After 25 hours of research evaluating 100 products, we picked Chase Freedom Unlimited® as our top choice.
Experts say you should never let your credit card utilization exceed 10% of your available credit, but let’s be real: Many of us ignore that recommendation. That’s why Americans have a combined total of more than $1.3 trillion in revolving debt as of April 2018.
If you’re a member of the balance-carrying crew, consider applying for 0 APR credit cards. The benefits of 0 APR credit cards don’t last forever, but you often get a break from interest on purchases and/or balance transfers for more than a year.
After your card’s promotional period ends, you can generally expect an APR that falls somewhere between 13% to 30%. The exact amount depends on your creditworthiness, so make sure you pay bills on time and keep your credit utilization rates low.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way...
Are you ready to apply for some of the best 0 APR credit cards? We’ve compiled a list of our favorites to help you find an APR-free card that meets your needs.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated September 4, 2018 but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.
You'll earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase; no need to worry about bonus rewards categories. Also, no foreign transaction fee, plus international chip and pin capability.
Charges an annual fee, doesn't offer great ways to maximize your rewards, and no luxury perks.
18.24%, 22.24%, or 25.24%
Earn 2 miles per dollar spent, plus get 5% of your miles back every time you redeem.
$89 (waived the first year) - so it could be worse.
Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
(Normally, you can earn 60,000 miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — worth $600 in travel statement credits.)
Apply online through the Barclays website.
Application Process: Apply online in minutes for a shot at getting this Citi Diamond Preferred card. You can also apply via the phone by calling 1-800-505-1675 if you prefer.
Having a FICO score above 690 may help your approval odds.
Fees: If you're the type of person who rushes to cancel cards before the annual fee hits, relax. This Citi card has no annual fee, so you can take your time paying off balance transfers and purchases.
This isn’t a fee-free card, though. Balance transfers cost 5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. A cash advance will set you back $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
There’s also a foreign transaction fee of 3% for overseas transactions in US dollars. Late payments and returned payments usually cost $35, and cardholders warn that it’s difficult to get these fees waived.
APR: Make the most of your 0% APR during the promotional period because it jumps to somewhere between 14.49% and 24.49% after that. The promotional period lasts 12 months for purchases and 21 months for balance transfers. This is one of the longest promotions we’ve seen for balance transfers.
The cash advance APR is 26.74%. Try not to pay late or have a payment bounce so you can avoid the 29.99% penalty APR.
Rewards: None, unfortunately. But this card is geared more toward people who need to pay off balances from old cards, not people who want to rack up new debt.
However, the card does offer a 24/7 Citi Concierge to help you plan for your next trip or score deals on goods and services.
Bonus Offers: None.Details:Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card »
Application Process: Apply online and get a response within 60 seconds.
Rewards: Earn 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases. Plus, you can get between 10% and 75% more rewards, depending on your relationship with Bank of America.
Bonus Offers: Receive 25,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days, equivalent to $250 of travel credit.
Annual fee: None.Details:Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card »
Application Process: Apply online, and get a decision within 60 seconds or less.
Rewards: Earn 1.5% cash on all purchases. Also, get a 10% anniversary bonus on all cash rewards earned each year, effectively increasing your rewards rate to 1.65%.
Annual Fee: None.Details:HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card »
There's a lot to love about the Chase Freedom Unlimited cash back credit card. It provides a high rewards rate with no nonsense in terms of rotating spending categories - just a flat 1.5% back on every purchase you make with the card. With responsible use, you won't have to pay a penny to use this card, as there's no annual fee.
As far as actually getting the cash back you've earned, there's no minimum required for redemption, and cash back earnings can be redeemed for any amount (unlike the Chase Freedom card, which requires a minimum $20). On top of that, there's a relatively small minimum spend required to earn the lucrative account opening bonus.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card doesn't offer any specific bonus categories, due to its nature as a flat-rate cash back credit card. So those who know their high-spending categories (like groceries, for example) may want to opt instead for a cash back credit card that caters to their spending habits.
While going through this list, you'll also notice that it's not the highest flat-rate cash back card around. There's also a foreign transaction fee, so if you want a credit card specifically for international travel you should look into opening a credit card that caters specifically to travelers.
Application Process: Online, over the phone, or at a branch. Online is the easiest method, but it's nice to know that you have options!
Annual Fee: No annual fee! How's that for maximizing the money in your pocket? Balance transfer fees are $5 or 5% of the transferred amount (whichever is greater).
APR: 0% for the first 15 months, then a variable APR of 16.24% to 24.99%.
Rewards: You can redeem your rewards as cash back in the form of:
Or, you can also redeem rewards using the Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1 cent each and may be claimed through the Ultimate Rewards portal for:
Bonus Offers: Earn a $150 bonus after spending $500, within 3 months after opening a new account. Additionally, you can also earn $25 if you opt to add an authorized user of the card, and that person makes their first purchase within the 3 month period.Details:Chase Freedom Unlimited® »