All the cards in the table above have $0 annual fees.
Methodology for Selecting the Best 0% APR Credit Cards
To identify the best 0% APR credit card offers, WalletHub editors routinely compare 1,500+ credit cards and calculate the expected costs/savings for the average cardholder when paying off a purchase of $5,000 over the course of 24 months. These calculations gauge how long each card’s 0% introductory APR for new purchases lasts after opening an account, as well as whether the potential savings are diminished at all by fees or the card’s regular. Approval requirements are also factored into this analysis, as we try to select the best no- interest credit cards for each credit level. Features such as rewards are used as a tiebreaker only.
How Two-Year Cost Is Calculated
Two-year cost is used to approximate the monetary value of cards for better comparison and is calculated by combining annual and monthly membership fees over two years, adding any one-time fees or other fees (like balance transfer fees), adding any interest costs, and subtracting rewards. Negative amounts indicate savings. When fees or other terms are presented as a range, we use the midpoint for scoring purposes. Rewards bonuses and credits have been taken into account for two-year cost calculations. However, bonuses applicable to only a very small portion of cardholders are not considered. For example, credits and bonuses awarded for spending or redeeming rewards through a company portal with non-co-branded cards have not been taken into account. Similarly, bonuses and credits related to spending with specific merchants using a non-co-branded card have not been taken into account (for example, if Card A offers credits with DoorDash, this feature would not be factored into calculations because it is hard to assess how many cardholders would use the benefit or exactly how much value they’d get from it).
Cardholder Spending Profiles
Given that different users have different goals and are likely to use their credit cards differently, we identified spending profiles that are representative of different users’ financial priorities and behaviors. For each cardholder type, we have assumed a specific amount of monthly spending by purchase type (e.g., groceries, gas, etc.), as well as an average balance, balance transfer amount, amount spent on large purchases and average monthly payment. Spending assumptions are based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data for consumers and PEX data for businesses.
Who Should Apply for 0% APR Credit Cards?
You should apply for a 0% credit card if you’re planning a big-ticket purchase that will take months to repay and you would like to avoid interest charges. In addition, you’re most likely to qualify for a 0% introductory APR credit card if you have good or excellent credit, or if you’re a student, though options may be available for other groups as well.
If you already have expensive debt, you should consider applying for a 0% balance transfer credit card. Some of the best cards offer 0% intro rates for purchases and balance transfers, while other offers are better for one or the other.
Whether you’re looking to avoid interest on future expenses or to reduce the cost of existing debt, you should compare options using a credit card calculator to find the offer that’s likely to save you the most money. Most 0% intro APR cards have fairly high regular interest rates, so it’s best to pay off most – if not all – of your balance during the low-interest period.
How to Get the Best 0% APR Credit Card
- Check your credit score.
Knowing how good (or bad) your credit score is will help you figure out which credit card offers to compare. If you have fair credit, for example, you’re not going to qualify for a card that requires excellent credit for approval, so you can skip over those offers. You can check your latest credit score for free on WalletHub.
- Compare multiple offers.
Once you know where your credit stands, you can narrow down the field of offers to those you have a good chance of qualifying for. Then, you can compare the cards’ introductory APR offers, regular APRs, applicable fees and rewards. The goal is to maximize your savings, and plugging the details into WalletHub’s credit card payoff calculator makes it easy to see which cards will save you the most money.
- Apply for the best card online.
Applying for a 0% credit card is no different than applying for any other credit card. You just need to provide some basic personal and financial information. If you apply online, you could get an instant decision.
- Get your card in the mail.
If you’re approved for a 0% credit card, you should get it in the mail within 7-10 business days of being approved. The exact time frame varies by credit card company. On that note, make sure to confirm when the 0% clock starts ticking. With some cards, it’s when your account is first opened, which is when you’re approved.
WalletHub actively maintains a database of 1,500+ credit card offers, from which we select the best 0% APR credit cards for different applicants as well as derive market-wide takeaways and trends. The underlying data is compiled from credit card company websites or provided directly by the credit card issuers. We also leverage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to develop cardholder profiles, used to estimate cards’ potential savings.
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