Best Cards Summary
Wells Fargo Reflect® Card
Why this is one of the best low-interest credit cards: The Wells Fargo Reflect card comes with a lengthy 18-month 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers, and cardholders can extend the promotion by three months as long as they make all of their minimum payments on time. See our full review.
Discover it® Balance Transfer
Why this is one of the best low interest credit cards: The Discover it Balance Transfer card comes with an 18-month 0% introductory APR on eligible balance transfers and a six-month 0% introductory APR on purchases, so cardholders can pay off a balance over time without incurring interest charges. After the introductory period, the card charges a variable APR between 13.49% and 24.49%. See our full review.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Why this is one of the best low-interest credit cards: The most creditworthy applicants will score a low annual percentage rate on this card, but it’s the best fit for consumers looking to earn cash back on everyday purchases. You’ll get 3% cash back on up to $6,000 annually at U.S. supermarkets and then 1% back; 2% back at gas stations and department stores; and 1% back on other purchases. Cardholders receive a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. See our full review.
Discover it® chrome
Why this is one of the best low-interest credit cards: Discover it chrome gives cardholders a 15-month 0% introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers and no annual fee. After that, there is a 13.49% to 24.49% variable APR. Gas and restaurant purchases earn 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. You’ll pay no annual fee for this card. See our full review.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
Why this is one of the best low-interest credit cards: This card has real appeal for those looking to do a balance transfer. The card offers a 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 15.99% – 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness. See our full review.
Citi Rewards+® Card
Why this is one of the best low-interest credit cards: The Citi Rewards+ Card comes with a 0% introductory annual percentage rate on balance transfers and purchases for the first 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.74% to 25.74% based on your creditworthiness. See our full review.
BankAmericard® credit card
Why this is one of the best low-interest credit cards: For the first 18 months of membership, cardholders receive a 0% introductory APR on all purchases and balance transfers made within the first 60 days. There is no penalty APR for this card. See our full review.
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
Why this is one of the best low-interest credit cards: This card offers a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on balance transfers made within 60 days of acount opening and earns you 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on up to $2,500 each quarter. Also, gas purchases count as one of the six category choices that allow you to receive 3% back on purchases. See our full review.
Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card
Why this is one of the best low-interest credit cards: The Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card offers a 0% APR on purchases for the first 15 billing cycles and on balance transfers made in the first 60 days. You can also receive a $200 online cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 on the card in the first 90 days. This credit card earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no maximums or expirations. See our full review.
American Express Cash Magnet® Card
Why this is one of the best low-interest credit cards: Those looking for flat-rate cash back may like the 1.5% back on all purchases this card delivers. Good credit standing lets you access the lowest annual percentage rate offer, plus all new cardholders get 0% APR on purchases for 15 months. See our full review.
What Are the Types of Low-Interest Credit Cards?
Issuers offer many different kinds of credit cards with low interest, such as:
A low-interest card with a 0% introductory APR likely keeps that promotional rate for 12 to 21 months and charges a balance transfer fee of 3% to 5%. If you plan to transfer a balance to pay off debt and save on interest, remember to account for this fee when calculating your monthly payment so you can make sure to clear the charges during the introductory window.
Typically, you will need good credit or better – meaning a FICO score of at least 670 – to qualify for the best low-interest credit cards. Card issuers will also look at your debt-to-income ratio and review your credit report. If you have a bankruptcy or a history of late payments, you might not be approved for a low-interest credit card.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Low-APR Credit Cards?
- Could save you money. If you sometimes carry a balance on your credit card, you could save on interest with a low-APR card. Of course, the best way to avoid interest is to pay off your balance.
- May have a 0% introductory APR. Low-interest credit cards often have 0% introductory APRs, which give you the opportunity to pay off a balance without paying any interest.
- Credit score requirements. You will need a credit score of 670 or better to qualify for one of the best low-APR cards, and a higher score will help you get a better rate.
- May not earn rewards. Low-APR credit cards may not earn rewards. The Wells Fargo Reflect Card does not, for example. But other low-interest cards do offer rewards, such as Chase Freedom Unlimited. Be sure to do your research to find a card that makes sense for you.
How to Choose a Low-Interest Credit Card
Here are six simple steps to find the right low-interest credit card.
1. Decide whether to apply for a low-interest credit card, a 0% APR card or both. If you run into a financial emergency and need to carry a balance for a few months, then these options could help you avoid racking up tons of interest charges. But be sure to weigh whether you should apply for a new credit card at all.
2. Compare APRs. Aim to find the card that fits your needs with the lowest APR. Keep in mind that other factors, including balance transfer offers, annual fees and additional charges, may outweigh the benefit of having the absolutely lowest APR.
3. Subtract annual fees. Some credit cards charge annual fees. If you choose a card with an annual fee, be sure this charge doesn’t outweigh your interest savings. And if you plan to transfer a balance to pay off debt, make sure the annual fee won’t slow your progress on paying down the balance.
4. Understand late fees and penalty APRs. Your issuer could charge up to $40 for each late payment and apply a penalty rate that is significantly higher than your regular APR. You could even lose your introductory APR. Don’t let this happen to you. Set up text or email reminders so you never miss payments.
5. Compare cardholder benefits. Many credit cards have benefits, including rental car insurance, cellphone protection and extended warranty coverage. When you take advantage of these types of perks, you get extra value from the card.
6. Estimate rewards. Plenty of credit cards that earn cash back rewards, miles or points for purchases also offer deals such as 0% interest on balance transfers for a limited period. But balance transfers usually don’t earn rewards, and you should try to wait until you pay off a transferred balance before you use your card for new purchases.
How to Make the Most of a Low-Interest Credit Card
All it takes is some simple math to figure out whether a low-interest credit card will save you money in the long run. Let’s look at one scenario to see how easy it can be to calculate your savings, or lack thereof.
If you use a low-interest credit card with no balance for a $2,500 purchase and then put $150 toward it monthly, how much could you save? If you use a card with a purchase APR of 18%, you will pay about $2,899, including about $399 in interest. With a low-interest card that has a purchase APR of 14%, you will pay about $2,796, including about $296 in interest.
Tips for saving money with a low-interest credit card:
- Transfer a balance to a low-interest card with a 0% introductory APR. You should plan to pay off the balance before the interest-free period expires, but using a low-interest card will limit the damage in case part of the balance is still left when the regular rate applies. Also, make sure the balance transfer fee is less than the amount you will save in interest.
- Ask your card issuer to lower your rate. Your odds are best if you have a long and positive payment history with the issuer.
How to Reduce the Credit Card Interest You Pay
Here’s how to spend less on credit card interest, which means more money stays in your pocket.
1. Pay off your balance. The best way to pay less credit card interest is to pay off your balance by the due date each month. If your card has a balance, you can save a lot in interest just by making more than the minimum payment.
The bigger the payment you make, the sooner you will eliminate your debt and the more you will save. You can make multiple monthly payments if that is more manageable.
If you have debt to pay off on several credit cards, you can prioritize it either by APR, starting with the highest, or by balance, beginning with the lowest. Paying off cards from highest APR to lowest APR, though, will save the most money.
2. Ask your issuer to reduce your rate. Try calling customer service and requesting a lower APR. Be polite, and be prepared to hear “no.” But don’t be afraid to call and try again if you are rejected the first time.
Research what comparable cards charge, and have those details on hand when you call. Issuers don’t want to lose your business and may be willing to match a competitor’s rate if you have been a good customer.
3. Consolidate debt with a 0% APR credit card. You can transfer credit card debt to a new card with a 0% APR period that buys you time to make interest-free payments. The length of this interest-free window depends on the card, but it could be 12 to 18 months. You may also be required to complete your balance transfers within a certain time.
Expect to pay a balance transfer fee of 3% to 5%. Even then, you can still knock out debt faster than you would otherwise because all payments during the interest-free period go toward your principal balance.
Plan to pay off your debt before the 0% introductory rate expires and the issuer begins to charge the standard APR. Also, make sure to know the regular rate in case you have a balance remaining.
4. Get a low-interest card for future spending. You’ll have your pick of cards if your credit score is good. If you frequently carry a balance, look for a card with a low ongoing rate. A card with a 0% introductory APR might be better if you plan to carry a balance only in the short term.
Comparing Two Low-Interest-Rate Credit Cards
An example of two low-interest credit cards features their rates and fees, as well as other key features. Try this exercise with any set of low-APR credit cards for comparison.
- 0% introductory APR: 18 billing cycles for purchases and balance transfers made in the first 60 days.
- Regular APR: 13.24% to 23.24% variable on purchases and balance transfers.
- Balance transfer fee: 3% of the amount transferred or a $10 minimum.
- Annual fee: None.
- Foreign transaction fee: 3%.
- Rewards program: None.
- Card benefits: Free FICO score access, no penalty APR, virtual card numbers for security when shopping online.
- Minimum credit score: 670 FICO.
- 0% introductory APR: 15 months for purchases and balance transfers.
- Regular APR: 13.49% to 24.49% variable on purchases and balance transfers.
- Balance transfer fee: 3% introductory balance transfer fee and up to 5% for future balance transfers.
- Annual fee: None.
- Foreign transaction fee: None.
- Rewards program: 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined quarterly purchases; all other purchases earn unlimited 1% cash back.
- Card benefits: Issuer matches all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year, redeem cash back anytime in any amount, free monthly FICO score access, free Discover Identity Alerts.
- Minimum credit score: 670 FICO.
U.S. News has been helping consumers make money decisions for decades. For our Best Low-Interest Credit Cards list, we factored in overall satisfaction data, annual fees, APRs, balance transfer offer lengths and introductory APR lengths for purchases. The satisfaction data is based on an annual nationwide survey.
To make the cut, the card must have a 0% APR offer of 14 months or more for purchases or balance transfers and an ongoing minimum APR of 15.99% or lower. Several cards on our list offer even better terms in one or more of these categories. Think about how you’ll use the card and compare offers to determine which would be the right fit.