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Best 0% APR Credit Cards for December 2022

These credit cards can help you avoid interest charges.

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An introductory 0% APR is a feature offered by some credit cards that gives cardholders a limited timeframe in which they can avoid interest charges on their balance. Normally, a credit card APR sits around 15% to 25% -- so you'd pay anywhere from $150 to $250 in interest charges annually on a $1,000 credit card balance. 

Introductory APRs can apply either to your new purchases or to a balance transferred from a high-interest credit card. In order to avoid getting charged interest after the introductory 0% APR ends, we recommend paying your balance in full before the promotion is up. And remember to make all your credit card minimum payments on time so that you don't breach the terms of the promotion.

Best introductory balance transfer APR

8.75/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro OfferN/A
APR15.74% - 25.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Intro Purchase APR0% Intro APR for 21 billing cycles for purchases
Recommended Credit Excellent/Good
Reward RatesN/A
Annual Fee$0
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% Intro APR for 21 billing cycles for any BTs made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10) applies.
Balance Transfer APR15.74% - 25.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Late Payment Fee See Terms
Foreign Transaction Fees 3%
Penalty APR none

Our Take

This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

The BankAmericard® credit card not only has one of the longest balance transfer offers, but it also offers a lower balance transfer fee than other balance transfer credit cards.

Cardholders will have an introductory 0% APR offer for purchases and balance transfers for 21 billing cycles (then 15.74% to 25.74% variable) with a balance transfer fee of 3% ($10 minimum).

You'll need to make any balance transfers within the first 60 days of account opening, but you'll have 21 billing cycles to pay it down. A 3% fee may sound painful, but it will sting far less considering how much money you'd likely spend on interest charges by letting a balance accrue interest on another card.

For more information, see our full review of the BankAmericard credit card.

Intro APR with cash rewards on your purchases

9.5/10 CNET Rating
See Rates and Fees
Card Highlights
Intro OfferEarn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
APR18.74%, 23.74%, or 28.74% Variable APR
Intro Purchase APR0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening
Recommended Credit Excellent, Good
Reward Rates
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
Annual Fee$0
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers
Balance Transfer APR18.74%, 23.74%, or 28.74% Variable APR
Balance Transfer Fee up to 5%; min: $5
Foreign Transaction Fees 3%
Penalty APR None
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

Our Take

You can take advantage of cash rewards on top of the introductory APR on your purchases with the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card. While the 0% introductory APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers lasts for 15 months from account opening (then a 18.74%, 23.74% or 28.74% variable APR), the 2% cash rewards applies to those purchases and beyond. While you might be able to earn higher rewards rates in individual categories with other cards, this is one of the best credit cards for everyday spending. The cash rewards and welcome offer make up for this being a slightly shorter introductory APR period than some of the other picks.

For more details, see our full review of the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card.

Read our Wells Fargo Active Cash Card review.

 

Very long potential intro APR period

8.75/10 CNET Rating
See Rates and Fees
Card Highlights
Intro OfferN/A
APR16.74% - 28.74% Variable APR
Intro Purchase APR0% intro APR for up to 21 months from account opening
Recommended Credit Excellent, Good
Reward RatesN/A
Annual Fee$0
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% intro APR for up to 21 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers
Balance Transfer APR16.74% - 28.74% Variable APR
Balance Transfer Fee up to 5%; min: $5
Foreign Transaction Fees 3%
Penalty APR None

Our Take

The Wells Fargo Reflect® Card offers a unique proposition among 0% introductory APR cards. Not only can you take advantage of the 0% introductory APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for an entire 18 months from account opening, but you can earn a three month extension on that timeframe if you pay all of your minimum payments on time during the introductory period. This means you can use up to 21 months from account opening of 0% introductory APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (16.74% to 28.74% variable APR thereafter), which is unmatched by any other offer we could find. The trick is -- as with all 0% intro APR cards -- to be disciplined.

Check out our full review of the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card.

Long introductory balance transfer offer

8.75/10 CNET Rating
See Rates and Fees
Card Highlights
Intro OfferN/A
APR18.24% - 28.24% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases
Recommended Credit Good/Excellent
Reward RatesN/A
Annual Fee$0
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on balance transfers
Balance Transfer APR18.24% - 28.24% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater
Foreign Transaction Fees 2% of each foreign purchase transaction or foreign ATM advance transaction in U.S. Dollars. 3% of each foreign purchase transaction or foreign ATM advance transaction in a Foreign Currency

Our Take

The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card is a great card for a balance transfer, with 18 billing cycles of 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers. (Remember you still need to make minimum monthly payments, though: 18.24% to 28.24% variable APR thereafter.) The trade-off is a lack of welcome bonus and rewards, but there's no annual fee either.

For more details, see our full review of the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card.

One of the longest intro APR periods

8/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro OfferN/A
APR18.74% - 27.49% Variable
Intro Purchase APR0% Intro APR on Purchases for 18 months
Recommended Credit Excellent/Good Credit
Reward RatesN/A
Annual Fee$0
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months
Balance Transfer APR18.74% - 27.49% Variable
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign Transaction Fees 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Penalty APR Up to 29.99%

Our Take

The Chase Slate Edge℠ offers a full 18 months of 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers (18.74% to 27.49% variable APR thereafter), beating out most other cards with intro APR offers. Beyond those 18 months, you'll have the option to utilize My Chase Plan® on qualifying purchases of at least $100. With this program, you are able to spread out your payments in monthly installments for no interest -- the catch is a flat monthly fee of 1.72%. But it is important to note that this fee can end up being very costly, on par with a higher APR if your balance remains unpaid.

See our full review of the Chase Slate Edge for more details.

Greater control over rewards with an intro APR offer

7.5/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro Offer$200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
APR17.74% - 27.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Intro Purchase APR0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases
Recommended Credit Excellent/Good
Reward Rates
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases).
  • Earn automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases).
  • Earn unlimited 1% on all other purchases.
Annual Fee$0
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any BTs made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10) applies.
Balance Transfer APR17.74% - 27.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Late Payment Fee See Terms
Foreign Transaction Fees 3%
Penalty APR Up to 29.99% APR
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases).
  • Earn automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases).
  • Earn unlimited 1% on all other purchases.

Our Take

This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card gives you more control over how you earn rewards than most credit cards and provides a solid introductory APR offer.

Its intro purchase APR is likely going to be of more use here over its balance transfer opportunity, considering the card's strong rewards. You're able to make purchases and then pay them down at a 0% introductory APR for 18 billing cycles before the standard APR of 17.74% to 27.74% (variable) applies.

For no annual fee, you can choose to earn rewards for gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings. Online shopping and home improvement purchases are rare bonus categories to find. However, the card is held back a bit by its spending cap, but if you're a smaller spender, it's certainly a viable option.

You can read more in our Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card review.

Strong rewards and a long intro balance transfer APR

7.25/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro OfferN/A
APR17.74% - 27.74% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Recommended Credit Excellent, Good
Reward Rates
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
Annual Fee$0
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% intro for 18 months on Balance Transfers
Balance Transfer APR17.74% - 27.74% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. A balance transfer fee of 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies if completed after 4 months of account opening.
Late Payment Fee Up to $41
Foreign Transaction Fees 3%
Penalty APR Up to 29.99% (Variable)
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.

Our Take

The Citi Double Cash Card is one of the best flat-rate cash-back cards you could add to your wallet. It's both lucrative and versatile as it earns rewards no matter what you're buying. It also features a long promotional period to pay down a transferred balance.

It's a double threat, it can help you avoid interest charges accruing on another credit card and provide plenty of rewards after you pay it off. It has lasting value when compared to other balance transfer credit cards. It also has no annual fee which means you can pair it with other rewards cards to maximize the return on your spending. 

Find all the details in our Citi Double Cash Card review.

Intro APR with an intro $0 balance transfer fee

7.25/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro OfferN/A
APR9.99% to 21.49% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR0% Introductory APR for the first 15 months that your account is open.
Recommended Credit Excellent/Good Credit
Reward RatesN/A
Annual Fee$0
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% Introductory APR for the first 15 months that your account is open.
Balance Transfer APR9.99% to 21.49% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater.
Late Payment Fee Up to $37
Foreign Transaction Fees 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.
Penalty APR None

Our Take

The Union Bank Platinum Visa Credit Card* combines a competitive introductory APR length with the rare feature of an inexpensive balance transfer. Most credit cards will charge a fee when you transfer your balance -- usually 3% or 5% of the transaction -- which can add to the debt you need to pay off. But if you transfer a balance to the Union Bank Platinum card within the first 60 days of getting approved, you'll pay no balance transfer fees (3% balance transfer fee with a $10 minimum thereafter). For both purchases and balance transfers, you'll get 15 months from account opening to take advantage of the introductory APR (after that, you'll be subject to a variable 9.99% - 21.49% APR).

A higher-than-average balance transfer fee

7/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro OfferFor a limited time earn a $150 Statement Credit after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
APR16.74% - 27.49% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR0% for 12 months on Purchases
Recommended Credit Excellent, Good
Reward RatesN/A
Annual Fee$0
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers
Balance Transfer APR16.74% - 27.49% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee Balance transfer fee applies with this offer 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Late Payment Fee Up to $41
Foreign Transaction Fees 3%
Penalty APR Up to 29.99% (Variable)

Our Take

The Citi Diamond Preferred offers cardholders a significant amount of time to pay down a transferred balance, but it's held back by its high balance transfer fee.

Cardholders have a solid 21 months to pay down any balance they transfer at 0% introductory APR (then 16.74% to 27.49% (variable)) but they'll first need to pay a balance transfer fee of 5% ($5 minimum). The standard balance transfer fee is 3%, so you'll end up paying a bit more with the Diamond Preferred Card than most other balance transfer credit cards.

Despite the lack of rewards, there's also an intro purchase APR you could take advantage of to finance a large, planned purchase. However, the introductory APR on purchases is significantly shorter.

You can learn more about the card in our Citi Diamond Preferred review.

Travel rewards with an introductory APR

6.5/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro Offer25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
APR17.74% - 27.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Intro Purchase APR0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases
Recommended Credit Excellent/Good
Reward Rates
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire.
Annual Fee$0
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any BTs made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10) applies.
Balance Transfer APR17.74% - 27.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Late Payment Fee See terms
Foreign Transaction Fees None
Penalty APR up to 29.99% APR
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire.

Our Take

This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

With no annual fee, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is a great starter travel credit card.

There aren't any foreign transaction fees, which will essentially save you 3% of each transaction you make abroad. And if you use it for a planned trip, you can pay the trip off at 0% introductory interest for 18 billing cycles before the standard APR of 17.74% to 27.74% (variable) kicks in.

There's also a balance transfer offer for the same time period for any transfers made within 60 days of account opening (with a fee of 3% and $10 minimum). It doesn't offer many travel amenities like travel cards at a higher price-point, but it's a good card to use before moving on to more advanced credit cards.

Learn more in our Bank of America Travel Rewards card review.

A flat-rate and an intro APR offer

6/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro Offer$200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
APR17.74% - 27.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Intro Purchase APR0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases
Recommended Credit Excellent/Good Credit
Reward Rates
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
Annual Fee$0
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any BTs made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10) applies.
Balance Transfer APR17.74% - 27.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Late Payment Fee See Terms
Foreign Transaction Fees 3%
Penalty APR up to 29.99% APR
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Our Take

This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

The Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card keeps it simple. Make your purchases with the card to earn 1.5% cash back. If you have any planned trips or large purchases coming up, you can charge it to the card and pay it down at 0% introductory APR for 18 billing cycles, then 17.74% to 27.74% (variable).

The same offer applies to any balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening, with a 3% fee ($10 min). It's an inexpensive option for general spenders looking to either mitigate credit card debt or avoid interest charges on a planned purchase.

Another balance transfer opportunity

Discover it® Balance Transfer

  • Intro offer: All cash back earned at the end of your first 12 months will be matched
  • APR: 15.74 percent to 26.74 percent variable
  • Intro purchase APR: 0% for the first six months
  • Intro balance transfer APR: 0% for the first 18 months
  • Recommended credit: Good to excellent
  • Rewards rates: 5% cash back after activation on rotating categories each quarter (up to $1,500 in quarterly purchases, then 1%), 1% for all other purchases
  • Annual fee: $0

For no annual fee, the Discover it® Balance Transfer* card also provides cardholders with a competitive opportunity to mitigate some of their existing credit card debt. 

Cardholders will have an intro 0% APR for 18 months to pay down a transferred balance (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable) with an intro balance transfer fee of 3% -- though this may reach up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms).

How to Choose a 0% APR Credit Card

The most important feature to pay attention to when choosing a credit card with an introductory APR is the length of its APR offer. You'll want to be sure you have enough time to pay off the transferred balance or large, planned purchases before it begins to accrue interest again.

A good way to find out if you'll have enough time is to take the balance or purchase amount and divide it by the number of months you'll have to pay it down. 

Let's say you plan to transfer a balance of $3,000 and have 18 months to pay it down. 3,000 divided by 18 is about 167. That means you'll need to be able to pay at least $167 each month to pay down the balance in time. 

You should also consider the fees that come with the card. Initiating a balance transfer typically requires you to pay a one-time balance transfer fee. There are credit cards without a balance transfer fee, but they typically don't have as generous terms as balance transfer cards that do.

The industry standard balance transfer fee is about 3%, so anything higher than that and you may want to reconsider the choice. That said, paying a one-time fee will typically cost far less than paying continuous interest charges at a high APR.

Balance transfer credit cards, for the most part, don't have many other perks, so it might be good to pair one with a rewards credit card, travel credit card or cash-back credit card.

Types of credit card APRs

Credit cards have five different types of annual percentage rates, or APRs. There's the standard purchase APR, balance transfer APR, a penalty APR, a cash advance APR and an introductory APR.

The one you'll likely deal with the most is the purchase APR, as that determines the rate at which the purchases you make accrue interest. The second most important is the balance transfer APR. That applies to any balance you transfer from another card. Both of these categories are impacted by an introductory APR offer which typically drops one or both to 0% for a number of months.

The introductory APR is a promotional offer that usually runs from nine to 21 months, depending on the card. During this time, your new purchases, a transferred balance, or both won't accrue any interest. After the 0% introductory APR period expires, your balances will be subject to a variable APR.

The penalty APR only applies if you miss a credit card payment. It's typically capped at 29.99%, which is much higher than the standard APR. Your new purchases following the missed payment will accrue interest at the penalty rate. If you miss two payments, the higher APR will also be applied to your current statement balance. You'll also be responsible for late fees.

A cash advance APR applies to a cash advance you take out against your line of credit. It usually isn't worth it because of the high APR and the large fee it requires to do so. It's usually higher than the standard APR your card will carry.

Most APRs are variable, which means the rate may change without notice. Changes to a variable APR occur because it is tied to the prime rate -- the interest rate banks charge their most creditworthy customers.

Otherwise, your APR is based on your creditworthiness and a premium charged by the credit card issuer.

Is a 0% APR right for you?

If you're struggling beneath the weight of credit card debt, an introductory 0% balance transfer APR could alleviate some of that pressure. Even if there is a balance transfer fee, it'll be worth the cost when compared to how much you'd spend on interest charges.

If you have a planned, large purchase coming up, using an intro 0% purchase APR to finance it will help you to avoid interest charges and therefore leave your finances in a better spot than had you charged it to a credit card with a standard APR.

How to make the most of your 0% APR credit card

Use it to mitigate credit card debt or to finance a large, planned purchase, but don't let an introductory purchase APR encourage you to make any unnecessary purchases you otherwise wouldn't have.

Choosing a balance transfer credit card that offers rewards can be a good way to ensure lasting value once its promotional period ends. Closing credit cards can hurt your credit score, and sometimes an issuer may reinstate an introductory APR interest rate if you've shown responsible behavior.

How to apply for a 0% APR credit card

Follow these steps to apply for a 0% APR credit card:

  1. Find the card that fits your needs.
  2. Apply securely on the credit card issuer's website.
  3. Initiate a balance transfer as soon as possible to qualify for the introductory APR.
  4. Pay off the balance within the given time limit.

By doing so, you'll be well on your way to avoiding interest charges.

FAQs

How do 0% intro APR cards affect your credit score?

Like with any other credit card, missing a credit card payment will damage your credit score. However, a balance transfer credit card could help improve your credit score by eliminating your credit card debt. Getting rid of credit card debt will decrease your credit utilization. A lower credit utilization contributes to a healthier credit score.

Can you have more than one 0% APR Card?

Yes, you can have multiple credit cards with a 0% APR offer.

What is the longest 0% APR period you can get?

The longest 0% APR offer period is 21 months.

What is a good credit card APR?

Credit card APRs are determined by the federal benchmark interest rate set by the Federal Reserve, economic factors, and your creditworthiness. So an APR your friend gets might not be the same as your own, depending on your income, credit score and other factors. Check out our article about good current credit card APRs for more details.

Who qualifies for a 0% APR credit card?

Generally speaking, it's easier to qualify for a 0% APR credit card if you have good/excellent credit. Credit card issuers are losing out on money from interest charges by offering a 0% APR, so issuers typically want to be sure you're responsible enough to pay off the debt.

Our methodology

CNET reviews credit cards by exhaustively comparing them across set criteria developed for each major category, including cash-back, welcome bonus, travel rewards and balance transfer. We take into consideration the typical spending behavior of a range of consumer profiles -- with the understanding that everyone's financial situation is different -- and the designated function of a card. 

More credit card recommendations

*All information about the Union Bank Platinum Visa Credit Card and the Discover it Balance Transfer has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.