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This article was last updated Dec 30, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
There are few things more stressful than chipping away at a mountain of credit card debt. As soon as you make a payment, more interest charges get piled on and it can feel like you haven’t made any progress at all.
That’s when it might be a good time to see if you can find a card with a good 0% intro APR period. Without the weight of accruing interest bearing down on you and limiting your progress, you can make payments that will actually go toward your principal and help pay your debt down faster.
How do these cards work? Well, one option is to transfer a balance from an existing card to a card with a 0% intro APR period. You most likely will be charged a fee of 3 – 5 percent of the transfer. But that can be worth the cost, especially if you’re struggling to pay off cards that have really high interest rates. Once you’ve made the transfer, you have the length of the intro period to pay off your debt interest-free.
Check out all our balance transfer resources.
The other option is to use a 0% intro APR period card when you know you are about to make a hefty purchase and want a low-cost way to finance it. You can apply for a 0% intro APR card and pay your purchase off over the course of the intro period without worrying about accruing interest. Any balances that aren’t paid by the end of the intro period will begin to incur interest, so it’s a good idea to pick a card that has a long enough intro period for your needs.
Here are our favorite credit cards with 0% intro periods and no annual fee.
Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever
0% for 12 months on Purchases
0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers
16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)
- 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 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
- 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, 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
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
- Stay protected with Citi® Quick Lock and $0 liability on unauthorized charges
See additional details for Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever
This card has one of the longest 0% intro periods on the market with 0% for 12 months on Purchases and 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers. The amount of time in the intro period is great if you have a large balance to transfer, or simply want to pay new purchases off over a long time period. The balance transfer fee is 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum. In addition to intro periods, this is the only card with no late fees, no penalty rate, and a $0 annual fee. There are also no rewards because the main purpose of this card is to pay of debt — though you do get access to Citi® Private Pass®. If your primary purpose is to rid yourself of debt, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever is a great way to do that.
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.
0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
- Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
- To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
- Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.49% – 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness.
- Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.49% – 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
See additional details for Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
This card is a standout for its cash back program as well as its balance transfer offer. The intro period is 0% for 18 months on balance transfers (after 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable) applies) with a balance transfer fee of 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum. There is no intro rate for purchases, however new purchases will Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay. If you want to transfer a balance and earn cash back, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is one of our favorite cards.
Discover it® Balance Transfer
0% for 18 months on balance transfers & 0% for 6 months on purchases*
Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum, when you activate*
13.49% - 24.49% Variable*
- INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
- Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more 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.
- Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
- No annual fee.
- See Rates & Fees
See additional details for Discover it® Balance Transfer
With a long intro period, the Discover it® Balance Transfer is a good card for balance transfers with 0% for 18 months, then 13.49% - 24.49% Variable applies. There is a 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*. At 0% for 6 months, then 13.49% - 24.49% Variable applies. The purchase intro period is subpar, making this card primarily for balance transfers. Not only will you benefit from a 0% intro period, but there is 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
BankAmericard® credit card
0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days
0% Introductory APR on purchases for 18 billing cycles
14.49% - 24.49% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
- 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 14.49% - 24.49% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
- No annual fee
- No penalty APR. Paying late won't automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Other account pricing and terms apply
- Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app
See additional details for BankAmericard® credit card
The BankAmericard® credit card offers a great intro period. You have 0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days and there is also an intro period of 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 18 billing cycles, allowing you time to pay off debt accrued from new purchases without being charged interest. Keep in mind there are no rewards with this card.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is an average 0% intro APR card offering 0% for 15 months for purchases and 0% for 15 months for balance transfers. After the introductory period, the APR goes to 14.49%-25.49% Variable. The fee for transfers is either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. On top of the intro periods, you earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases. If you want to take advantage of a good intro period and earn cash back rewards, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is a good option — particularly for grocery shoppers.
Check out our top picks for low-interest rate credit cards.