7 Best 0% APR Credit Cards: Cash Back, Travel, Dining

Best 0% APR Credit Cards
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Maybe you are in a bit of a pinch and can’t get ahead of the balance you managed to rack up on your credit cards.

Or maybe you have an imminent expensive purchase for which you haven’t been able to save. One of the best 0% APR credit cards listed here can get you out of a pinch and into earning rewards for all of your expenses, large and small.

Use the 0% APR credit card tool to find the best card for you!

How Credit Card Interest Works

When you make a purchase with your credit card, interest does not start to accrue immediately. First, the balance on the credit card accumulates over the course of a month. The bank or credit card issuer then sends you a bill for the sum of your monthly purchases. Then, you are given a grace period somewhere between 15 to 25 days, during which you can pay the bill without accruing any interest.

The bank or credit card issuer requires you to pay a minimum amount monthly to keep your account in good standing. If the grace period ends and you haven’t paid off the entire bill in full, the remaining balance will start to accrue interest. It may not seem like a bad deal, but the amount of interest charged is what can really hurt your bottom line.

Most credit cards have a 20% to 30% variable APR, which can add up quickly if you aren’t careful. And you will be doubly hit as the interest adds to the balance and interest is charged on the interest. If you hold a balance long enough, it will balloon up before you know it. Worse, if you don’t pay the minimum payment, you will also incur a late fee.

The best thing you can do to avoid this scenario is to pay off your balance in full and on time every month. By doing so, you can reap the benefits of rewards or cashback you earn, help your credit score, and not have to pay a single cent more in interest.

Why Get a 0% APR Card?

So if your goal is to pay nothing in interest from the beginning, why would you want a 0% APR card? There are some circumstances where a 0% APR credit card can be very handy and help you out of a jam. Not everybody is informed enough to avoid getting themselves into a never-ending hole of credit cards and debt.

If you haven’t made the best financial decisions and racked up a large sum of debt on your credit cards, these cards are for you. You’ve been trying to pay off your credit card, but you can’t seem to catch up. By transferring your balance to a new credit card offering a 0% APR, you can start to attack the principal balance and get back on track.

Maybe you have a big purchase coming up that you don’t have the money for right now. If you haven’t planned for your car’s blown radiator or a broken refrigerator, those big purchases can seem scary when they come around. How could you possibly come up with the money to pay for those items on such short notice?

If you have a card that offers a 0% APR, you could be in luck. These cards can help you buy something large upfront and pay it off over time without having to worry about interest doubling the cost. Just be sure to pay it off before the introductory offer time period ends. Most of these cards will give you a year or more to make purchases or pay off balance transfers without having to worry about the high-interest rate.

We searched for and reviewed all of the 0% APR credit cards on the market and narrowed our list down to the best ones below. You won’t pay interest with many of these cards, and you can also earn rewards like cashback, travel credit, or statement credit. No matter what kind of card you are looking for, we have it for you here to apply now!

Methodology

Of course, the most important aspect of a 0% APR credit card is the introductory interest-free offer — what it covers and how long it lasts. But there are many other things that determine which card will suit you best. Are you trying to earn rewards as well? Or do you only care about keeping your balance at bay for as long as possible? How much is the annual fee? These are the things we considered to figure out the best card for each person. To determine the best 0% APR credit cards in each category, we considered the following criteria:

  • Annual fee: How much is the annual fee and does it make sense to pay that much?
  • 0% APR introductory offer: Does this card offer 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers? Just one of them? How long does the intro APR offer last? Any other rules for balance transfers?
  • Sign up bonus: What do you earn for a sign-up bonus? How much value will you receive for the minimum spending requirement?
  • Rewards earning: Does the card earn some sort of rewards for spending? Travel rewards or cashback? Are there any categories that earn you additional rewards or bonus cashback?
  • Other benefits: What other benefits does this card offer? Does it have no foreign transaction fees or other perks?

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Best Overall 0% APR Credit Card

American Express Everyday Credit Card

American Express Everyday Credit Card
  1. Annual fee: $0
  2. 0% APR introductory offer: 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; $0 fee on balance transfers requested within 60 days of account opening
  3. Sign up bonus: 10,000 Membership Rewards points after $1,000 spent in the first three months of card membership
  4. Rewards earning: Double Membership Rewards points at supermarkets up to $6,000 in annual purchases; double Membership Rewards points on travel purchases on AmexTravel.com; single Membership Rewards points for all other purchases; 20% extra Membership Rewards points when making 20 or more purchases each billing period
  5. Other benefits: Transfer points to partner frequent flyer programs; use points for gift cards, travel, or statement charges; car rental loss and damage insurance

The American Express Everyday Credit Card is the absolute best 0% APR credit card out there for balance transfers. Not only does this card offer a solid length of time for 0% APR on balance transfers, but it also has no balance transfer fees.

This credit card features a 0% APR introductory offer on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months, which is a great length of time to pay off any past balances without accruing any interest. The real kicker on this card (which is quite uncommon) is the no balance transfer fee for 15 months on any balance transfers requested within the first 60 days of opening the account.

Most credit cards (including some marketed specifically for balance transfers) charge a fee for balance transfers, anywhere from 3% to 5% of the total balance transfer. That means that if you were to transfer over a $2,000 unpaid credit card balance, you would still need to pay between $60 and $100 just to transfer the balance.

Another uncommon feature of balance transfer credit cards, this card also earns some amazing rewards. This card is part of the American Express Membership Rewards program. You can earn double points at supermarkets (up to $6,000 in annual purchases) and the AmexTravel.com booking portal, and one point on all other purchases. If you make 20 or more purchases in a billing period, you will earn an additional 20% points for that billing period.

Sign up bonuses are almost unheard of for balance transfer cards, but not with this one. You can earn 10,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 in the first three months after opening an account. Membership Rewards points are worth a minimum of one point if you use them for cashback or gift cards, but can be worth much more when you transfer them to airline and hotel transfer partners.

If you aren’t wowed enough, this card also includes car rental loss and damage insurance so you will have peace of mind in your weekend rental. Because of all these amazing perks and benefits, the American Express Everyday Credit Card tops our list as the best overall 0% APR credit card.

Best 0% APR Credit Card for Balance Transfers

  1. Annual fee: $0
  2. 0% APR introductory offer: 0% APR on balance transfers for 21 months from the date of first transfer; 0% APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening
  3. Sign up bonus: None
  4. Rewards earning: None
  5. Other benefits: Citi Identity Theft Solutions

When it comes to credit cards catered to customers looking for a good balance transfer offer, you can typically expect somewhere between 12 and 15 months of zero interest on balance transfers. But the Citi Simplicity Card puts the rest to shame by the sheer length of the 0% APR introductory offer on balance transfers.

This credit card offers an astounding 21 months of no interest on balance transfers. If you compare that to the rest of the cards on our list, this card offers zero interest for six months longer than the rest. The next closest card only offers 15 months of 0% APR. If you are in desperate need of keeping your credit card balance at bay for an extended period of time, this card is an absolute must-have.

This card offers a competitive 0% APR on purchases within 12 months of opening an account. Despite the introductory 0% purchase APR being a bit lower than many cards we reviewed, the average 0% APR offer time period for both purchases and balance transfers is still higher on the Citi Simplicity at 16 1/2 months.

If you need to keep your credit card debt from accruing interest for a longer amount of time, the Citi Simplicity credit card is for you.

Best 0% APR Credit Card for Flat Rate Cash Back

  1. Annual fee: $0
  2. 0% APR introductory offer: 0% APR for 15 months after account opening on purchases and balance transfers
  3. Sign up bonus: $150 or 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after $500 spent in the first three months
  4. Rewards earning: 1.5% cashback or 1 1/2 times Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all purchases
  5. Other benefits: Extended warranty protection; purchase protection

Among all credit cards, it doesn’t get much better than the Chase Freedom Unlimited. It’s easy to use, offers a simple cashback structure, and has a solid 0% APR offer. This card is one of the best Chase Bank credit cards out there.

This card offers a solid introductory 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers after account opening. This offer is on par with most of the cards on our list, except it offers some solid cash back for every purchase. You will earn 1.5% cashback on everything you buy with this card. You can also keep the 1 1/2 Ultimate Rewards points and use them for travel through Chase’s travel portal.

This card stands out from many other 0% APR cards due to the fact that it offers a sign-up bonus. You can earn $150 or 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $500 in the first three months from account opening. If you happen to have one of Chase’s premium cards that allows transferring Ultimate Rewards points to airline partners, you can get even more value for every point you redeem by transferring to airline partner programs.

This card also offers extended warranty protection as well as purchase protection. You won’t have to worry about your new phone or other purchases not being covered if they break the day after you buy them.

Overall, this card is a top tier credit card and offers a solid cashback rate on top of the very good 0% APR introductory offer.

Best 0% APR Credit Card for Travel Rewards

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card
  1. Annual fee: $0
  2. 0% APR introductory offer: 0% APR for the first 12 billing cycles on purchases
  3. Sign up bonus: 25,000 points after $1,000 spent in the first 90 days after opening an account
  4. Rewards earning: 1 1/2 times points on every dollar spent
  5. Other benefits: No foreign transaction fees; free monthly FICO score; 25% to 75% increase in rewards for Bank of America Preferred Rewards members

If you are in the market for a 0% APR offer card but also love to travel, the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card is for you. You will be able to earn a sign-up bonus, earn rewards for every dollar, and avoid paying interest for a while.

The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card has no annual fee and offers a 0% APR introductory offer for the first 12 billing cycles. This card also has a very simple travel rewards structure and gives you 1 1/2 points for every dollar you spend. Each point is worth at least one cent.

The sign-up bonus on this card feels like stealing from the bank: You get 25,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days from account opening. The sign-up bonus is worth a minimum of $250, which is incredibly high for a no annual fee card.

If you are a regular banking customer with Bank of America, you can increase the value of your travel rewards points by being a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member. Depending on how much money you keep with the bank, your rewards could be worth 25% to 75% more. That would make the sign-up bonus worth up to $437.50 and the earning rate up to 2.625% back toward travel expenses.

Like all worthy travel rewards credit cards, the Travel Rewards credit card has no foreign transaction fees, so you can take it on your next international vacation. You will also get a free monthly FICO score to keep you up to date on how your score is progressing. If you plan to travel soon, this card is for you.

Best 0% APR Credit Card for Rotating Category Rewards

  1. Annual fee: $0
  2. 0% APR introductory offer: 0% APR for 15 months after account opening on purchases and balance transfers
  3. Sign up bonus: $150 or 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after $500 spent in the first three months
  4. Rewards earning: 5% cashback or five times Chase Ultimate Rewards points on rotating quarterly categories up to $1,500 in purchases; 1% cashback or single Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all other purchases
  5. Other benefits: Purchase protection; extended warranty protection

The Chase Freedom card is very similar to the Chase Freedom Unlimited introductory APR offer and has many of the same benefits. However, it earns rewards in a different way and can be used to potentially earn even more rewards.

This card offers a 0% APR introductory offer for 15 months after account opening on both balance transfers and purchases. During your introductory period, you can earn some massive rewards on this card’s bonus categories and pay no interest.

The Chase Freedom card offers quarterly rotating categories that earn 5% cashback or five Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar (up to $1,500 in quarterly purchases). Every other dollar earns 1% or one Ultimate Reward point. You may be thinking that there’s no way the bonus categories are valuable, but here’s why they actually are.

Chase offers bonus categories that include gas, groceries, Amazon, and more. If you were to hit the $1,500 spending limit for 5% back each quarter, that would come out to $300 cashback each year by itself. Add the rewards from all your other purchases and you could earn hundreds of dollars back annually.

The sign-up bonus is also very generous: You will earn $150 cashback (or 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending only $500 in the first three months of card membership. That’s a minimum 30% return on the first $500 you spend after opening the card.

If you have one of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards earning cards (Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred), you could transfer those points to airline programs and every point could be worth up to 2 cents.

You will also be protected with purchase protection and extended warranty protection, giving you peace of mind after you spend a large chunk of money on devices or other products. With no annual fee, an awesome intro APR offer, and bonus rewards earning potential, this card really shines.

Best 0% APR Credit Card for Gas & Groceries

Citi Rewards+ Credit Card

Citi Rewards+ Credit Card
  1. Annual fee: $0
  2. 0% APR introductory offer: 0% APR on purchases for 15 months from account opening; 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months from the date of first balance transfer made within four months of account opening
  3. Sign up bonus: 10,000 ThankYou points after $1,000 spent in the first three months from account opening
  4. Rewards earning: Double ThankYou points at gas stations and supermarkets up to $6,000 in annual expenses; single ThankYou points per dollar on all other purchases
  5. Other benefits: Round Up points earned to the nearest 10 points on all purchases; 10% of redeemed points back (up to first 100,000 ThankYou points redeemed each year); use points for gift cards, Amazon, BestBuy.com, or travel rewards

The Citi Rewards+ Credit Card is one of Citi Bank’s best cards for rewards. It also offers a great intro APR offer. You can earn tons of rewards with this card if you have increased gas and grocery expenses.

This credit card has a 0% intro APR offer that lasts for 15 months for both balance transfers and purchases. Just be aware that balance transfers need to be made within four months of opening the account to qualify for the intro APR offer.

The Citi Rewards+ card has a decent sign-up bonus in which you can earn 10,000 ThankYou points after spending $1,000 within the first three months of opening the account. Spending money on groceries and gas with this card makes your points balance grow faster, since each dollar spent on these categories earns two ThankYou points (up to $6,000 in annual expenses). You will also earn a point for every dollar spent on this card.

You can earn tons of points with the primary benefit of this card: the Round Up feature. This feature rounds up the points you earn to the nearest ten points on every single purchase. For example, if you would normally earn five points on a purchase, you would actually get 10; earn 15 points and you will actually get 20. The percentage return decreases as you spend more, but almost no other credit card has a feature like this one.

Not only will you earn tons of points thanks to bonus categories and rounding up, but you will also get points back when you redeem them. You will get 10% of your redeemed points returned to you each year, up to 100,000 ThankYou points.

This card has a huge potential for earning rewards that you can redeem for cash back, travel, or Amazon. It is great for anybody, but especially those with big gas and grocery budgets.

Best 0% APR Credit Card for Dining & Entertainment

Capital One Savor One Credit Card

Capital One Savor One Credit Card
  1. Annual fee: $0
  2. 0% APR introductory offer: 0% APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers
  3. Sign up bonus: $150 cashback after $500 spent in the first three months after account opening
  4. Rewards earning: 3% cashback on dining and entertainment; 2% cashback at grocery stores; 1% cashback on all other purchases
  5. Other benefits: No foreign transaction fees; extended warranty protection; travel accident insurance; concierge service

The Capital One Savor One card is ideal for 0% and all your weekend plans. You will get a solid intro APR offer and some great cashback for all of your dining and entertainment expenses.

This card has no annual fee and offers 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months after opening the account, making it equivalent to many of the cards on our list. However, this card has some great earning potential for rewards, higher than most other no annual fee cards.

The sign-up bonus for this card is $150 cashback after spending $500 in the first three months of card membership. A 30% return on a sign-up bonus is astounding, especially for a no annual fee credit card. But this card also has very generous bonus categories, focusing primarily on entertainment and dining expenses.

You will earn 3% cashback on dining and entertainment as well as 2% cashback on groceries; every other purchase earns 1% cashback. You can earn bonus cashback on a large portion of your monthly expenses, making this card all the more appealing.

This card would also be great for traveling, as it has travel accident insurance, concierge service, and no foreign transaction fees. When you travel, food expenses increase since you have to eat out for almost every meal. With this card, you can take advantage of those extra costs and get more cashback.

The Capital One Savor One Credit Card is a wonderful card for dining and entertainment, a quality sign up bonus, and ample opportunity to earn cashback year after year.

What if I still have a balance after the introductory offer ends?

If your introductory 0% APR offer ends and you still have a balance on the card, the balance will start accruing interest. Be very aware of the date on which your introductory offer ends and pay your balance before then. If you pay off the balance in full, you won’t pay any interest. You will also need to start paying off your balance in full every month moving forward in order to avoid any interest.

Do I still have to pay balance transfer fees if the credit card offers 0% APR?

It depends on the card, but most of the time, yes. There are some cards that waive balance transfer fees for a period of time after you open the account, but it’s not very common. Most cards charge between 3% and 5% of the balance transfer amount in order to take on a balance from another card.

What will the APR be after the 0% APR introductory period ends?

The APR depends on the card, but it will be quite high. Most credit cards charge upwards of 20% to 25% APR (variable or regular APR), which can really rack up interest quickly. Variable APR just means that your interest rate can change, going up or down from time to time. Regular APR means that your APR will stay the same.

Plan to have your entire balance paid off before the introductory period ends, and then continue to pay off the balance in full every single month. If you allow a balance to carry over from month to month, you could very well get stuck in an uphill battle against interest.

Should everybody open a 0% APR card? Or is it only for some people?

A 0% APR card has very specific features that may not be beneficial to everybody. These credit cards can be beneficial if you have a large balance and need some help keeping it at bay for a while.

They can also be very helpful if you need to make a big purchase that you don’t have the cash for immediately. The introductory period can give you the opportunity to pay it off over time without having to pay any extra on interest.

What happens if I miss a payment?

If you happen to miss a payment, a few things will happen, ranging from unfortunate to downright awful.

First, you will be charged a late fee by the bank or credit card issuer. This late fee can vary, but expect to pay up to $40. Sometimes banks waive the fee on your first missed payment in good faith, knowing that mistakes happen from time to time.

Your credit score will also be affected. One of the main factors that determine your credit score is payment history. Missed payments definitely cause your credit score to take a hit. Make sure you set reminders for yourself or set up auto-pay on your account.

Lastly, you could be charged a penalty APR, which is a higher interest rate charged on the account for missed payments. Banks try to protect themselves so they have to recoup the costs somehow. A penalty APR can be devastating for you if you plan on utilizing the 0% APR period for a while. The last thing you want to do is lose the balance transfer and purchase intro APR, so pay your bill on time.

What is the best overall 0% APR credit card?

The best overall 0% APR credit card is the American Express Everyday Credit Card. This card has really good 0% APR introductory offers and gives massive upside in the amount of cashback rewards it offers to cardholders.

First off, the card offers 15 months of 0% APR on both balance transfers and purchases. There are also no balance transfer fees for any balance transferred in the first 60 days from account opening. The sign-up bonus is also solid, as you will get 10,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 in the first three months of having the card.

The primary bonus rewards earning is for groceries, with two Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent on groceries (up to $6,000 spent each year). The card also earns two points per dollar spent at AmexTravel.com. Every other purchase earns one point per dollar. If you make 20 or more purchases in a billing period, you will earn an additional 20% of your points.

You can use points for gift cards, travel, or cashback. But you can get the most value for your rewards by transferring them to airline loyalty programs. You can get tons of value from this card while keeping interest at bay with its generous 0% APR introductory offer.

Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.