Best Low Interest Credit Cards 2021

Although we generally advise against carrying a balance on your credit card, it can still happen to anyone. Whether you’re someone who often carries a balance month-to-month or wants to play safe in case an unexpected expense arises – you should look into the credit card’s APR before you apply for it. Some credit cards offer 0% APR introductory periods that usually last from 6 to 20 months. However, instead of applying for a new card with an intro offer every few months, it’s more convenient to choose one with a low ongoing APR. Pay attention to the range of the variable APR, as only those with good to excellent credit will get the lowest APR rates. Look through our list of best credit cards for low interest to find the right one for you. Some of them offer rewards too, but we recommend prioritizing low interest over earning rewards.

By Hanna Volkava
Updated August 02, 2021
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Best Credit Cards for Low Interest in August 2021

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Evolve℠ from Sallie Mae Bank

Evolve℠ Sallie Mae Bank
Apply now
Our Rating:
5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 25% Bonus on any Cash Back rewards earned from your top two purchase categories each month.
    • 1.25% Cash Back on all purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 2.5% Cash Back on every purchase for your first 12 months.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR for 15 months from date of account opening.
  • Regular APR:
    12.99% - 24.99% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    12.99% - 24.99% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Sallie Mae Bank
  • Details:

    The Sallie Mae Evolve℠ card offers 2.5% Cash Back on every purchase (for 12 months) and 1.25% Cash Back on all purchases thereafter. Plus, get an extra 25% on Cash Back rewards earned in two top spending categories each month.

    The card offers 0% purchase and balance transfer APR for 15 months, then 12.99% - 24.99% (Variable APR).

    The Sallie Mae Evolve℠ card has no annual fee.

  • Pros:
    • No Annual Fee
    • 0% Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Cons:
    • Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Benefits:
    • 2.5% Cash Back on every purchase (for 12 months);
    • 1.25% Cash Back on all purchases;
    • 25% on Сash Back rewards;
    • $0 liability;
    • Digital Wallets;
    • Cell Phone Protection.
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American Express Blue Cash Everyday® best for Cash Back, Gas, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Families, Shopping, Groceries

Blue Cash Everyday® American Express
Apply now
Our Rating:
3.5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 3% Cash Back on groceries, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases.
    • 2% Cash Back on gas.
    • 2% Cash Back at select department stores.
    • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $300 Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $150 back.
    • $150 Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR for the first 15 months from the date of account opening.
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% - 23.99% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    None
  • Issuer name:
    American Express
  • Details:

    The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers strong, year-round cash back on crucial bonus categories like groceries and gas.

    0% introductory plan fee on each purchase moved into a plan during the first 15 months after account opening. After that, your plan fee will be up to 1.33% of each purchase moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase and other factors.

    Your Card gives you the option to carry a balance with interest or pay in full each month. So, whether you're managing your monthly expenses or making a large purchase, you can have the payment flexibility you need while continuing to earn rewards.

    You’ll be eligible for 20% back on purchases at Amazon.com on the card in the first 6 months (up to $150 back). Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months.

    When you use your Card to reserve and pay for the Entire Rental and decline the collision damage waiver at the rental Company counter, you can be covered for Damage to or Theft of a Rental Vehicle in a Covered Territory.

    Stay in the know with exclusive access to ticket presales and Card Member-only events in a city near you. Check out Broadway shows and concert tours, family and sporting events, and more.

  • Pros:
    • No Annual Fee
    • Provides Gas and Grocery Rewards
    • 0% Intro Offer
    • Welcome Bonus
  • Cons:
    • Balance Transfer Limited
    • Limited Redemption
    • Bonus Cash Backs Capped
    • Card not Ideal for Travelling Abroad
  • Benefits:
    • 3% Сash Back at U.S. supermarkets;
    • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and select department stores;
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases;
    • Earn 20% back on purchases at Amazon.com (up to $150 back);
    • $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your card within the first 6 months;
    • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance;
    • 24/7 Global Assist® Hotline;
    • American Express Experiences;
    • Fraud Protection;
    • Pay It Plan It;
    • Additional Cards.
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Discover Bank Discover it® Cash Back best for Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Young couples, Daily use

Discover it® Cash Back Discover Bank
Apply now
Our Rating:
5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 5% Cash Back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 2x New cardmembers get double Cash Back in the first year (awarded after the first year).
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Intro APR for 14 months from date of account opening.
  • Regular APR:
    11,99% - 22,99% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    11,99% - 22,99% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Discover Bank
  • Details:

    The Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card offers 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter on rotating bonus categories like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, each time you activate them. However, you’ll only receive 1% Cash Back on all other purchases. Instead of extending a traditional sign-up bonus to new cardholders, Discover will match all the Cash Back you earn during the first year.

    Discover it Cash Back doesn’t offer some of the benefits that come standard with many other credit cards, including price protection and extended warranty coverage. However, as a cardholder, you have zero-liability fraud protection, plus free access to your FICO credit score and alerts if your Social Security number shows up on a risky website. If someone steals your credit card or you lose it, you can freeze your account from your mobile app or online account, plus get free overnight delivery for your replacement card.

    The Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card has a generous introductory offer: 0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR. The balance transfer fee is an introductory 3% of the amount transferred, but can be as high as 5% on future balance transfers (see terms). That's on par with other balance transfer cards.

  • Pros:
    • No Foreign Transaction Fee
    • Bonus Cash Back categories
    • No annual fee
    • Intro APR period on Purchases and Balance Transfers
  • Cons:
    • Extra Fees
    • Low rewards rate for most purchases
  • Benefits:
    • 5% Cash Back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter;
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases;
    • Only Discover® Cashback Match;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • FICO® Credit Score;
    • 24/7 customer service line.
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US bank Visa® Platinum best for 0 APR, No Annual Fee

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum
Apply now
Our Rating:
3.95 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
  • Intro Offer:
    • No current offer.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR for the first 20 billing cycles.
  • Regular APR:
    14.49% - 24.49% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    14.49% - 24.49% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    US bank
  • Details:

    The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card is a good 0% intro APR and balance transfer card.

    On any balances you transfer over within the first 60 days of opening your account, you will pay 0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on Balance Transfers (then 14.49% - 24.49%). In order to qualify for 0% APR on balance transfers, they must be made in the first two months of receiving the card.

    Cardholders who pay their cell phone bill every month with the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card will receive this benefit. Cell Phone Protection covers two incidents of cell phone damage or theft, with limits of $600 per incident with a $25 deductible.

    U.S. Bank allows you to choose your payment due date, and offers access to your TransUnion credit score for free if you enroll in online banking. The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum also comes with fraud protection in case of any unusual activity on your account.

  • Pros:
    • Long 0% interest intro offer for purchases and balance transfers
    • No annual fee
    • No penalty APR
  • Cons:
    • Foreign Transaction Fee
    • Fees for late or returned payment
    • No rewards structure
  • Benefits:
    • Cell phone protection;
    • Fraud Protection;
    • Free credit score access;
    • AutoPay;
    • Digital Wallets;
    • Choose Your Payment Due Date;
    • 24/7 Account Access.
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American Express Cash Magnet® best for Cash Back, 0 APR

Cash Magnet® American Express
Apply now
Our Rating:
3.53 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 1.5% Earn unlimited Cash Back on all purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $200 Earn $200 Back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. You will receive the $200 back in the form of a statement credit.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR for the first 15 months from the date of account opening.
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% - 23.99% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    None
  • Issuer name:
    American Express
  • Details:

    The American Express Cash Magnet® Card is one of the best cash back credit cards. You’ll earn Cash Back on every purchase at a flat rate of 1.5 % back, no matter what you buy. The card also carries a nice welcome bonus and no annual fee.

    0% introductory plan fee on each purchase moved into a plan during the first 15 months after account opening. After that, your plan fee will be up to 1.33% of each purchase moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase and other factors.

    Whenever you travel more than 100 miles from home, Global Assist Hotline is available for 24/7 medical, legal, financial and other select emergency assistance and coordination services, such as medical and legal referrals, emergency cash wires, and missing luggage assistance. Card Members are responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.

    Stay in the know with exclusive access to ticket presales and Card Member-only events in a city near you. Check out Broadway shows and concert tours, family and sporting events, and more.

  • Pros:
    • No annual fee
    • 0% Intro APR
    • Uniform Bonus Tier
    • $200 Welcome Bonus
  • Cons:
    • Relatively Low Cash Back Rate
    • Limited Cash Back Reward Redemption
    • Limited Acceptance Globally
    • Foreign transaction fee
    • APR Penalty
  • Benefits:
    • Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back;
    • 0% intro APR;
    • American Express Experiences;
    • 24/7 Travel Assistant;
    • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance;
    • Purchase Protection.
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Chase Freedom Unlimited® best for Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Daily use

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Apply now
Our Rating:
5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 5% Cash Back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
    • 3% Cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
    • 3% Cash Back on drugstore purchases.
    • 1.5% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $200 Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Intro APR for the first 15 months that your Account is open.
  • Regular APR:
    14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Chase
  • Details:

    The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers 0% introductory APR period (14.99% to 23.74% Variable after that) and a sign-up bonus that’s worth far more than most Cash-Back cards offer — all for an annual fee of $0.

    My Chase PlanSM Fee is (monthly fee) of the amount of each eligible purchase transaction or amount selected to create a My Chase Plan while in the 0% Intro Purchase APR period. After that, monthly fee of 1.72% of the amount of each eligible purchase transaction or amount selected to create a My Chase Plan. The My Chase Plan Fee will be determined at the time each My Chase Plan is created and will remain the same until the My Chase Plan is paid in full.

    The card offers 3% Cash Back on restaurants and drugstore purchases, 5% back on travel booked through Chase and 1.5% back on other purchases. Plus earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • Pros:
    • Introductory APR on new purchases
    • High rewards rate and no minimum redemption
    • No annual fee
  • Cons:
    • Foreign Transaction Fee
    • Extra Fees
    • Requires good/excellent credit
  • Benefits:
    • Zero Liability Protection;
    • $200 intro bonus;
    • 5 percent Cash Back on all travel purchased via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal;
    • 3 percent back on dining;
    • 3 percent back at drugstores;
    • 1.5 percent Cash Back on general purchases;
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver;
    • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance;
    • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services;
    • 24/7 Fraud Protection;
    • Redeem for Cash Back;
    • Gift cards.
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Citi Diamond Preferred® best for 0 APR, No Annual Fee

Diamond Preferred® Citi
Apply now
Our Rating:
4.03 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Excellent (740-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
  • Intro Offer:
    • No current offer .
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR for 18 months from date of account opening.
  • Regular APR:
    14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Citi
  • Details:

    The Citi Diamond Preferred Card comes with 0% introductory APR offer on both purchases and balance transfers, charges no annual fee and gives cardholders with excellent credit a chance at a relatively low ongoing APR.

  • Pros:
    • 0% Intro APR for 18 months
    • Flexible payment due date
    • No annual fee
    • Free access to FICO® score
  • Cons:
    • No rewards
    • Foreign transaction fee applied
    • Late payment fees
  • Benefits:
    • $0 Liability;
    • Digital Wallets;
    • Citi Entertainment.
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Citi Rewards+® best for Cash Back, No Annual Fee

Citi Rewards+
Apply now
Our Rating:
4.7 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 2x Points at supermarkets and gas stations (on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1x points).
    • 1x Points on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 15,000x Bonus Points after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR for 15 months from date of account opening.
  • Regular APR:
    13.49% - 23.49% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    13.49% - 23.49% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Citi
  • Details:

    The Citi Rewards+ card has no annual fee and you may be eligible for a 0 percent introductory APR offer for 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, plus 0 percent for 15 months from the date of your first transfer on balance transfers made in your first four months (after that, a 13.49 percent to 23.49 percent variable APR applies, with a 3 percent or $5 minimum balance transfer fee, whichever is greater).

    You’ll also earn 15,000 ThankYou points after spending $1,000 within your first three months as a new cardholder.

    The card has a 3 percent foreign transaction fee. And if you might miss a payment due date, be aware of the up to $40 late payment and returned payment fees.

  • Pros:
    • No annual fee
    • Intro APR period on Purchases and Balance Transfers
  • Cons:
    • Foreign Transaction Fee
    • Limited benefits outside the ThankYou point features
    • Spending cap on bonus categories
  • Benefits:
    • $0 Fraud liability;
    • 15,000 Bonus Points;
    • 2x points at supermarkets and gas stations;
    • 1x points on all other purchases;
    • Round Up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase;
    • 10% points back on the first 100,000 points;
    • Gift Cards;
    • Citi Entertainment;
    • Digital Wallets.
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Wells Fargo Platinum Card best for 0 APR

Platinum Card Wells Fargo
Apply now
Our Rating:
3.31 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
  • Intro Offer:
    • No current offer.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% introductory APR for 18 months from date of account opening.
  • Regular APR:
    16.49% - 24.49% after 18 months from date of account opening.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    16.49% - 24.49% after 18 months from date of account opening.
  • Issuer name:
    Wells Fargo
  • Details:

    Platinum Card Wells Fargo has protection features such as Zero Liability protection for promptly reported unauthorized transactions, alerts, cell phone protection.

    My Money Map tools help you to manage spending and create a budget with ease.

    Access to your FICO® Credit Score with Wells Fargo Online.

  • Pros:
    • Zero annual fee
    • 0% Intro APR for 18 months on purchases and balance transfer
    • Access to your FICO® Credit Score with Wells Fargo Online
    • Cellular Telephone Protection
    • Overdraft Protection
  • Cons:
    • No rewards program
    • Foreign transaction fee
  • Benefits:
    • Auto rental collision damage waiver;
    • Roadside dispatch;
    • Travel accident insurance;
    • Travel and emergency assistance services;
    • Cell phone protection.
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Bank of America Cash Rewards best for Cash Back, No Annual Fee, Single mom

Bank of America® Cash Rewards
Apply now
Our Rating:
5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 3% Cash Back rewards in a selected purchase category.
    • 2% Cash Back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs.
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $200 Online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR for the first 15 Statement Closing Dates following the opening of your account.
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Bank of America
  • Details:

    The Bank of America Cash Rewards Card earns 3% Cash Back in a selected purchase category. Additionally, you’ll earn 2% at supermarkets and wholesale clubs, and 1% everywhere else. If you really want to max out your Cash Back rewards, you’ll need to qualify for a Bank of America Preferred Rewards membership. As a Preferred Rewards member, you can unlock an additional 25% to 75% Cash Back on your purchases.

    The Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card offers a modest $200 Cash-Back bonus after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

    New cardholders also enjoy 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles. To qualify for 0% APR, balance transfers must be completed within 60 days of opening your new account.

    The Bank of America Cash Rewards might be the right card to help you earn some Cash Back on the kinds of purchases you make every week.

  • Pros:
    • No Annual Fee
    • 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers
    • Flexible selection of 3% cashback category
    • Preferred Rewards program for Loyal Bank of America customers
    • Intro Bonus
  • Cons:
    • Bonus Category Spending Caps
    • Foreign Transaction Fee
  • Benefits:
    • 3% Cash Back in your choice category;
    • 2% Cash Back at grocery stores & wholesale clubs;
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases;
    • $200 cash rewards bonus;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • Overdraft Protection;
    • Digital Wallets;
    • FICO® Score.
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Capital One Quicksilver best for Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Daily use

Quicksilver Capital One
Apply now
Our Rating:
4.47 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Excellent (740-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $200 Cash Bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR for the first 15 months that your account is open.
  • Regular APR:
    15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Capital One
  • Details:

    The Quicksilver from Capital One credit card offers a flat 1.5% Cash Back on all purchases with a $0 annual fee. It also offers a 0% intro on purchases for 15 months, followed by the standard APR of 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable).

    New cardholders will have the opportunity to earn a bonus: One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

    The Capital One Quicksilver card maintains its simplicity with redeeming rewards, too. Customers can request cash back at any amount, redeemable as a check or statement credit. Cardholders also have the option of setting up automatic redemptions, beginning with a $25 minimum cashout. You can also link your rewards account with Amazon.com to apply rewards towards Amazon purchases at a penny a piece in value.

    Cardholders can also redeem rewards for gift cards at variable rates. Like the Amazon option, you’d be better off buying the gift card you need instead of redeeming rewards directly.

    You’ll be able to snag exclusive travel and entertainment opportunities like pre-sale tickets through Capital One Access. Plus, you can access a variety of 24/7 services like travel assistance, roadside assistance and complimentary concierge assistance.

  • Pros:
    • No minimum redemption is required
    • No annual fee
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Intro APR period on Purchases
    • Generous sign-up bonus
  • Cons:
    • No bonus rewards categories
    • Other cards offer longer intro APR periods and/or lower APR
    • You need a good credit score to get this card
  • Benefits:
    • $200 Cash Bonus;
    • Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • Complimentary Concierge Service;
    • Travel Accident Insurance;
    • 24-hour Travel Assistance Services;
    • Capital One Shopping;
    • Shop With Your Rewards.
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Capital One VentureOne Rewards best for Rewards, No Annual Fee, Daily use

VentureOne Rewards Capital One
Apply now
Our Rating:
3.67 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Excellent (740-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 1.25x Miles per dollar on all purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 20,000x Bonus miles once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR for the first 12 months that your account is open.
  • Regular APR:
    15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Capital One
  • Details:

    The Capital One VentureOne credit card provides moderate rewards with an unlimited 1.25 Venture Miles per dollar spent and a welcome bonus: Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel. It also offers a 0% intro on purchases for 12 months, 15.49% - 25.49% variable APR applies after that.

    You’ll be given either a Visa Platinum or Visa Signature version of this card. The version you get will depend on your credit limit when approved: Visa Platinum cards are for credit limits less than $5,000, and Visa Signature is for $5,000 and above. The credit limit you get will depend on your creditworthiness when you apply.

    You can book hotels, flights and rental cars using your Capital One miles by logging into capitalone.com and visiting the reward center.

    You can also use your card to book travel reservations through another service or website and then redeem your miles for a statement credit to cover a wide range of travel purchases that you’ve made over the past 90 days. Only purchases that fall under the travel merchant code will qualify, but generally, it includes airlines, hotels, rental cars, cruises, limo services, timeshares and more.

    If you don’t want to redeem your miles for travel, you can also cash them out in the form of a statement credit, check, gift cards, Amazon.com or PayPal purchases and more.

  • Pros:
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Intro purchase APR
    • No annual fee
    • Good welcome bonus
    • Flexible redemption options
  • Cons:
    • Low rewards rate
    • No intro APR on balance transfers
  • Benefits:
    • 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase;
    • 20,000 bonus miles;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • The Eno assistant;
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver;
    • Travel Accident Insurance;
    • Transfer Your Miles;
    • Capital One Shopping;
    • Shop With Your Rewards;
    • Emergency Card Replacement;
    • 24/7 Customer Service;
    • Premier Culinary Experiences;
    • Must-See Music Events;
    • Big-time Sports Events.
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Chase Freedom Flex℠ best for Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Daily use

Chase Freedom Flex℠
Apply now
Our Rating:
5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate.
    • 5% Cash Back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
    • 3% Cash Back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
    • 3% Cash Back on drugstore purchases.
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $200 Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Intro APR for the first 15 months that your Account is open.
  • Regular APR:
    14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Chase
  • Details:

    The Chase Freedom Flex card offers Cash Back in a wide variety of categories.

    You’ll earn 5% Cash Back on travel (through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel service, and also for Lyft rides). You’ll get 3% Cash Back on restaurant purchases, on drugstore purchases and 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.

    The card offers a 15-month 0% annual percentage rate for purchases, after which the APR is 14.99% - 23.74% Variable. Unfortunately, the card does not offer an introductory APR on balance transfers. The card charges no annual fee but 5%, or a $5 minimum fee, on balance transfers.

    My Chase PlanSM Fee is 0% of the amount of each eligible purchase transaction or amount selected to create a My Chase Plan while in the 0% Intro Purchase APR period. After that, monthly fee of 1.72% of the amount of each eligible purchase transaction or amount selected to create a My Chase Plan. The My Chase Plan Fee will be determined at the time each My Chase Plan is created and will remain the same until the My Chase Plan is paid in full.

  • Pros:
    • $200 sign-up bonus
    • High cash back rewards on quarterly rotating bonus categories
    • Decent cash back rewards on select spending categories
    • 0% intro APR on purchases
    • No annual fee
  • Cons:
    • Foreign transaction fee
    • Rotating spending categories require activation
    • No intro APR on balance transfers
  • Benefits:
    • 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories;
    • 5% Cash Back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards;
    • 3% Cash Back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services;
    • 3% Cash Back on drugstore purchases;
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases;
    • $200 Cash Back;
    • Zero Liability Protection;
    • Extended Warranty Protection;
    • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance;
    • Cell Phone Protection;
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver;
    • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services.
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Citi Double Cash best for Cash Back, No Annual Fee, Daily use

Double Cash Citi
Apply now
Our Rating:
5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Excellent (740-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 2% Cash Back on every purchase with unlimited 1% Cash Back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • No current offer.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% - 23.99% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    13.99% - 23.99% Variable.
  • Issuer name:
    Citi
  • Details:

    The Citi® Double Cash Credit Card offers a few concrete ways in which you can better your financial situation, improve your credit card habits and enjoy cash back rewards without the fuss of tracking rotating categories.

    In order to receive an additional 1 percent cash back rewards for your purchases (on top of the automatic 1 percent cash back you earn), you must pay off the balance you owe.

    In addition to being a cash back card, the Citi Double Cash doubles as a balance transfer credit card. The 18-month 0 percent introductory APR offer on balance transfers (13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable APR after) is one of the longest balance transfer periods currently available. Keep in mind, if you take advantage of the offer, you’ll still owe either $5 or a 3 percent fee, whichever is greater. Additionally, balance transfers must be made in the first four months of account opening to qualify for the rate.

    For reference, if you had $2,000 in credit card debt and transferred it to the Citi Double Cash, you could pay just over $111 a month for 18 months and completely wipe out your debt — all without paying a dime in interest. Bear in mind, you’d also owe a balance transfer fee.

    The Citi Double Cash extends a myriad of security and fraud protections.Get $0 fraud liability, 24-hour fraud protection, Citi Identity Theft Solutions and Lost Wallet Service — meaning Citi will replace your lost card within 24 hours and provide you with emergency cash in the meantime.

    Citi Entertainment gets you access to presale tickets, events and more, whether it be a music festival, professional football game or high-end restaurant experience.

  • Pros:
    • Flat-rate Cash Back Rewards on Everything
    • High Rewards Rate
    • No annual fee
    • Attractive Intro APR on Balance Transfers
  • Cons:
    • No welcome bonus offer or introductory APR on purchases
    • Losing your 1% Cash-Back Is Pretty Easy
    • Foreign transaction fee
    • Balance Transfer Fee
  • Benefits:
    • Citi Entertainment;
    • 2% Cash Back on every purchase;
    • Fraud Protection;
    • The Lost Wallet Service;
    • $0 Liability for Unauthorized Charges.
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Discover Bank Discover it® Miles best for Low Interest, Daily use

Discover it® Miles Discover Bank
Apply now
Our Rating:
4.06 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase.
  • Intro Offer:
    • Discover Match®:
    • Discover will automatically match all the miles you've earned — essentially doubling your rewards for that period. For example, if you earn 35,000 miles throughout the year, Discover will match it and increase your rewards balance to 70,000 miles.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Intro APR for 14 months from date of account opening.
  • Regular APR:
    11,99% - 22,99% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    10,99% APR for 14 months from date of first transfer. 11,99% - 22,99% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Discover Bank
  • Details:

    The Discover it® Miles is a travel credit card.

    Cardholders will automatically earn unlimited 1.5x miles per dollar spent on all purchases. There is no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, no penalty APR and no first late payment fee (none the first time you pay late. After that, up to $40).

    Discover will automatically match all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles.

    The card offers 0% Intro APR for 14 months on purchases and 10.99% APR for 14 months on balance transfers. Thereafter, the card’s standard purchase APR will apply (11.99% - 22.99% Variable).

  • Pros:
    • No annual fee
    • Rewards Rate
    • Unlimited Match for Miles in the First Year
    • Intro APR
    • Flexible Redemption Options
    • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • Cons:
    • Limited International Acceptance
    • Relatively High Credit Score Required
  • Benefits:
    • Discover Match®;
    • Unlimited 1.5x miles;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • Free FICO Score Each Month.
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HSBC Gold Mastercard® best for 0 APR, Low Interest

Gold Mastercard® HSBC Bank
Apply now
Our Rating:
3.61 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
  • Intro Offer:
    • No current offer.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR will apply for the first 18 months from Account opening.
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    HSBC
  • Details:

    The HSBC Gold Mastercard is a solid option for a credit card with 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months (13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable thereafter). This card also does not charge an annual fee, charges no penalty APR for missed payments and waives some late fees.

    If your balance transfer exceeds your HSBC Gold Mastercard credit limit, your request may be canceled. You also need to make your transfer within 60 days of account opening and pay a balance transfer fee of $10 or 4 percent, whichever is greater.

    The HSBC Gold also provides fraud protection, extended warranties up to an additional year, and coverage on most purchases up to $1,000 against accidental damage or theft for 90 days after the purchase. Plus, price protection will refund the difference if you make a purchase and find it advertised for less within 60 days of your purchase. In addition, you can see one of your FICO 8 Credit Scores for free with this card. This is based on your Equifax credit report.

    Because it is a Mastercard, you’ll benefit from Mastercard Airport Concierge. With this perk, you’ll get a 15% discount on Airport Meet and Greet services. Airport concierges are available to escort you through the terminal, and may make your trip through security or immigration faster.

  • Pros:
    • 0% Intro APR for the first 18 months on balance transfers and purchases
    • No Annual Fee
    • No Foreign Transaction Fee
    • No penalty APR
    • Late fee waiver
    • Zero Liability Policy
  • Cons:
    • No rewards
    • High balance transfer fee
  • Benefits:
    • FICO® score;
    • Zero Liability for Unauthorized Purchases;
    • Mastercard ID Theft Protection;
    • Priceless Cities;
    • Priceless Golf;
    • Travel Accident Insurance;
    • Mastercard Airport Concierge;
    • MasterRentalTM Coverage.
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WebBank Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® best for Beginner, No history

Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® WebBank
Apply now
Our Rating:
2.57 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Fair to Excellent (580-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 1% - 1.5%:
    • Cash Back after making 12 on-time monthly payments.
    • 2% - 10%:
    • Cash Back from select merchants.
  • Intro Offer:
    • No current offer.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    12.99% - 26.99% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    None
  • Issuer name:
    WebBank
  • Details:

    Petal 2 has no fees of any kind and is designed to help you build credit.

    The credit limit is from $500-$10000.

    Grow your credit score with responsible spending and on-time payments.

    Get 1% cash back right away. Earn up to 1.5% when you pay on time. Plus 2% - 10% bonus cash back at select merchants.

    Freeze your card at any time to protect your account. And rest easy knowing your data is safe and encrypted.

  • Pros:
    • No annual fee
    • No returned payment fee
    • No foreign transaction fee
    • You can apply even if you have no credit history
    • No late fees
  • Cons:
    • No signup bonus
    • Cash advances are not permitted
    • Those who filed for bankruptcy may be rejected
    • Balance transfers are not allowed
    • No intro APR offer
  • Benefits:
    • No foreign transaction fee;
    • Petal 2 reports to all 3 major credit bureaus;
    • Qualify with average credit.
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Short Review of Best Low Interest Credit Cards

NameBest forPurchase APRBalance Transfer APRRewards RateApply
Evolve℠ from Sallie Mae Bank
5
12.99% - 24.99% Variable APR.12.99% - 24.99%
  • 25% Bonus on any Cash Back rewards earned from your top two purchase categories each month.
  • 1.25% Cash Back on all purchases.
  • Apply now
    Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express
    3.5
    Cash Back, Gas, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Families, Shopping, Groceries13.99% - 23.99% Variable.
  • 3% Cash Back on groceries, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases.
  • 2% Cash Back on gas.
  • 2% Cash Back at select department stores.
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Learn more
    Discover it® Cash Back from Discover Bank
    5
    Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Young couples, Daily use11,99% - 22,99% Variable APR.11,99% - 22,99%
  • 5% Cash Back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Learn more
    Visa® Platinum from US bank
    3.95
    0 APR, No Annual Fee14.49% - 24.49% Variable APR.14.49% - 24.49%
  • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
  • Learn more
    Cash Magnet® from American Express
    3.53
    Cash Back, 0 APR13.99% - 23.99% Variable.
  • 1.5% Earn unlimited Cash Back on all purchases.
  • Learn more
    Freedom Unlimited® from Chase
    5
    Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Daily use14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR.14.99% - 23.74%
  • 5% Cash Back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 3% Cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
  • 3% Cash Back on drugstore purchases.
  • 1.5% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Learn more
    Diamond Preferred® from Citi
    4.03
    0 APR, No Annual Fee14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR.14.74% - 24.74%
  • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
  • Learn more
    Rewards+® from Citi
    4.7
    Cash Back, No Annual Fee13.49% - 23.49% Variable APR.13.49% - 23.49%
  • 2x Points at supermarkets and gas stations (on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1x points).
  • 1x Points on all other purchases.
  • Learn more
    Platinum Card from Wells Fargo
    3.31
    0 APR16.49% - 24.49% after 18 months from date of account opening.16.49% - 24.49%
  • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
  • Learn more
    Cash Rewards from Bank of America
    5
    Cash Back, No Annual Fee, Single mom13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.13.99% - 23.99%
  • 3% Cash Back rewards in a selected purchase category.
  • 2% Cash Back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs.
  • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Learn more
    Quicksilver from Capital One
    4.47
    Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Daily use15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR.15.49% - 25.49%
  • 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase.
  • Learn more
    VentureOne Rewards from Capital One
    3.67
    Rewards, No Annual Fee, Daily use15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR.15.49% - 25.49%
  • 1.25x Miles per dollar on all purchases.
  • Learn more
    Freedom Flex℠ from Chase
    5
    Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Daily use14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR.14.99% - 23.74%
  • 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate.
  • 5% Cash Back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 3% Cash Back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
  • 3% Cash Back on drugstore purchases.
  • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Learn more
    Double Cash from Citi
    5
    Cash Back, No Annual Fee, Daily use13.99% - 23.99% Variable.13.99% - 23.99%
  • 2% Cash Back on every purchase with unlimited 1% Cash Back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for purchases.
  • Learn more
    Discover it® Miles from Discover Bank
    4.06
    Low Interest, Daily use11,99% - 22,99% Variable APR.10,99% - 22,99%
  • 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase.
  • Learn more
    Gold Mastercard® from HSBC
    3.61
    0 APR, Low Interest13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.13.99% - 23.99%
  • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
  • Learn more
    Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® from WebBank
    2.57
    Beginner, No history12.99% - 26.99% Variable.
  • 1% - 1.5%:
  • Cash Back after making 12 on-time monthly payments.
  • 2% - 10%:
  • Cash Back from select merchants.
  • Learn more

    American Express Blue Cash Everyday®

    The Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express comes with a 15-month 0% APR offer on purchases, and the ongoing, variable APR is 13.99% - 23.99%. It’s for people who spend a lot on groceries and gas as it has high rewards rates for these categories.

    Read more about American Express Blue Cash Everyday®

    Discover Bank Discover it® Cash Back

    This card offers the whole package and is the best one within this category. Not only the variable APR is low (11.99% - 22.99%), but also there is a 14-month 0% APR offer on purchases and balance transfers. A generous 5% rewards rate in quarterly rotating bonus categories is part of the deal too. Your cash back will be matched at the end of the first year. So, you’ll get a low interest and high rewards for a no annual fee.

    Read more about Discover Bank Discover it® Cash Back

    US bank Visa® Platinum

    The US bank Visa® Platinum is the card with the longest 0% interest period – 20 billing cycles, and it's for both balance transfers and purchases. After the intro period ends, the variable APR is 14.49% - 24.49%, slightly higher than of the other cards on this list. But that won't make much difference if you manage to pay off most of your debt during the intro period.

    Read more about US bank Visa® Platinum

    American Express Cash Magnet®

    The American Express Cash Magnet® is a simple cash back credit card that also offers low-interest rates. If you have a big purchase coming, you can take advantage of its 15-month 0% APR offer. The ongoing, variable APR is 13.99% - 23.99%. The cash back rate is 1.5% on all purchases, and the Plan It® and Pay It® feature can help you manage your balance (it comes with a small monthly fee).

    Read more about American Express Cash Magnet®

    Chase Freedom Unlimited®

    This card offers new cardholders 0% APR on purchases for 15 months, and the variable APR is 14.99% - 23.74%. Additionally, it earns you 5% cash back on travel (if purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards), 3% on dining and drugstores and an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. There's a $200 sign-up bonus too.

    Read more about Chase Freedom Unlimited®

    Citi Diamond Preferred®

    If you’re looking for a low-interest card that is also good for a balance transfer, the Citi Diamond Preferred® is worth considering. It offers a lengthy interest-free period (18 months) on balance transfers and purchases. The variable APR after is 14.74% - 24.74%. If you want to monitor your credit score, this card gets you free access to it.

    Read more about Citi Diamond Preferred®

    Citi Rewards+®

    If you want to earn rewards and transfer your balance to a low-interest card, you should opt for Citi Rewards+®. The 0% APR offer on balance transfers and purchases gives new cardholders a 15-month break from interest. After, they'll pay an ongoing variable APR of 13.49% - 23.49%. Regarding the rewards program, it'll earn you 2x points at supermarkets, and gas stations and 1x on everything else. It also includes a few other features that give your rewards a boost.

    Read more about Citi Rewards+®

    Wells Fargo Platinum Card

    The Wells Fargo Platinum Card is another great card that'll give you a breathing space both on balance transfers and purchase interest. After the 0% APR offer that lasts for 18-months ends, the variable APR is 16.49% - 24.49%. If you're looking to improve your budgeting skills Wells Fargo's My Money Map is a great tool.

    Read more about Wells Fargo Platinum Card

    Bank of America Cash Rewards

    The Bank of America Cash Rewards offers you a 15-month 0% introductory annual percentage rate (APR). The promotional offer is valid for balance transfers and purchases (a variable APR of 13.99% - 23.99% after). What's more, this card has a very flexible rewards program in which you can choose the bonus category that'll earn you 3% cash back. There's also 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1% on all other purchases. Purchases that earn you 2% and 3% have a combined spending limit of $2,500 for each quarter.

    Read more about Bank of America Cash Rewards

    Capital One Quicksilver

    The Capital One Quicksilver can help you finance your next big purchase while earning you an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. The promo 0% interest offer lasts for 15 months after account opening and after the variable APR is 15.49 - 25.49%.

    Read more about Capital One Quicksilver

    Capital One VentureOne Rewards

    If you love traveling but hate high interest (who doesn't?!), you're going to like the Capital One VentureOne Rewards, one of the top travel rewards cards. New cardholders can get a year of the interest-free period for purchases, while the ongoing variable APR is 15.49% to 25.49%. As for the rewards, this card will earn you 1.25 miles per dollar on all purchases, and there are several redemption options.

    Read more about Capital One VentureOne Rewards

    Chase Freedom Flex℠

    Besides low interest, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ also offers great rewards. Its 15-month 0% APR on purchases is great if you're eyeing something pricey, like a new laptop. After that, you'll be charged a variable APR of 14.99% - 23.74%. There's a generous 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back at restaurants (including takeout and delivery) and drugstores, and 1% cash back on everything else.

    Read more about Chase Freedom Flex℠

    Citi Double Cash

    As its name says, Citi Double Cash earns you double cash back, 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay for the purchase. It has a great, 18-month 0% APR for balance transfers, while the ongoing APR is 13.99% - 23.99%. Based on their creditworthiness, some cardholders might be eligible for the Citi Flex Plan, with which you can pay off your purchases with fixed monthly payments, and you can also borrow from your credit line.

    Read more about Citi Double Cash

    Discover Bank Discover it® Miles

    The Discover it® Miles has two great offers, one for purchases and one for balance transfers. You will get a 14-month interest-free period for purchases, and a 14-month intro 10.99% APR for balance transfers. The regular, variable APR for both is 11.99% - 22.99%. You'll earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent, and Discover It will double them at the end of the first year.

    Read more about Discover Bank Discover it® Miles

    HSBC Gold Mastercard®

    The HSBC Gold Mastercard® offers a lengthy zero-interest period on balance transfers and purchases. There's a 0% APR for 18 months, and after the variable, the ongoing rate is 13.99% - 23.99%. Another great thing about this card is that it has no penalty APR and you get one waived late fee per year. However, it lacks a rewards program, and its 4% balance transfer fee is slightly higher than the usual 3%.

    Read more about HSBC Gold Mastercard®

    WebBank Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa®

    This card is truly a no-fee card, and you can qualify for it even with average credit. Although it's a card for beginners, there's no security deposit. The variable APR is 12.99% - 26.99%. You can also earn up to 1.5% cashback on all purchases.

    Read more about WebBank Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa®

    What do interest rate and APR mean, and how do they work?

    Unless you pay your balance in full every month, credit card companies will charge you interest. This interest is usually expressed as the annual percentage rate (APR). This APR is variable, which means it will occasionally change based on the prime rate.

    icon-search

    For example, the current (May 2021) prime rate in the U.S. is 3.25%, so if your credit card charges the prime rate plus 10%, the APR will be 13.25%.

    You will only be charged interest if you don't pay your balance on time, and the APR will be applied to the remaining, unpaid balance on your credit card. The credit card company will add that charge to your balance. So if you make a habit of carrying your balance month-to-month you'll end up paying interest on your interest. Things could easily get out of control, which is why you need to be careful even with low-interest credit cards.

    How does APR differ from the monthly interest rate?

    You can notice that the first letter in APR stands for annual (percentage rate). However, if your APR is 18%, that's not the monthly interest rate you'll get charged on your balance. Instead, it's simply that rate divided by 12. So, you'll pay 18%/12 = 1.5% interest rate on your outstanding balance every month. You calculate your daily periodic rate in the same way, you just divide with 365, instead of 12. It will be 18%/365 = 0.049%.

    Let’s go through a short example to better understand how APR works. John has a $2,000 balance on his credit card. He pays off his balance in equal installments, $60 each month. The APR he pays on his balance is 20.29% (current average APR in the U.S.). That is how the numbers of his credit card debt will look for the first month:

    Principal$2,000
    Payment (2% of balance)$60
    Monthly interest($2,000 x 20.29%)/12 months = $33.82
    Principal repayment$60 - $33.82 = $26.18
    Remaining balance$2,000 - $26.18 = $1,973.82

    With this tempo, it will take John nearly four years to pay off his balance, assuming he doesn't add up to it in the meantime. He will pay $837 in interest during that period, which is almost half of his principal amount.

    How does your credit score affect your interest rate?

    We mentioned above that the prime rate determines the APR, which is correct, but also your credit score will further define the interest rate you'll pay. Each credit company discloses a variable APR range, and which APR you get within that range will depend on your creditworthiness. Your creditworthiness is measured by your credit score.

    Credit scores show companies how 'risky' you are, how likely it is that you're going to make all your payments on time if given new credit. A high credit score means that you've managed debt well in the past, and you will get an APR that’s closer to the lower range limit. On the other hand, a low credit score will signal banks that you might default on a loan. They will set a higher APR to compensate for the risk and get most of the loan back early on.

    Usually, your FICO score will be taken into account when calculating your APR. A score above 670 is considered a good score, while a score above 740 is considered excellent. Credit card companies don't reveal the interest rate assigned for each credit score. You'll know that only after you apply for the card. Generally, you can expect to get a lower APR for a good credit score and a high one with a bad credit score.

    How to compare low-interest credit cards?

    If you're looking into low-interest credit cards, it means you want to save money, and you think you might carry a balance on your credit card. Or you just want to protect yourself from an unexpected cost, like your car breaking down or a medical bill. Whatever the reason, it’s important to find the right card that will be the best deal for you. We’ll give you a few tips on how to compare them:

    1. Do you need a 0% APR offer along with the low interest? – Is it important to you that the card has a 0% APR period? You might want to transfer a high-interest balance and take advantage of the interest-free period for some time. Or you are planning a large purchase, so it matters that the card has a 0% APR on purchases. The US bank Visa® Platinum and the Citi Diamond Preferred® have the lengthiest intro offers, both for balance transfers and purchases, 20 and 18 months each respectively.
    2. Interest rates – Compare the ongoing APRs of each card, and also consider your credit score which will determine your interest rate. Intro APR offers are still only short-term. What matters in the long term, if you keep a balance, is the regular APR.
    3. Fees and charges – Since your goal is saving money, you probably want to avoid any fees. First, consider the annual fee, which might outweigh the money you save on interest. All credit cards on our list are without annual fees. Then, there is the balance transfer fee, and if you're planning to transfer a balance to your new card, you should include it in your calculation. The Navy Federal nRewards Secured doesn’t have a balance transfer fee. Lastly, there are late and penalty fees which you can avoid by making at least the minimum payment on time.
    4. Rewards and benefits – Several of the cards on our list are rewards credit cards that have great deals on interest for purchases and balance transfers. So, it's possible to get a card that not only saves you money but it also earns you some.

    Making the most of your low-interest credit card

    To make the most out of your low-interest credit card, you should first take advantage of the 0% intro APR offer if it has one. Try to pay as much as you can during this period. After the period ends and if you are still carrying a balance, make an effort to pay well above your minimum payment. Of course, we advise you to pay at least the amount of the minimum payment each month to avoid late and penalty fees. In any case, carrying a balance on your credit card is never cheap, and you should manage it responsibly.

    Common APR Myths

    Let’s go through some popular myths involving APR and credit cards. We'll clarify them because believing false statements about APRs can end up costing you money.

    Myth #1 – My credit score is not that important

    We are sorry to be the ones telling you this – but your credit score matters. It's the greatest factor when the credit card company is deciding whether or not you'll get approved for the card, and later it also impacts the APR you will get. If you don't believe us, look at this table of effective interest rates that consumers with different credit scores have gotten.

    Credit score categoryEffective interest rate
    Deep Subprime (579 or lower)21.0%
    Subprime (580 - 619)20.5%
    Near Prime (620 - 659)19.0%
    Prime (660 - 719)16.5%
    Super Prime (720 or greater)13.5%
    Overall15.6%

    Source: CFPB's Consumer Credit Card Market Report

    Myth #2 – So what if I miss a payment now and then, it’s not a big deal

    Except that - it IS a big deal. First, it will affect your credit score, and we think you know how much damage a lower credit score can make. Then, let’s not forget about the penalty APR if your card has one, which is very probable that it will, as most credit cards do. The penalty APRs are much higher than the regular APRs and vary between 25% - 30%. So, if you forget or simply leave a balance hanging, you can find yourself buried in debts. Assume you have a $5,000 balance on a credit card that you're unable to pay off. Let's say that the penalty APR is 25%. If you trigger it, one year, you'll owe $6,250. Do you still believe missing payments is not a big deal? And we haven't even mentioned the late fees you could get charged with.

    FAQ

    • What is the best credit card with the lowest interest rate?

      Unfortunately, we cannot answer this as the interest rate depends on your choice of credit card, your credit score, and your overall financial situation. Follow our tips on how to compare low-interest rate credit cards to find the best one for you.
    • What are other credit cards to consider?

      Other great low-interest credit cards are the Discover it® chrome, BankAmericard®, and the TSB Advance Mastercard®.
    • How to calculate the monthly interest rate?

      To find out your monthly interest rate you simply need to divide your APR (annual percentage rate) by 12. For example, if your APR is 18%, the monthly rate will be 18% / 12 = 1.5%.

    Financial and product expert

    hv@myfin.us