annual Fee: No matter how you use your card, you won’t pay an annual fee. You don’t have to worry about paying a hefty annual fee and all the rewards are all yours.

Our Expert's Conclusion

Capital One’s Quicksilver card is a great card for earning cash back. If you want to simplify your wallet and you value cash more than miles and points, this is the card for you. Since you can earn 1.5 percent back on every single purchase you make and never pay an annual fee, you can earn some serious cash on everyday purchases, big ticket items, all types of travel or whatever else you choose.

Again, since this card has no annual fee, there’s little downside to the Quicksilver credit card. Yet, it still comes with the elevated MasterCard World Elite protections. As far as travel cards go, this is not a premium card that helps earn status, free checked bags or lounge access, but if you’re an occasional traveler or prefer to fly economy, this card is still a good bet. The cashback you earn can be used toward travel or any other purchase you make. Flexibility makes this a great card.

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.74% - 25.74% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 15.74% - 25.74% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

Intro APR on Purchases
0%* 12 months on Purchases*
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0%* 21 months on Balance Transfers*
Regular APR
16.49% - 26.49%* (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Program
Citi Simplicity®
about this credit card:
    • 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 16.49% - 26.49%, based on your creditworthiness
    • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.49% - 26.49%, 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
    • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
    • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
    • 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

Featured Benefits

Citi Price Rewind:

Citi’s Price Rewind will automatically track the price of your purchase at hundreds of stores and retailers and give you the difference. It’s a great benefit!

Choose your payment date:

You won’t pay any interest as long as you make the minimum payment on time each month.

Free FICO credit score:

Every Citi card gives you free FICO scores for easy credit monitoring.

Why should you get this card?

  • Saving on Purchases: With the 0% introductory APR, all purchases you make – whether big or small – won’t accrue any interest charges during the promotional interest period. This is especially convenient if you have an unexpected expense, or maybe your income is seasonal or varies from month to month. As long as you make the minimum payment each month, your 0% introductory period will continue.
  • Saving on Balance Transfers: The Simplicity card not only comes with a great intro APR for purchases, but it also extends to any balance transfer you complete within the first four months of being approved. Once you initiate your balance transfer, it can take Citi up to 14 days to complete the payment to your other bank, but then that transferred balance will also have a 0% interest rate.

Our Expert's Conclusion

The Citi Simplicity card is consumer friendly, offering benefits not commonly found with other credit cards. Once approved, all your purchases for the first 12 months will not accrue any interest charges. Additionally, if you make a balance transfer within the first four months of opening your account, that balance will also get up to of no interest. Both are amazing offers!

How does this work? Your interest rate for those 12 months is set at 0% as opposed to a low or standard credit card interest rate. Don’t get carried away, though, because you still have a credit limit, and after those 12 months are up, you have to start paying interest on any remaining balance.

  • 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 16.49% - 26.49%, based on your creditworthiness
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.49% - 26.49%, 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
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • 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
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
Learn More
Intro APR on Purchases
0% intro on purchases for 12 months
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
N/A
Regular APR
13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Program
Venture® Rewards
about this 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; 13.74% - 23.74% 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

Travel Benefits

Travel Upgrades and Savings:

Free upgrades and discounts at select hotels and resorts are part of the Visa Signature card benefits.

Complimentary Concierge Service:

Enjoy free assistance 24-hours a day, even while you’re traveling.

No Foreign Transaction Fee:

Use your card anywhere in the world and never pay additional fees.

Why should you get this card?

  • Great Earning Potential: You’ll get bonus points for every purchase you make. No matter what you buy, you’ll earn 1.25 miles for every dollar spent. Those miles will add up fast.
  • Hassle-Free Redemptions: Miles can be applied to any travel purchases, not just airfare. On top of that, you don’t have to worry about blackout dates or limited award space because you buy the travel you want and then apply miles to the purchase.
  • No Annual Fee: It’s hard to be a rewards card that does not charge an annual fee. Every reward you earn is essentially free!
  • Sign-Up Bonus: For a no-fee card, 20,000 miles is an excellent sign-up bonus. It’s worth $200 in travel. All you have to do is spend $1,000 during the first three months you have the card.

Our Expert's Conclusion

If you’re looking for a no-fee rewards card that offers a solid sign-up bonus and hassle-free redemptions, than the the VentureOne card from Capital One is a great option. You’ll get 20,000 miles worth $200 for spending just $1,000 in 90 days, plus you’ll earn a generous 1.25 miles per dollar for every purchase.

Getting the card is a risk-free proposition because it won’t cost you a penny. Whatever miles you earn with the card are pure profit because there aren’t any fees. You can even use the card while traveling internationally, since there are no foreign transaction fees either.

  • $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; 13.74% - 23.74% 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
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

Intro APR on Purchases
0% 15 months on Purchases
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% 15 months on Balance Transfers
Regular APR
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Program
ThankYou®
about this credit card:
    • Enjoy 0% Intro APR on purchases for 15 months from date of account opening and 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer; after that, the variable APR will be 15.24% - 25.24% based upon your creditworthiness
    • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
    • Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment
    • Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases
    • Points are redeemable for gift cards to popular retailers, restaurants, and department and home stores. 2,500 ThankYou® Points can be redeemed for a $25 gift card at thankyou.com
    • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
    • No annual fee

Travel Benefits

Citi Private Pass:

Get special access to tickets to many concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more, including presale and VIP packages.

Foreign Transaction Fee:

You’ll pay a 3% fee for each transaction not in U.S. dollars.

Citi Concierge:

Specially-trained staff members are ready to help you with travel, shopping, dining, entertainment and everyday needs.

Why should you get this card?

  • Great Earning Potential: You’ll get bonus points on all purchases in the dining and entertainment categories. Before you know it, you’ll have a stash of points after a few nights out on the town.
  • No Annual Fees: Earning rewards is fast, easy and costs nothing. They say that nothing in this world is free, except cheese in a mouse trap… and, apparently, ThankYou points.
  • 0% APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 12 months: Although I do not recommend opening a new credit card while carrying debt, it’s nice to have the option to consolidate balances and pay them off within a year with no interest.
  • Points Don’t Expire: There’s no limit to the number of points you can earn, and points don’t expire as long as the card is open. No annual fees make holding on to this card a no-brainer.

Our Expert's Conclusion

If you’re looking for a credit card that has no annual fee and earns bonus points in multiple categories, then the Citi ThankYou Preferred card is a good option. It’s also a great card for someone who wants to start earning rewards but is intimidated by complicated redemption options and point transfers.

Applying for this card costs nothing and you won’t pay a dime to keep it year after year. There’s absolutely no risk for the cardholder. Earning points means rewards at no cost.

  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR on purchases for 15 months from date of account opening and 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer; after that, the variable APR will be 15.24% - 25.24% based upon your creditworthiness
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment
  • Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases
  • Points are redeemable for gift cards to popular retailers, restaurants, and department and home stores. 2,500 ThankYou® Points can be redeemed for a $25 gift card at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No annual fee
Rating: 90/100
Chase Freedom®
Learn More
Intro APR on Purchases
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
Regular APR
17.24% to 25.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Program
Ultimate Rewards®
about this credit card:
    • 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
    • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
    • 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.
    • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
    • No annual fee

Featured Benefits

Foreign Transaction Fee:

Best to leave this one at home when you travel abroad. You’ll be a 3% fee on all international transactions.

Why should you get this card?

  • Awesome Earning Potential: You’ll get 5 points per dollar spent in rotating bonus categories. The categories, which typically include everyday expenses like gas, dining out and groceries, change every quarter.
  • No Annual Fee: With no annual fee, the Freedom card is easy to add to your arsenal of rewards cards. It’s also great for building credit since you can keep it forever at no cost and increase the age of your credit.
  • Solid Sign-Up Bonus: While the 150 points sign-up bonus isn’t the biggest you’ll find, it isn’t bad for a no-fee card!
  • Compliments Other Ultimate Rewards Cards: It’s easy and free to transfer the points you earn with this card to other UR cards. And if you have a premium UR card, like the Sapphire Preferred, you’ll get even more value out of your points.

Our Expert's Conclusion

The short answer is yes! With no annual fee and impressive earning potential, this card is really a no-brainer. Even if you don’t have a premium Ultimate Rewards card, the Chase Freedom is still an excellent cashback card.

The only drawback is that it takes a little bit of work to get the most out of this card. You have to register every quarter for the bonus categories, and you have to remember what they are when you’re making purchases. You don’t want to use this card for all of your spending because it earns only one point per dollar in non-bonus categories.

  • 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
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 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.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee

Compare 0% Interest Credit Cards

If you're making a big purchase consider a card that offers 0% on purchases for a year or more. Avoid interest payments while you pay off the charges. We rank the cards here by interest rates and annual fees for comparison.

Credit Card
Intro APR on Purchases
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Intro APR on Purchases
0% intro on purchases for 12 months
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
N/A
Regular APR
13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Intro APR on Purchases
0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months
Regular APR
15.74% - 25.74% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0
Intro APR on Purchases
0% introductory APR for the first 15 months
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on balance transfers requested within 60 days of account opening
Regular APR
14.74% to 25.74% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0
Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

Intro APR on Purchases
0% introductory APR for the first 12 months
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% introductory APR for the first 12 months on balance transfers requested within 60 days of account opening
Regular APR
14.74% to 24.74% Variable±
Annual Fee
$95
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Intro APR on Purchases
0% introductory APR for the first 12 months
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% introductory APR for the first 12 months on balance transfers requested within 60 days of account opening
Regular APR
15.24%-26.24%
Annual Fee
$95
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Intro APR on Purchases
0% introductory APR for the first 15 months
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on balance transfers requested within 60 days of account opening
Regular APR
14.99% to 25.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$0
Intro APR on Purchases
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
Regular APR
16.74% - 25.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$0
Intro APR on Purchases
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
Regular APR
17.24% to 25.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$0
Intro APR on Purchases
0% Intro APR for the first 15 billing cycles that your Account is open
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% Intro APR for the first 15 billing cycles that your Account is open
Regular APR
16.49% to 25.24% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0
Disney® Premier Visa® Card

Disney® Premier Visa® Card

Intro APR on Purchases
0% Promo APR for the first six months following the purchase date on select Disney vacation packages or purchase of a real estate interest, including a Member Add On, in a Disney Vacation Club® Resort, provided your account is not past due on the purchase date
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
N/A
Regular APR
17.49% Variable±
Annual Fee
$49
Intro APR on Purchases
0% Promo APR for the first six months following the purchase date on select Disney vacation packages or purchase of a real estate interest, including a Member Add On, in a Disney Vacation Club® Resort, provided your account is not past due on the purchase date
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
N/A
Regular APR
17.49% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% to 24.49% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0
Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

More Details

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

More Details
Intro APR on Purchases
0%* 12 months on Purchases*
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0%* 21 months on Balance Transfers*
Regular APR
16.49% - 26.49%* (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

More Details
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

More Details

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

More Details
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% 18 months on Balance Transfers
Regular APR
15.74% – 25.74% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

More Details
Diamond Resorts International® MasterCard®

Diamond Resorts International® MasterCard®

Intro APR on Purchases
0% promotional APR for six billing cycles from the transaction date on all "Qualifying Diamond Resorts International® Vacation Ownership Purchases"
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% introductory APR for the first fifteen billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening
Regular APR
16.49% to 23.49% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

More Details

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

More Details
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
N/A
Regular APR
16.99%* (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

More Details
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

Intro APR on Purchases
0% introductory APR for the first 20 billing cycles
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% introductory APR for the first 20 billing cycles for balances transferred within 60 days from account opening
Regular APR
11.49% to 23.49% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0
Fred Meyer Rewards® World Mastercard®

Fred Meyer Rewards® World Mastercard®

Intro APR on Purchases
0% introductory APR for the first 9 billing cycles
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% introductory APR for the first 9 billing cycles for balances transferred within 30 days from account opening
Regular APR
13.49% to 25.49% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0

The Do’s and Don’ts of Choosing and Using a 0% Credit Card

To get the most benefit and rewards from a credit card with a 0% introductory APR, it is important to use it right. Those cards not only give you the ability to charge big items without interest, but they can also save you a major headache if an expensive purchase is stolen or damaged. Some cards provide purchase protections and extended warranties. The following is a list of do’s and don’ts for choosing and using your new interest-free credit card.

Do’s

  • Comparison Shop:

    Like you would for anything else you might obtain, you want to shop around for your credit card before you decide. Get to know the varying benefits and rewards these cards offer. These can be especially important when it comes to making a large purchase.

    Don’t just jump on an offer that came in the mail because it says you are pre-approved. That is not a guarantee you will get that card. Compare not only the rewards and benefits, but also bonuses, fees and, most importantly, the term limits on the 0% intro period. Set yourself a budget and figure out how long it will take to pay off the card.

  • Use Your Card for Big Purchases:

    A 0% APR credit card is one of the best ways to finance a large purchase. One of the options I would caution against is using a store credit card that advertises interest-free or special financing. These cards usually use a practice called deferred interest. This means that if you do not pay your entire balance in full within the allotted timeframe, you can end up paying a lump sum of interest. You can be charged interest all the way back to the original date of purchase, and store cards have notoriously high interest rates. If you use a 0% interest credit card that earns rewards, you can earn a bunch of rewards instead of paying for a bunch of interest.

  • Get Purchase Protection:

    Many credit cards come with purchase protection. This benefit is especially valuable when you are making a large purchase. Most major issuers, including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, offer purchase protection and extended warranty services. Your card can insure your purchase for a period of about 90 days against theft or damage.

    While many items may come with warranties that offer a certain amount of protection against damage, you typically won’t be able to get your item replaced in the case of theft if you pay with cash. Visa will reimburse up to $500, while MasterCard and Amex gives up to $1,000 per item for up to about $50,000 per year. All American Express cards have this feature. However, purchase protection is only available on the top-of-the-line Visa Signature and World or World Elite MasterCards.

    The good news is that these cards may also come with the ability to extend the manufacturer’s warranty. They basically double the time period of the original warranty for up to one year. They will repair, replace or reimburse you for your item. A major difference between Visa and MasterCard’s extended warranty service is the amount that they cover. Visa Signature will reimburse up to $10,000, while a World Elite MasterCard has a cap of just $500.

  • Double Dip:

    Double dipping is when you earn rewards with both a store’s loyalty program and your credit card from the same purchase. In most cases, it is not necessary to have the store credit card to earn rewards with their program. Store credit cards have notoriously high interest rates and I caution against using them.

    If you are lucky enough to have a debit card that earns rewards, you can do a triple dip and use your reward earning debit card to pay off your reward earning credit card. That way you get rewarded three ways: from the store loyalty program, your credit card and your debit card. However, reward earning debit cards are hard to come by nowadays.

  • Set Up Auto Pay:

    Set up automatic payments for your credit card to withdraw the minimum due every month. This can help avoid missed payments. Missing a payment could cause you to lose your promotional interest rate, as well as cause your credit score to take a hit. However, I would recommend paying more than the minimum if you can. This will help ensure that you pay off your debt by the time the 0% introductory rate expires.

  • Make Balance Transfers:

    If you have a card with a 0% introductory period on purchases, you can use it to save money on outstanding balances you may have on other cards. If you make a balance transfer on a card that isn’t charging interest on new purchases, the rate will apply to the balance transfer as well. This can also help you consolidate your debt.

    Try to keep your card balance below 30 percent of the overall credit limit on your card. Using more than 30 percent on a card can negatively affect your credit score. This is known as your credit utilization, and the higher it gets, the more of an impact it can have on your score.

Don’ts

  • Don’t Maintain a Balance After the Introductory Period:

    Once the 0% promotional period is over, you do not want to carry a balance on your card. If you haven’t paid off your entire balance by the end of the introductory period, consider a balance transfer. A balance transfer will usually cost between 3 and 5 percent of the amount transferred. So take into consideration the amount you still have to pay, the interest rate being charged and how long you think it will take to pay off. If you think it will take six months or more, a balance transfer can save you a significant amount of money.

    Also, don’t finance something close to the end of the introductory period. If you had an 18 month 0% interest rate, don’t make a large purchase at the 16-month mark that you know is going to take a year to pay off. Instead, get a new card with a 0% introductory rate and use it instead.

    You can also transfer the balance from the old card to the new one, if you still need time to pay it off. You will have to pay a balance transfer fee, which is usually between 3 and 5 percent, but you will save money on interest fees because your transfer will be treated like a new purchase and receive the promotional rate.

    It is possible to avoid interest after the promotional period is over. Just pay your credit card bill in full each month within the grace period, which is usually about 21 days from the statement date.

  • Don’t Get Cash Advances:

    Never use a 0% credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM. You will pay interest on cash advances, since they do not count as new purchases. Your zero-interest introductory rate will usually apply to new purchases and balance transfers, but not cash advances. Also, interest rates are incredibly high for cash advances.

  • Don’t Apply for a Card You Might Not Get:

    You should find out what your credit score is and what score is required before applying for a new card. For instance, if your credit score is fair, don’t apply for a card that requires good or excellent credit. Between the hard inquiry pulled by the card company and the credit denial, your fair credit score could drop several notches, which you can’t afford.

  • Don’t Close the Card:

    After your introductory period expires, don’t close your card account. Other lenders like to see multiple open lines of credit. To have an optimal credit score, you should have at least 11 credit lines, and over 21 is ideal. They do not all have to be credit cards, but they are a good way to get your numbers up. More lines of credit also help your overall credit limit. You should try to keep your debt-to-credit rate at 30 percent or less or your total credit limit.

    In a case where your card has an annual fee, you may want to close it if you are not going to take full advantage of the rewards and benefits it has to offer. However, paying an annual fee can be worth it in many cases, especially when it comes to travel credit cards. The benefits and bonuses usually far outweigh the fees when you use your card right.

  • Don’t Splurge:

    I know it’s tempting, but having a credit card with a 0% APR doesn’t mean that it’s time for a shopping spree. When you spend beyond your means you end up in debt. Using a card for a large purchase and splurging are very different.

    Sometimes you need something, but you don’t have all the necessary funds. If you have it in your budget to pay for it over time, that’s when you should use your new card to finance the purchase. Splurging, on the other hand, is unnecessary spending, like hitting the mall and buying a bunch of stuff you don’t need just because you can. We have all been guilty of it from time to time.

FAQs

Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, don't hesitate to leave a comment below.

  • What is a good ongoing interest rate for a 0% APR card after the promotional period expires?

    There is no such thing as a good interest rate. Paying interest should be avoided at all costs. Typical interest rates on consumer credit cards range between 13 to 24 percent. Some cards may offer a low APR for an introductory or promotional period, which may be a good option if you know you will need more time than a 0% APR card offers. The best option will ultimately depend on the interest rate, the length of time it’ll take to pay off and the amount of the balance.
    However, I am a big fan of no interest. I strongly suggest doing a balance transfer to another card with a promotional interest rate. Although it will cost between 3 and 5 percent of the amount you transfer, it will still usually save you money. And keep in mind that you can do a balance transfer on a card that offers 0% on purchases and still get the interest-free promotional rate.
  • If I have fair credit, am I eligible for a good credit card with a 0% introductory interest rate?

    To be eligible for the best credit cards with interest-free introductory rates, you will need at least good credit. These great rates and offers aren’t as plentiful as they used to be, and credit card companies are more selective now than in the past.
    Even with excellent credit your options aren’t limitless as one can encounter bank-specific regulations. The Chase 5/24 rule, for instance, states that if you have applied for more than five cards in a 24-month period, they can turn you down. This does not only apply to Chase cards. This applies to all cards you have applied for in the past 24 months.
    If you have fair credit, try cards that are specifically aimed at your score. That’s especially true if your credit is borderline good. You can’t afford to lose any points due to a hard inquiry and a denied application. If you are denied for a card, remember to always call the reconsideration line. This can result in a reversal of their decision. In any case, you can at least find out why you were denied.
  • What is the best 0% interest credit card?

    The best no-interest credit card will depend on how you are going to use it. When comparing 0% APR cards, you need to know how much you plan on spending and how long it will take to pay it off. When you opt for a longer zero-interest period, you might forgo some rewards. A slightly shorter period may present more reward opportunities.
    Some of the credit cards that include a 0% introductory APR will offer it for six months after opening your account, while other cards may offer 0% APR for 15 months or even longer. Although the 0% interest period may be longer on some cards, certain features, including the rewards offered by the card or the post-introductory interest rate, may also play a part in your decision.
    For example, the Citi Diamond Preferred card comes with a 0% introductory APR for 21 months on purchases and balance transfers. This card happens to have one of the longest 0% introductory APR periods available, but it offers no rewards. After the 21-month period is over, this card will have a variable APR of 13.49 to 23.49 percent. The rate you get will be based on your credit score.
    On the other hand, a card with a shorter promotional term may have better rewards. The Costco Anywhere Visa from Citi and the VentureOne and Quicksilver cards from Capital One all come with shorter introductory periods with 0% APR, but they offer a lot more rewards.
    The Costco Anywhere Visa comes with a 0% APR on purchases for just seven months, but you can collect cash back on all the purchases you make with the card. You can earn 4 percent cash back on up to $7,000 in gas purchases, 3 percent back at restaurants and for eligible travel purchases, 2 percent back on purchases from Costco, and 1 percent back on all other purchases.
    The VentureOne card has a 0% intro APR for the first 12 months and it allows you to collect 1.25 miles for every dollar spent. This card also awards you with 20,000 bonus miles for spending $1,000 within the first three months of opening your account. Once the 0% APR period is over, the card will have a variable APR of 12.99 to 22.99 percent, depending on your credit history.
    Due to the different factors involved, deciding which 0% credit card is the best can only be determined by the person applying for the card. Much of the decision will depend on how and where you plan to use the card. But more importantly, you have to figure out how much you plan on spending and how long you think it will take to pay for it.
  • How do I make a purchase protection claim on an interest-free credit card?

    Some credit cards that offer a 0% introductory APR on purchases also offer some form of purchase protection. If your card qualifies for purchase protection, all the eligible purchases you make on it will be covered against theft or accidental damage for a limited time. All American Express and Discover cards have the coverage, as well as Visa Signature cards and World and World Elite MasterCards.

    If a qualifying item bought on a credit card with purchase protection is damaged or stolen, you will have to submit a claim to your card issuer. If the item in question is already covered by a primary insurance policy, you must first submit a claim with them before proceeding to the credit issuer. When submitting your claim, you will be required to provide evidence to verify your purchase, including a copy of your credit card statement with the purchase and an itemized receipt from the retailer showing the purchase. In the event of a theft claim, you may be required to provide a police report.

    Purchase protection is typically only available for a limited amount of time, usually about 90 days. There are some items that may not be covered, including animals and plants, gift cards and gift certificates, medical equipment, monetary instruments, permanent fixtures, perishable and consumable items, used goods, rare stamps, coins, collectibles, antiques and motorized vehicles.

    Certain cards may include differing policy specifications and may refuse to accept certain claims upon submission. Some of the claims that may not be accepted include items that are lost or damaged due to careless misplacement or mysterious disappearances.

    It is a good idea to be familiar with the purchase protection or extended warranty coverage your current and future cards may come with. If you plan on spending a significant amount on a single item, it is a good idea to use a credit card with interest free introductory period as well as a purchase protection plan an or extended warranty coverage. In addition, you also need to check the overall amount of coverage that your card’s policy offers. Some cards will only cover up to $500, while others will cover you for up to $10,000. If an item you buy is stolen or damaged, be sure to submit a claim as soon as possible to ensure that you are within the allotted time frame of your purchase protection period.

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