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Best Low Interest Credit Cards 2019

Last Updated: 11. September 2019
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Credit cards have a number of useful purposes. Whether you’re looking to make a large purchase and want to spread the cost over a number of months, or you want to consolidate multiple balances on to a single card – you’ll want to obtain a credit card with the lowest possible interest rate.

With that being said – depending on your individual circumstances, you might be able to obtain a credit card that comes with a 0% interest introductory period. If you’re really shrewd, you can simply move from card-to-card to ensure that you always avoid paying interest on your purchases.

If this sounds like something that interests you, be sure to read our comprehensive guide on the Best Low Interest Credit Cards in 2019. Not only do we list the top 5 low interest cards, but we also provide a detailed explanation as to how you can ensure you NEVER pay interest!

Note: If you have the required financial profile to obtain a no interest credit card, you need to make sure that you always meet your minimum monthly payments. If you do miss a payment, you’ll instantly revert to the standard APR rate.

What is a low interest credit card?

The term ‘Low Interest Credit Card’ is a broad one. As such, it’s well worth taking a quick look at what credit card companies typically charge in the US. At the time of writing, US consumers pay an average APR rate of between 16.94% to 23.94%. The specific rate will, of course, depend on your credit profile. Nevertheless, if you are able to obtain a credit card with an APR interest rate that falls below this threshold – we would typically define this as a low interest credit card. 

However, as we briefly noted earlier, a number of credit card companies now offer an introductory period that comes with a 0% interest rate on purchases, balance transfers, or both. The introductory period will typically last for at least 12 months, although some cards extend this to more than 21 months. This means that effectively, you have the chance to switch credit cards when you are approaching the end of the introductory period, subsequently ensuring that you always remain on a 0% interest plan. 

How can I always avoid paying interest?

Making purchases on your credit card at an APR rate of 0% is significantly more beneficial for you than simply obtaining a credit card with a below-average APR rate that you remain on long-term. The process does require you follow some simple steps, although it is well worth considering if you want to avoid paying interest. Here’s what you need to do.

Step 1: Obtain a credit card with a 0% introductory offer

First and foremost, you need to obtain a new credit card that comes with a 0% APR offer. If you currently have outstanding balances on other credit cards, then you’ll want to ensure that the 0% offer covers balance transfers. If not – and you’re simply looking to buy products and services on your new credit card, then a standard 0% purchase credit card will suffice.

Step 2: Transfer your outstanding balances to your new credit card

As noted above, if you currently have debts on other credit cards, you’ll want to transfer them over with immediate effect. In doing so, you’ll be able to stop paying interest on your other cards. To do this, simply log in to your newly obtained credit card account portal, and enter the details of your other credit cards. This will include the full 16-digit card number, expiry date, and the amounts you have outstanding on the card(s).

Step 3: Always pay your minimum monthly balance

In order to remain on a 0% APR rate for the duration of the credit card’s introductory period, you must ensure that you always meet your minimum monthly payment. The specific amount will vary depending on the credit card provider in question, although this typically amounts to the greater of 1% of your outstanding balance, or $25.

Take note, if you do miss a monthly payment, not only will you lose your 0% introductory offer, but you’ll likely have the missed payment reported to the main three credit agencies. This could hinder your chances of obtaining a new 0% credit card in the future, so do bear this in mind.

Step 4: Get ready to switch at the end of your introductory period

When you are approaching the end of your 0% introductory period, you need to start looking for a new 0% interest deal. You are best off doing this at least one month before the introductory expiry date so that you have enough time to make the switch.

Take a look at the below example.

💳 Let’s say that you currently have $6,000 outstanding on your 0% credit card, which is about to pass its 14 month introductory period.

💳 If you remain on the same credit card, you’ll start paying 16% APR on your $6,000 balance.

💳 As you don’t want to pay any interest, you apply for a new 0% credit card that comes with a 16 month introductory period.

💳 Once approved, you transfer the $6,000 to your newly obtained 0% card.

💳 As such, you now get to enjoy a further 16 months without paying any interest!

What are the pros and cons of low interest credit cards

The Pros

  • Pay the lowest interest possible
  • Some cards come with a 0% introductory rate
  • Switch to a new low interest credit card once the introductory period expires 
  • Transfer balances from other credit cards to pay less interest
  • Build your credit score up by always paying on time
  • Great for debt consolidation 

The Cons

  • The best deals are only available to those with good credit
  • You will lose your low interest deal if you miss a payment 

Criteria used to rank the best credit cards

❓ Whether the card offers a 0% introductory rate

❓ How long the 0% introductory rate lasts for

❓ What the standard APR rate is

❓ Who is eligible for the credit card

❓ Whether the card is best suited for purchases, balance transfers, or both  

❓ Whether or not the credit card offers rewards

1. Discover It Cash Back– 14 months at 0%, plus rewards
 

If you’re looking for a low interest credit card that literally covers all bases, then the number one spot has to go to the Discover It Cash Back credit card. First and foremost, the card comes with a respectable 0% introductory offer for 14 months. The 0% interest rate is available on both purchases and balance transfers, which is great.

If you do intend on making a balance transfer – which you should if you currently have outstanding balances on other, interest-bearing cards, then this initially comes with a 3% transfer fee. However, any subsequent transfers that you make after the first 60 days of being approved will come with a transfer fee of 5%.

As the name suggests, the Discover It Cash Back credit card also comes with a number of spending rewards. In a nutshell, you will get 5% cash back when making certain purchases, such as at the gas station, supermarket, or at Amazon. If your purchase doesn’t match one of the qualifying spending categories, then you’ll get 1% back. However, the 1% cash back offer is not capped.

Finally, if you don’t engage in a switch before the 14 month introductory period passes, then you will need to pay a standard APR rate of between 13.99% and 24.99%. At the lower end, this offers good value in the long-run, although as we have said throughout this guide, you are still better off transferring any outstanding balances to a new 0% card!

Key Points:

💳 0% balance transfers for 14 months

💳 0% purchases for 14 months

💳 3% transfer fee (5% after the first 60 days)

💳 5% cash back on qualifying purchases (1% for everything else)

💳 APR rate of between 13.99% and 24.99% once offer expires 

💳 No annual fees

2. Capital One VentureOne– 12 months at 0%, purchases only
 

Much like in the case of the Discover It Cash Back credit card, the Capital One VentureOne is ideal if you are looking to make 0% purchases, while at the same time benefit from a number of spending rewards. However, if you’re looking to make a balance transfer from your other credit cards, the Capital One VentureOne does not permit this.

Nevertheless, the card comes with a reasonable 0% introductory rate on all purchases for 12 months. Moreover, if you are able to spend at least $1,000 on the card within the first 90 days, you’ll receive 20,000 miles points. This equates to $200 in travel spending, which effectively amounts to a 20% cashback.

Outside of the introductory offer, you will receive 10x miles every time you use the card at Hotels.com, and 1.25x miles on everything else. If you choose to stay with the Capital One VentureOne card long-term, then you will pay a standard APR rate of between 14.24% and 24.24%, after the initial 12 months.

Key Points:

💳 0% on purchases for 12 months

💳 No balance transfers

💳 Intro offer of 20,000 air miles when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days

💳 10x air miles at Hotels.com

💳 1.25x air miles on all other purchases

💳 APR rate of between 14.24% and 24.24% once offer expires 

3. Citi Simplicity – 0% for 21 months, but 5% transfer fee

If you are currently in possession of an excellent credit rating, then you’ll find it hard to beat the offer currently available on the Citi Simplicity credit card. The card comes with an industry-leading 0% introductory rate that lasts for 21 months. In even better news, this is available on both purchases and balance transfers.

If you do want to transfer your outstanding balances over, Citi charges a 5% balance transfer fee. Although this is expensive, you need to remember that you won’t pay any interest for a super-long 21 months. Take note, you will instantly revert to an APR rate of between 16.74% and 26.74% if you miss a payment. At this rate, you’ll be paying over the odds, so it’s probably best to set-up an electronic debit agreement to ensure you always stay on top of your repayments.

Unfortunately, the Citi Simplicity credit card doesn’t come with any notable rewards or cash back, so the card is best suited for those of you that want to consolidate your outstanding credit card debts, or you want to enjoy 0% purchases for the longest time possible.

Key Points:

💳 0% for 21 months

💳 5% transfer fee

💳 APR rate of between 16.74% to 26.74% once the offer expires 

💳 No annual fees

💳 Only suitable for excellent credit rating

4. Citi Diamond – 0% for 18 months and 4 months to make your transfers

Citi makes our list once again, although this time with its very competitive Citi Diamond credit card. Although this particular card comes with a slightly shorter 0% period, it excels in other areas. Firstly, while the Citi Simplicity only gives you 60 days to make your initial balance transfer, the Citi Diamond offers 4 whole months.

Secondly, the Citi Diamond is suitable for those of you with a ‘Good’ credit rating, while the Citi Simplicity will only accept applicants with an ‘Excellent’ score. Nevertheless, the credit card offers 0% interest on both balance transfers and purchases, although if you are opting for the former, this also comes with an expensive 5% transfer fee.

Furthermore, you will need to pay the standard APR rate of between 15.74% and 25.74% once the 18 month period expires, or you miss a monthly payment. 

Key Points:

💳 0% for 18 months – balances and purchases

💳 5% transfer fee

💳 APR rate of between 15.74% and 25.74% once offer expires 

💳 No annual fees

💳  Suitable for good credit rating

5. Wells Fargo Propel American Express – 0% for 12 months

What we like about the Wells Fargo Propel American Express is that you get to combine a 0% interest rate for 12 months, while at the same time benefit from a long-term rewards program. Firstly, the intro rate is available on both purchases and balance transfers.

Moreover, you will be awarded 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 within the first 90 days. In real terms, this amounts to a $300 cash back. After the bonus points offer, you will earn 3x rewards points on a number of spending categories. This includes everyday expenses such as gas, groceries, taxis, eating out, and online streaming. If your purchase falls outside of the promotional spending categories, then you’ll get 1x points.

Unlike other rewards credit cards in the market, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express does not come with an annual fee. However, it is important to remember that you will need to pay a variable APR rate of between 15.99% and 27.99% after the first 12 months, so you are advised to switch to a new 0% card when the expiry date approaches.

Key Points:

💳 0% for 12 months – balances and purchases

💳 3% transfer fee (5% after 120 days)

💳 APR rate of between 15.99% and 27.99% once offer expires 

💳 No annual fees

💳  Great rewards program

FAQs

What defines a low interest credit card?

In terms of defining a low interest credit card, this is typically a card that offers a lower rate than the US average. With US consumers paying an average APR rate of 16.94%-23.94%, anything below this would be defined as low interest.

What is the difference between low interest and 0% interest?

A low interest rate is a credit card that offers a low, long-term interest rate. Typically, the best low interest cards pay around 14% APR. On the contrary, a 0% interest credit card allows you to avoid paying interest for a set period of time.

Should I switch to a new 0% credit card if my intro period is about to expire?

Absolutely. The overarching objective for any consumer is to pay the lowest interest rate as possible. By making the switch to a new 0% credit card every time your intro period is about to pass, you can ensure that you never pay interest on your credit card balances!

Am I suitable for a low interest credit card?

This depends. Firstly, if you want to obtain a credit card with 0% interest, then you will typically need to have a good or excellent credit rating. If you are looking for a low standard APR rate, then your rate will ultimately depend on your specific credit profile. This is why credit card providers always list their rates as a range, rather than a specific APR rate./toggle]

How long does it take to apply for a low interest credit card?

In the vast majority of cases – and irrespective of the type of credit card product you apply for, the online application process can be completed in a matter of minutes. However, this is on the proviso that the credit card company is able to verify your information automatically. If not, they might ask you to submit some verification documents. 

What happens if I miss a payment on my low interest credit card?

If you are making the most of a 0% credit card, but you miss a payment, then it is all-but-certain that you will lose your 0% rate. Moreover, not only will the missed payment be posted to your credit report, but you might also be charged a late payment fee.

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Kane Pepi

Kevin holds academic qualifications in the finance and financial investigation fields. With a passion for all-things finance, he currently writes for a number of online publications.