Rates checked as of October 31, 2023.
This article only reviews 0% APR credit cards. We may get compensation if you visit partner links on our site. We may not cover every available offer. Our relationship with advertisers may impact how an offer is presented on our website. However, our selection of products is made independently of our relationship to advertisers.
Are you looking to finance a large purchase? Maybe a rewards credit card could help. By opening a credit card with an introductory 0% annual percentage rate on purchases, you could enjoy interest-free payments on your spending for up to 21 months, saving you a bundle in interest.
Choosing one of the best 0% APR credit cards highlighted here can make a lot of sense if you want to break up the cost of a large expense — say, for home upgrades or car repairs — into more manageable payments. But before you rack up charges during the interest-free period, make a plan to pay off the balance before the 0% window expires. After that, you’ll likely be charged a much higher variable interest rate on any remaining balance. Average credit card interest rates were over 24.37% as of August 14, 2023.
To maintain the promotional 0% rate, be sure to make at least the minimum card payment on time each month. If you don’t, some issuers may rescind the 0% APR early and charge you a higher rate. Plus, you may owe late-payment fees and damage your credit score.
We’ve rounded up the best 0% offers on credit cards for purchases. These cards also provide a 0% introductory rate on balance transfers, which can be helpful for refinancing high-rate credit card debt. For more, see our list of the best balance transfer credit cards.
We feature cards with a 0% APR on purchases for 18 months or longer. Interest rates, fees, rewards and other terms listed in this article are subject to change. Before you apply for a credit card, check its current terms and conditions with the issuer.
21 Months of 0% APR
This card recently upped the 0% APR period from 18 to 21 billing for purchases or balance transfers, for a limited time. The card does not offer points or cash back.
The card also offers some peace of mind against cracked screens or water-logged cell phones. After a $25 deductible, you get up to $600 protection against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your U.S.Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card.
- Interest rate: 0% for 21 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate that was recently 18.74% to 29.74% variable.
- Annual fee: None.
- Penalty APR: None.
- Late payment fee: Up to $41.
- Perks: This card offers up to $600 per claim of reimbursement if your cell phone is stolen or damaged and you use the card to pay your wireless bill; the deductible is $25, and you get up to two claims paid per 12 months.
Enjoy up to 21 months of 0% interest on purchases. If you pay your wireless bill with the card, you qualify for up to $600 worth of protection for loss or damage on your cell phone.
This card also offers balance transfers made within the first 120 days of opening the account, but for a 5% fee — higher than the 3% fee you can get on other cards.
The Wells Fargo Reflect® card may also come in handy in an emergency, offering roadside assistance and insurance protection for a rental car up to $50,000. Be sure you understand how to use the card's benefits.
- Interest rate: 0% APR for 21 months from account opening on purchases (as well as on qualifying balance transfers); after that, the APR is a variable 18.24%, 24.74% or 29.99%. While this is a great card for 0% APR purchases, the balance transfer fee is 5%. To see better deals, read our article on the best balance transfer credit cards.
- Annual fee: None
- Penalty APR: If you make a late payment during the introductory period, you may lose the 0% interest rate
- Late payment fee: Up to $40
- Perks: Up to $600 per claim of protection for your cell phone against damage or theft if you pay your monthly wireless bill with the card; you pay a $25 deductible, and you get up to two paid claims per 12 months
18 Months of 0% APR
This card offers a solid option for those looking to finance a large purchase within 18 months interest-free. Don't be distracted, however, by the card's offer to lower your interest rate by 2% each year for good credit habits. You should pay all of your credit card balance on time each month to avoid paying any interest.
You may also transfer a balance from another card within the first 60 days of opening the account for $5 or 3% of the transfer amount, whichever is higher.
One of the best ways to raise your credit score is to pay your bills on time and keep your credit utilization as low as possible. So the card's welcome offer to raise the credit limit for cardholders who spend at least $500 and pay their bills on time during the first six months could improve your credit score and help establish good habits.
- Interest rate: 0% Intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers; variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24% on balance transfers and purchases after the introductory period ends.
- Annual fee: None.
- Penalty APR: Up to 29.99% if you fail to make the minimum payment on time or make a payment that is returned unpaid to Chase.
- Late payment fee: Up to $40.
- Perks: If you pay your bill on time and spend $500 in the first six months, Chase automatically reviews whether you are eligible for a higher credit limit. If you make purchases of at least $1,000 in an account anniversary year and make all payments on time, you may get a 2% reduction of the standard APR for purchases and balance transfers (your APR cannot be lower than the prime rate plus 9.74%).
- Additional perks: Cardholders enjoy three free months of membership with DashPass — which provides reduced fees on orders from delivery service DoorDash — and 50% off DashPass for the following nine months. Activate your DashPass membership by December 31, 2024 to be eligible. You also get a complimentary three months of Instacart+ membership, which provides reduced fees on orders from delivery service Instacart. You will be automatically enrolled unless you cancel after three months. To take advantage of this offer, enroll in Instacart by July 31, 2024. Chase credit cards also offer excellent rental car insurance.
- Member FDIC
This card from Bank of America provides an 18-month period of 0% interest. Once you have paid off your big purchase, this card has a lower APR than most cards. But as the card offers few perks like cash back, we recommend using it just for stretching out payments with no interest.
The BankAmericard® may also be used to make a balance transfer within the first 60 days of opening the account for a 3% transfer fee. Those with a good credit score or better are more likely to be approved for this card.
- Interest rate: 0% for 18 months on purchases or on balance transfers; after the introductory period, the standard variable APR is 16.24% to 26.24%
- Annual fee: None
- Penalty APR: None; paying late won't automatically raise your interest rate (APR)
- Late payment fee: Up to $40
- Perks: Free FICO score
How do 0% APR cards work?
Zero percent APR credit cards offer an introductory interest rate of 0%. They allow cardholders to pay off a balance over time with no interest charges for a set period — typically between six and 21 months, depending on the card. When you see a 0% APR promotion, it may apply to purchases, balance transfers or both.
If you have a 0% APR on purchases, every purchase you make during the promotional period qualifies for the benefit. Consumers typically use these cards to spread out payments for a large purchase or expense over time.
When to use a 0% APR credit card
You may consider getting a 0% APR credit card if you have one or more upcoming expenses that you can't afford to pay off immediately.
Some common expenses that you can pay off over time with a 0% APR promotion include:
- Emergency expenses
- Medical bills
- Moving costs
- Wedding expenses
- Car repairs
- Home repairs and small renovations
- Vacation costs
Before you use a 0% APR credit card to cover any of these or other expenses, think carefully about your financial situation and goals, and ensure that you can pay off most or all of the debt within the promotional period.
Benefits and perks of 0% APR cards
Before you pick a 0% APR credit card, it's important to know what else to look for as you compare your options. While each credit card has a different set of features, here are some that may accompany a 0% APR benefit:
- Rewards: In most cases, 0% APR credit cards offer cash back rewards, but some may offer travel points or miles.
- Welcome bonus: You may earn a small bonus after you spend a certain amount within the first few months after opening your account.
- Insurance protections: Some credit cards may offer insurance that covers your rental car, cell phone, purchases and more.
- Other perks: You may be able to take advantage of other benefits, such as special merchant offers, statement credits or memberships with select partners, no foreign transaction fees and more.
- No annual fee: Most 0% APR credit cards don't charge an annual fee, though some do, so it's important to understand all potential costs. None of the cards profiled in this article charges an annual fee.
How to Choose a 0% APR card
As you shop around and compare credit card options, here are some things to determine which 0% APR credit card is the right one for you:
- Your credit score: Virtually all 0% APR credit cards require good or excellent credit, meaning a FICO credit score of 670 or higher. Check your credit score before you apply for a credit card to gauge your approval odds. If your score is at or below the good credit threshold, consider taking steps to improve your credit before you apply.
- Length of 0% APR promotion: Consider how much debt you expect to put on the card and how long it might take you to pay it off. For smaller balances, you may be able to get a shorter 0% APR promotion and focus a little more on other card features. But if you expect to rack up a large balance, it might make sense to prioritize a longer 0% APR promotion at the expense of other benefits and perks.
- Eligible expenses: Do you need a 0% APR on purchases, balance transfers or both? Note that if you get a credit card that only offers a 0% APR on balance transfers, any purchases you make will accrue interest from the date of the transaction instead of getting a grace period until you pay off the transferred balance.
- Rewards program: While a 0% APR promotion can save you hundreds of dollars in interest, a rewards program can continue to give you value long after the promotional financing period expires. Think about your spending habits and try to find a card that aligns with the card's rewards categories.
- Welcome bonus: If you're considering credit cards with welcome bonuses, compare their values. Also, make sure you can afford to meet the minimum spending requirement without overspending.
- Other benefits: Make sure you know everything you're getting with each card to determine which one will give you the most value in the long run.
- Annual fee: Most 0% APR credit cards don't charge an annual fee, but some do. While an annual fee isn't inherently a bad thing, make sure you can get enough value from the card each year to make a yearly fee worth it. None of the cards profiled in this article charge an annual fee.
As you compare these and other 0% APR credit cards, focus on your current needs and your long-term objectives to find the best fit.
0% APR balance transfer cards
Don’t confuse 0% APR credit cards used for purchases with 0% APR credit cards for balance transfers. Balance transfer cards are a tool to help you pay down your debt from another credit card or lender. The balance transfer promotion may only apply to transfers you request during the first few months after you open the account, not new purchases.
At the end of the promotional 0% APR period, your balance transfer credit card issuer will start charging the card's standard APR, which will likely be quite high. If you still have a balance when that happens, you'll be assessed interest on the remaining debt.
What is deferred interest?
Some retailers offer 0% APR financing on large purchases, such as furniture or appliances, called deferred interest promotions or "buy now, pay later" offers. While they are tempting, these branded retail cards or promotions are much riskier than 0% APR credit cards.
With a deferred interest promotion, you'll pay no interest on your purchase only if you pay off the balance before the promotional financing period expires. If you have a balance left over, you'll be charged interest retroactively to the date of the purchase.
In contrast, 0% APR credit cards will only charge you interest on your remaining balance.
Other Best Buy Credit Cards
- Kiplinger's guide to the best cash back credit cards
- Kiplinger's guide to the best travel credit cards
- Kiplinger's guide to the best student credit cards
- Kiplinger's guide to the best balance transfer credit cards
- Kiplinger's guide to the best business credit cards
As an independent publication dedicated to helping you make the most of your money, the article above is our view of the best deals and is not the opinion of any entity mentioned such as a card issuer, hotel, airline etc. Similarly, the content has not been reviewed or endorsed by any of those entities.
Lisa has been the editor of Kiplinger Personal Finance since June 2023. Previously, she spent more than a decade reporting and writing for the magazine on a variety of topics, including credit, banking and retirement. She has shared her expertise as a guest on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, NPR, Cheddar and many other media outlets around the nation. Lisa graduated from Ball State University and received the school’s “Graduate of the Last Decade” award in 2014. A military spouse, she has moved around the U.S. and currently lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.
- Ellen KennedyPersonal Finance Editor, Kiplinger.com
IRA Rollover Rules: What You Need to Know
Tax Letter Three important IRA rollover rules to remember. As always, getting taxes wrong can be costly.
By Joy Taylor Published
Nine Financial Tips These Experts Wish They Knew a Long Time Ago
Would you have made different decisions with the knowledge you have now?
By Kiplinger Advisor Collective Published