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Best 0% Introductory APR Credit Cards

Edvisors rates credit cards objectively based on credit card features, fees and interest rates, as well as how a credit card compares with similar cards within the same category. "Best" determinations are solely the opinion of Edvisors.

Sometimes it is easier to make big purchases by using a loan or credit cards than dipping into your hard-won savings. Unfortunately, using either method over your savings will result in spending more on an item than it is worth because of interest. Thankfully there are options, especially with credit cards, specifically 0% APR credit cards.

It’s not uncommon for a credit card lender to offer a promotional 0% interest for a fixed time frame for new credit card customers, after that, your APR will be determined by your creditworthiness.  Using one of these cards can help break a major purchase into more manageable payments without the risk of interest fees, as long as the purchase is repaid in the allotted promotional 0% window.

Understanding How 0% APR Works

An Introductory 0% APR is not a fixed deal; it is typically a promotion for signing up and getting approved by a specific credit card issuer. The promotional period will depend on the card issuer, but most fall somewhere between six months and one year. The initial 0% interest period means you can pay off a purchase within that window without owing more than what you paid for the purchase. However, if you do not pay off the balance, you will owe the standard interest rate for the remaining balance beginning the next billing cycle after the end of the promotion.

How To Use a 0% APR Promotion

If you want to make the most of an Introductory 0% APR promotion, do not purchase more than you can afford to pay off within the promotional period. For example, if you want to buy something that costs $1,200 and have a card offering six months 0% APR, you will need to make $200 monthly payments to ensure the balance is paid off by the end of the promotion.

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Best 0% Intro APR Credit Cards

When looking for the best 0% Introductory APR offers, you will need to assess the credit card as a whole, not just for the initial promotion. You will want to look over the different perks and most certainly understand what the APR will be after the initial promotion is over. Additionally, you will want to inspect the terms and conditions of the card to ensure there are no hidden or annual fees that could make the card more of a nuisance than a reliable tool. The following six cards all offer an initial Introductory 0% APR, but each also provide unique additional benefits to the cardholder.

Chase Freedom Flex

The Chase Freedom Flex card offers an introductory APR of 0% for 15 months. While the variable APR increases to between 14.99% and 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness following the initial promotional window, the 15 months does provide a decent timeframe for paying off or down larger purchases. Additionally, the card offers 5% cash back on travel and other purchases up to $1,500.

One significant drawback for those who travel outside of the U.S. is the 3% transaction fee for foreign transactions. Consequently, you will not want to use this card outside of the U.S.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Like the Chase Freedom Flex card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers the 0% introductory rate for 15 months (after that, your variable APR will be 14.99% to 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness). The credit card also offers a $200 cash back bonus if you spend $500 within the first three months. You can also earn 1.5% back on all purchases, and there is no cap on rewards.

The Freedom Unlimited card comes with the same drawback as the Freedom Flex card. If you travel outside of the U.S., you will be charged a 3% transaction fee for every purchase you make in a foreign country.

Citi Rewards+ Card

The Citi Rewards+ card, again, offers 15 months of an Introductory 0% APR from the opening of the card. After the promotional period, the variable APR will return to between 13.49% to 23.49%, based on your credit worthiness. You can earn two times the ThankYou points when using your card at gas stations or supermarkets for a maximum reward of $6,000 per year. 

This Citi credit card also charges a 3% foreign transaction fee. Additionally, the rewards cap is a deal-breaker for many cardholders who spend more than $6,000 per year in groceries and gas, meaning you might want to hold off for a card with better value.

Citi Diamond Preferred Card

If you want to make the most of the 0% introductory offer on credit cards, look no further than the Citi Diamond Preferred card. This credit card gives you 0% introductory APR for 21 months on balance transfers and 12 months on purchases. To take advantage of the Citi Diamond Preferred card, you will need a good to excellent FICO® credit score.

This credit card does not offer a rewards program or cash back opportunities. It also has balance transfer fees and a normal variable APR between 14.74% and 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness, that will begin at the conclusion of the promotional 0% APR period.

Blue Cash Everyday Card

As the only American Express credit card on this list, the Blue Cash Everyday Card is one of the best cards for everyday purchases. It has a 15-month 0% introductory APR and offers 3% cash back on purchases at U.S. supermarkets. 

Once the introductory period is over, the variable APR rate will increase from 13.99% to 23.99%. The cash back rate is capped at $6,000 before cutting to only 1% cash back, meaning you might not have as big an adventure as you thought. 

Capital One SavorOne Card

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a 15-month introductory APR of 0% (after that, your variable APR will be 14.99%, 20.99% or 24.99%), based on your creditworthiness. It allows cardholders to earn an unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, groceries, and streaming services. It is an excellent credit card option for those who typically use their credit card for entertainment, dining, and grocery shopping experiences.

If you do not use your credit card to purchases groceries and other entertainment amenities, you might want to find another card with higher rewards in specific categories you prefer. This Capital One card is designed for cash back, not other reward options. However, some of the above cards offer other options for cardholders as well as varied cash back percentages for different reward categories. 

If you are looking for an introductory 0% APR credit card, there are plenty of available options. However, many of these cards require good to excellent credit for application approval, creating barriers to success.

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