Imagine not having to pay any interest when using your credit card to make purchases. Sound like a dream come true? Well, this is quite possible with the 0% APR (Annual Percentage Rate) cards offered by many credit card companies. This means for a set period you get to pay absolutely no interest as you spend!
The duration for the 0% intro APR varies from one company to the other with some giving 12 months while others 21 months which is the longest. This means for almost two years, you pay $0 interest on every purchase you make. Some of the best cards with this offer are discussed here. They come with other rewards like bonuses and cashback.
Before you sign on any dotted line and get a credit card, shop around and see what different companies offer. There are many more benefits to look out for apart from the 0% APR. Many don’t charge annual fees. Some charge a foreign transaction fee with is about 3% of the purchase made while others don’t.
Think through which is the best card to get and what is your current credit score. The best cards require a higher score even though there are some for those with lower scores as well.
Understanding Variable APR
APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate. To have a variable APR on your credit card means it’s not fixed and can change at any time. This is an important point to note as you apply for a card. The good news is that no company is permitted to adjust the APR beyond what most people can afford.
The APR variable charged on credit cards is based on the lending rate that is prime across all banks involved in the issuance of these cards. This rate is normally published on the Wall Street Journal every month. Read through the Terms and Conditions of your card to see the points in percentage the credit card issuer can add to it.
Pay attention to your billing statement to learn if the APR charged has changed as the issuer won’t notify you. This is because, there is no law requiring them to do so. Your credit history is the main determinant of the variable APR charged on your card. It consists of a margin and the base rate. When the base rate shifts, the APR rate of the card changes as well as the two go hand in hand.
The prime rate for many credit cards is regarded as the base rate which is the least amount that the issuer can charge customers. These are customers with the best credit score and vary among issuers.
Interest rates can change several times especially when a promotion comes to an end. This is witnessed when the period offered by the 0% intro APR on purchase elapses. This is on cards that have an introductory offer for their customers. Once the period, usually 12 to 18 months ends, the regular variable APR comes into effect on purchases made.
If for one reason or the other your credit score drops, then the issuer of the card can review your APR and adjust it accordingly. This is done without necessarily notifying you of the changes made. The same can happen if you miss a payment where a penalty APR can be applied.
In case the APR of the credit card you currently hold keeps increasing to a point you can’t use it anymore, then stop using it. To avoid your credit score taking a hit, don’t close the account. Simply hop for a new card with lower rates and use that. Still, it’s important to know why the APR is increasing. If it’s because of an increase in the base rate, the same might be happening with other issuers as well. You can also opt for credit transfer in case you feel the charges are irrational.
Have a conversation with the credit card company on the APR charged on your card if you don’t want to get another. If you’ve been a good customer, they may be more inclined to adjust it for you. You can explain your situation in detail and get good results.
What is 0% Intro APR on Purchase?
You might have come across adverts from different credit card companies that advertise their 0% APR on purchase. This is a great offer to take advantage of. But first, start by understanding what it means. The credit card companies give their customers a period where they don’t pay any interest on purchases made using a card with this offer. After that period elapses, then the card reverts to the regular APR variable charges on purchases.
The period of 0% APR is set between 12 to 21 months depending on what a company offers. One point to note is that the 0% APR may not apply to all purchases made using the card. Read through the Terms and Conditions to see which specified purchases apply to this offer and which are excluded from it. Those excluded will be charged the normal APR %. Check if the card permits 0% balance transfers before you decide to use it for this purpose.
Not all credit card companies openly advertise the 0% offer. Here you can learn on the types of purchases that apply as well as which is important. In the Terms and Conditions, read through all the rules that apply to the 0% APR to avoid violating them and getting the offer revoked by the company.
Best APR Cards
|Card Name||Intro Purchase APR %||0% APR Duration||Annual Fee||Credit Score||Regular APR%|
|American Express Cash Magnet Card||0%||15 months||N/A||670-850||12.99-23.99|
|Bank of America Cash Rewards||0%||15 months||N/A||670-850||15.49-25.49|
|ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard||0%||12 months||N/A||580-699||14.40-24.40|
|Chase Freedom||0%||15 months||N/A||690-850||16.49-25.24|
|U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card||0%||20 months||N/A||690-850||13.99-23.99|
|HSBC Gold Mastercard||0%||18 months||N/A||690-850||14.49-24.49|
|Capital One SavorOne Card||0%||15 months||N/A||690-850||15.49-25.49|
|Capital One VentureOne Card||0%||12 months||N/A||670-850||14.49-24.49|
|Wells Fargo Cash Wise Card||0%||15 months||N/A||670-850||13.99-25.99|
Once you get American Express Cash Magnet, you enjoy 0% APR on it but only if you have the qualifying credit score. The score is set at 670 to 850 by the credit card company. Customers with lower scores must settle for the regular AP rate that starts from 12.99% to 23.99% variable.
With Express Cash Magnet , you get $150 in credit form from the company once you spend the first $1000 on it. You must make this purchase within the initial 3 months after acquiring the card to get the $150 credit. The 0% APR intro period lasts for 15 months for purchases. An added benefit to this card is the 1.5% cashback with any purchases you make. There are no annual fees charged.
- 0% APR on purchases for 15 months
- $150 credit on $1000 purchases in the initial 3 months
- No annual fee
- High credit score required for 0%
- Not all people can benefit from the offer
2. Bank of America Cash Rewards
This card comes with an introductory bonus of $200 if you make purchases of $1000 and above within the first 90 days. Considering the rewards, you better get to spending since it’s a small amount. Don’t worry about incurring any annual fees when considering to apply for it.
There is a sweet cashback system where you get 2% to 3% after spending $2500 or more. You must select a category where you want this to apply be it the grocery store, gas, among others. The 0% intro APR lasts for 15 months which is a great offer. The catch is, you need a credit score of 670 and above to qualify.
The regular APR rate is 15.49% to 25.49% variable. A 3% foreign transaction fee applies to this card.
- Introductory bonus of $200 for purchases above $1000 for the initial 90 days
- Cashback reward of 2 to 3% for purchases above $2500
- 0% APR for 15 months
- 0% APR only for those with high FICO score
- There is a foreign fee charged on international purchases/spending
No annual fee applies once you successfully apply for the card. The other advantage is it’s one of the few in the market that requires a lower credit score to enjoy the 0% APR on purchases. 0% intro APR lasts for 12 months. The FICO score needed is from 580 to 699. In case you don’t qualify for this then the regular APR is 14.40% to 24.40% variable.
Enjoy a bonus of $150 credit once you spend $1200 in the first 90 days. Each quarter you can also get a reward that is 5x on combined purchases of $1500 in the popular categories.
- 0% intro APR is for 12 months
- Lower credit score required
- Bonuses and reward credit apply
- Charges a foreign fee
With an open account, you get cashback rewards that never expire. Just ensure that there is no minimum redeemable. Get yourself up to 5% cashback on purchases that are $1500 and above. This is done each quarter in the qualifying categories and there are more 5% categories each quarter. Chase Freedom comes with a $150 bonus once you spend $500 and above in the initial 3 months of ownership.
The 0% intro purchase lasts for 15 months from the day the account is opened. Chase Freedom requires a high credit score of 690 plus to qualify for the 0% APR. For those who don’t qualify, the regular variable rests at 16.49% to 25.24% APR. The good news for both is that no annual fees apply.
- No annual fee is charged
- 15 months 0% APR for purchases
- 5% cashback on purchases of $1500 and above
- Tough to get bonus categories
If your desire to get a card that is flexible enough to enable you to choose the best date for you to pay, then you’re in the right place. U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card allows customers to pick a specific payment date that suits their schedule. There are no annual fees charged on it. One of the best pecks for this credit card is the fact that 0% APR on purchases lasts for 20 whole months!
For those who don’t have a qualifying score or when the intro period elapses, the variable APR rate is 13.99% to 23.99%. The credit score required is high at 690 to 850 which blocks out many potential customers from the 0% APR intro offer.
- 20 months offer on the 0% intro APR
- Flexibility on payment day to fit your schedule
- High FICO score of 690 plus
- No rewards or cashback offers
You require an excellent credit score to benefit from the 0% APR rate on purchases offered by HSBC credit card company. The offer lasts for a total of 18 months after which the regular APR rate rests at 14.49% to 24.49%. One catch is that you require a high FICO score from 690 and above to benefit from this offer.
No annual fees are charged which is an advantage lowering your total costs. Another advantage is no fees are charged on foreign transactions. There is a waiver when you have cases of late payment. No amount is charged on purchases made without your authorization.
- Long 0% APR purchases period of 18 months
- No annual or foreign transaction fees
- No fee charged on the first late payment
- Requires high FICO score
The card comes with an offer of 0% introductory APR on purchases made for the next 15 months after signing up. After that, a variable APR of 15.49% to 25.49% applies. When you decide to use the card for dining and entertainment, you get a 3% cashback on all spending. There is also a 2% cashback on purchases made in grocery stores.
Capital One SavorOne card is ideal if you prefer eating out often and entertainment rather than doing so at home. When you sign up for the card, there is a $150 bonus for the first spending of $500 within 3 months. There are no foreign transactions or annual fees charged on it. To benefit from the 0% intro APR, you must have a FICO score of 690 plus.
- No annual or foreign transaction fees charged
- Welcome bonus of $150
- 0% APR lasts for 15 months
- High FICO Score required
Who wouldn’t want to enjoy 0% APR on a card for some time? With this card, you enjoy the 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months. This is not as long as some other cards but it’s still a good offer. If that’s not enough, you get rewarded with 1.25 miles on every purchase you make which you can take full advantage of during your vacation. You can complement the offer with your travel card.
While traveling abroad, don’t worry about any foreign transaction fees. No annual fees apply to this card as well. The regular APR variable, once the intro is over, starts from 14.49% to 24.49%. You need a high credit score from 670 to 850.
- Low regular APR starting from 14.49%
- Intro APR on purchases of 0%
- No foreign transaction or annual fees
- Need a credit score of 670-850
For customers seeking a card with great rewards, this is the card for you. Who wouldn’t want to receive 1.5% back on every purchase they make? This is rewarded on each dollar you spend on a purchase. You also get back 1.8% during the initial year of owning the card. The offer is limited to purchases made using mobile wallets.
Don’t worry about paying an annual fee for none applies here. Simply enjoy 0% introductory APR for 15 months after which the regular APR variable is from 13.99% to 25.99%. A foreign transaction fee of 3% applies. You need a credit score starting from 670.
- Great reward of 1.5% on every dollar spent
- Longer 0% intro APR on purchases of 15 months
- No annual fees charged
- Charges a foreign transaction fee of 3%
There are some great 0% intro APR cards out there when it comes to purchases. Shop around and be sure to read the Terms and Conditions before choosing one. The information written is vital. The best cards have great rewards systems for their customers including miles, cashback, and points.
Most don’t charge an annual fee but some have additional charges. The additional charges are foreign transaction fees that are a % of the purchase made. Pick a card from the most flexible lender as some even waiver the penalty fee charged in case you make a late payment. With due diligence, you can lock down some great pros on the best 0% APR card.