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This article was last updated Jul 31, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
Carrying a balance on a high APR credit card from month to month can get expensive as high interest charges inflate what you owe.
To help you save on interest charges, we selected eight low interest and introductory 0% APR credit cards based on our research of cards available through CompareCards, as well as top cards offered by major issuers.
- Best low APR credit card overall: Prime Platinum Visa Credit Card
- Best low APR card for no fees: DCU Visa® Platinum Credit Card
- Best low APR card for military members: USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card
- Best low APR card if you have bad credit: DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card
- Best intro 0% APR card for a balance transfer: Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever
- Best intro 0% APR card for purchases: Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Best low APR small business credit card: U.S. Bank Business Platinum
- How to use a low interest credit card
- FAQs on low interest credit cards
To save on interest charges for a specified period of time, you may also want to look into taking advantage of a 0% introductory APR card offer, which will allow 100% of your payments to go toward paying down your balance.
And if you end up with a balance after the 0% intro APR period expires, you’ll want a card with low ongoing interest.
Best low APR credit card overall: Prime Platinum Visa Credit Card
Best for: If you need to carry a balance from time to time and want to minimize the interest you’re charged, the Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Visa Credit Card offers a low ongoing APR.
Why we like this card: This card’s regular purchase APR can be as low as 6.25% variable. If you qualify for an APR at the low end of the Prime Platinum Visa Credit Card’s range, that’s a huge potential savings when you need to carry a balance. Plus, the annual fee is $0.
It’s also important to note that while some credit unions have membership requirements based on where you live or work, anyone is able to join Lake Michigan Credit Union.
Other benefits: This card offers free car rental insurance and emergency card replacement.
Best low APR card for no fees: DCU Visa® Platinum Credit Card
Best for: If you’re looking for a low interest credit card with almost no fees, it’s worth considering the DCU Visa® Platinum Credit Card.
Why we like this card: The DCU Visa® Platinum Credit Card keeps things simple. It offers a very reasonable 8.50% - 18.00% variable APR and gives cardholders peace of mind with its fee structure:
- Annual fee: $0
- Foreign transaction fee: None
- Balance transfer fee: None
- Cash advance fee: None
Note that one fee you can still incur with this card is a late payment fee, which is up to $35.
And while some credit unions are difficult to join due to membership requirements, Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU) makes it easy.
If you don’t qualify based on where you live, through a relationship to a current DCU member, or via one of the numerous participating employers, you can join one of DCU’s partner organizations. For example, one partner is Reach Out for Schools, a nonprofit organization that raises money for classrooms and programs that benefit students. Membership starts at $10.
Other benefits: The DCU Visa® Platinum Credit Card works with Apple Pay®, Google Pay™ and Samsung® Pay.
Best low APR card for military members: USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card
Best for: If you qualify for USAA membership (active military, former military, an eligible family member, or a cadet or midshipman), you are eligible to apply for the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card – which offers a chance for a very low ongoing interest rate.
Why we like this card: The USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card’s APR range is 8.40% - 25.40% variable. There is also a $0 annual fee.
Other benefits: Don’t worry about foreign transaction fees – this card has none. And if you enter active military duty, any existing balance on the card at the time you enter active duty will qualify for a special 4% APR, which is better than the 6% required by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
Best low APR card if you have bad credit: DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card
Best for: If you need to rebuild your credit score, a secured credit card is a good tool to help you do that. Secured cards require that you submit a security deposit to the issuer – for example, if you want a $200 credit limit, you’ll have to submit a $200 deposit. Many secured cards come with high APRs, but the DCU Visa Platinum is one with a low interest rate.
Why we like this card: This card has an APR of 11.50%- 18.00% variable. In a world where many secured cards have interest rates of well above 20%, the DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card has the potential to save you a significant chunk of money if you have to carry a small balance once in a while. Plus, the DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card has an annual fee of $0.
Be aware the minimum deposit is $500.
Other benefits: This card is compatible with Apple Pay®, Google Pay™, and Samsung® Pay.
Best intro 0% APR card for a balance transfer: Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever
Best for: If you need a long period of time to pay off transferred credit card debt without incurring interest charges, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever could be a great fit.
Why we like this card: Cardholders get long windows of intro APRs for both purchases and balance transfers with the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever. Details are as follows:
- 0% for 18 months on purchases. After, a 14.74% - 24.74% (variable) APR applies.
- 0% for 18 months on balance transfers. After, a 14.74% - 24.74% (variable) APR applies.
There is a balance transfer fee – either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. The card’s annual fee is $0.
Other benefits: The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever has no late fees and no penalty rate.
Best intro 0% APR card for purchases: Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Best for: If you plan on making a large purchase such as a new appliance or laptop soon, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers the opportunity to pay off new purchases for more than a year without incurring interest charges.
Why we like this card: With a APR offer of 0% intro on purchases for 15 months, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card can help you spread payments out during that window of time. After, an APR of 15.49% - 25.49% (variable) applies. You can also earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
The annual fee is $0, and cardholders earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
Other benefits: Benefits include a complimentary 24/7 concierge for dining, entertainment and travel, extended warranty on purchases and your free VantageScore with CreditWise.
Best low APR small business credit card: U.S. Bank Business Platinum
Best for: If you’re a small business owner who needs a card with a lengthy intro 0% APR and a low ongoing APR afterward, the U.S. Bank Business Platinum is a good option to consider.
Why we like this card: The U.S. Bank Business Platinum comes with generous intro APR offers on both purchases and balance transfers. The details are as follows:
- Intro 0% for 20 billing cycles on purchases. Then, a 9.99%-17.99%* (variable) APR applies.
- Intro 0% for 20 billing cycles on balance transfers. Then, a 9.99%-17.99%* (variable) APR applies.
There’s a 3% balance transfer fee and a $0* annual fee.
Other benefits: If you issue cards to your employees, you can set spending controls on their cards by time, place and dollar amount.
How to use a low interest credit card
Follow the tips below so you get the most value out of your low interest card:
- Don’t overspend. Even if you must carry a balance, don’t let that balance keep growing. Plan a concrete amount that you can pay each month and stick to it – and if you can, make more than the minimum payment, because when you only pay the minimum, much of your payment goes toward interest charges rather than the principal of the debt.
- Set up autopay. This is a good way to ensure you always pay on time, which is the most important thing you can do to build a good credit score.
- Pay on time. If you decide not to set up autopay, then make sure you’re aware of your due date. Paying late can result in you losing any intro 0% APR offers your card has.
- Transfer balances quickly. If your card offers an intro 0% APR period, be aware that there might be a limited window of time to take advantage of the 0% APR offer. Many cards require you to transfer a balance within 60 days to qualify for the intro APR.
- Continue to make payments on any transferred balances. If you request a balance transfer, be aware that you might still have a final payment due on your old card.
FAQs on low interest credit cards
How does credit card interest work? The interest rate on your credit card is listed on your credit card statements is your annual percentage rate, or APR. If you want to understand your daily interest rate, just divide your APR by 365 (20%/365 = 0.055% daily interest rate), which will then be applied to your average daily balance (total balance each day/number of days in the billing cycle). Generally, you can expect to be charged interest if you don’t pay your balance off in full before the due date. However, most credit cards have a grace period where if you pay off your balance in full before the due date, you will not incur interest charges. Any balance remaining will be assessed interest.
What’s the difference between interest rate and APR? For some financial products, such as car loans and mortgages, the interest rate and the APR can differ. However, for credit cards, they’re the same thing.
How high can a credit card’s APR be? There’s no federal law that limits the interest rate a credit card company can charge, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). However, companies are subject to state laws in which they have their headquarters. Credit union credit cards, however, are subject to a federal law that currently caps interest rates at 18%.
What’s a good credit card APR? Credit card issuers will base your APR on a variety of factors. In general, the better your credit score, the more likely you are to be approved for a lower APR; however, there is no guarantee. A study by CompareCards found that the average APR offered to those with really good credit was 15.62%, while the average APR offered to those with bad credit was 22.82%.
Can I get a fixed-rate credit card with low interest? Fixed-rate cards are less common than they used to be before the Credit CARD Act of 2009. Now, most credit cards are variable-rate cards, which means their APRs fluctuate based on an index such as the prime rate. However, you can sometimes still find fixed-rate credit cards these days, generally through credit unions.
How do I check the interest rate on my credit card? Your APR should be listed on your credit card statements.
Can I get a 0% intro APR credit card with bad credit? Probably not. Most credit cards with good intro 0% APR offers require a good credit score or better. A good credit score is one that’s anywhere from 670 to 739 – above that, and your score is considered very good or excellent.
The information related to the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever has been independently collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.