The best 0% APR credit cards of 2022

Two friends in an office arguing over what a 0 percent APR offer meansImage: Two friends in an office arguing over what a 0 percent APR offer means
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Hear from our editors: The best 0% APR credit cards of January 2022

Updated January 11, 2022

This date may not reflect recent changes in individual terms.

Editorial note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted.

Written by: Eric Freeman

The best 0% APR credit cards can help you finance expensive purchases, pay off existing debt and save on interest payments overall. While these cards can be complicated to manage, they can also be powerful tools in your credit journey.

Read on for our picks for the best 0% APR credit cards, which offer introductory annual percentage rates on purchases, balance transfers or both.



U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card: Best for a long intro period

Here’s why: You’ll get a nearly two-year intro period on both purchases and balance transfers to help you avoid or pay down interest.

This card offers a 0% introductory APR for 20 months on purchases and balance transfers made in the first 60 days after your account opens. After the intro period ends, the APR for both rises to a variable 14.49% – 24.49%, depending on your credit. There’s also a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater.

Read our review of the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card for more details.

BankAmericard® credit card: Best for a long intro period

Here’s why: You’ll get 18 billing cycles to pay down debt and avoid interest on both new purchases and balance transfers.

The card gives you a 0% introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for both purchases and balance transfers made in the first 60 days after your account opens. Both APRs then rise to a variable 12.99% - 22.99%, depending on your credit.

There’s a balance transfer fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.

Take a look at our review of the BankAmericard® credit card to learn more.

Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card: Best for a long intro period

Here’s why: This card offers the potential to pay off balance transfers and new purchases at the introductory rate over 21 months, if you meet certain conditions.

This card’s base offer includes a 0% introductory APR for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers made in the first 120 days after your account opens. But you can also extend both intro periods by up to three months (to a total of 21 months) with on-time minimum payments during the introductory and extension periods.

After the 0% APR periods are up, you’ll see a variable APR for both purchases and balance transfers of 12.99% - 24.99%. This card has a balance transfer fee of up to 5% (minimum $5).

Check out reviews of the Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card for more details.

Citi Simplicity® Card: Best for paying off debt

Here’s why: You’ll get 21 months to pay off your balance transfer debt at the introductory rate.

This card offers a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months, but the balance transfer offer is where it really shines. Within the first four months after your account opens, you’ll get a 0% introductory APR for 21 months from the date of your first balance transfer.

After the introductory periods end for both purchases and balance transfers, you’ll see a variable APR of 14.74% - 24.74%. But keep in mind that those higher APRs will start at different times, so you’ll need to keep an eye on each balance to avoid any confusion as you’re managing your debt. The card also has a balance transfer fee of either 5% (minimum $5)).

Read our review of the Citi Simplicity® Card for more details.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Best for ongoing cash back

Here’s why: You’ll earn cash back in multiple bonus categories, which gives this card excellent value after you take advantage of its intro APR offers.

First, you’ll get a 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months your account is open. After that, the APR for both rises to a variable 14.99% – 23.74% for each. There’s also a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5 (whichever is greater) for the first 60 days your account is open. After that, the fee rises to 5% or $5.

For cash back, you’ll earn 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% at restaurants (including takeout and delivery), 3% back on drugstore purchases and 1.5% back on all other purchases.

Read our review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited® to learn more about what it has to offer.

Citi® Double Cash Card: Best for simple cash back

Here’s why: If you want straightforward cash back to go with solid intro APR offers, this card has what you’re looking for.

This card doesn’t feature an intro offer for purchases, but you’ll get a 0% APR for 18 months after the date of your first transfer on balance transfers made in the first four months your account is open.

After the intro APR period ends, you’ll have a variable APR of 13.99% – 23.99%. There’s also a balance transfer fee: Intro fee 3% of each transfer ($5 minimum) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum).

You’ll also earn 2% cash back on all purchases — 1% when you buy, and 1% when you pay your bill. But remember that there’s no APR offer on purchases, so you might want to wait to focus on rewards until you’ve paid off your debt.

Read our review of the Citi® Double Cash Card for more details.


How we picked these cards

When picking the best 0% APR cards, we tried to meet several different needs. There are different types of 0% APR offers, so we wanted to ensure that readers could select from intro offers on both purchases and balance transfers.

First, we focused on picking cards with 0% APR offers that last for at least 15 months. Managing debt can be a challenging process, and that minimum length provides more than a year to get a handle on it. We also only picked cards with no annual fee because we don’t think you should have to pay an upfront cost to manage your debt.

Not every card we recommend is great for both purchases and balance transfers. Some of our picks feature the same long intro period for both, but others have mismatched intro periods. In those cases, we made sure to indicate the best use for each card and what to watch out for when managing your different balances.

We also selected a few cards that provide cash back value because ongoing value can be a crucial factor in picking the right card for you even when managing debt is your focus.

Are there different types of 0% APR offers?

A credit card offer may boast a 0% intro APR, but that doesn’t mean the low rate applies to both purchases and balance transfers. It’s important to be clear on what kind of APR offer you’re getting before applying for the card.

A 0% introductory purchase APR means you won’t be charged interest on your purchases for a certain period of time as determined by the credit card company. In order to take advantage of this offer, you may need to make at least the minimum payments due on your statement.

For example, if you receive a 0% purchase APR offer for 12 months, you won’t be charged interest on purchases for the first year after your account opens. At the end of the 12-month intro period, any outstanding balance on your account would be subject to the regular purchase APR, and you’d be expected to pay the balance with interest.

A 0% introductory balance transfer APR offer means you’re not charged interest on a balance you transfer from another credit card. These offers often come with specific rules about when the balance transfer must be made to earn the 0% APR offer. Balance transfers come with plenty of other risks, too, so be sure to read the fine print before you apply.

To find the specific rates offered by the card you’re considering, check the terms and conditions listed on the credit card agreement. In the terms and conditions, you should see a summary of the costs of the credit card listed in a table format (also known as the Schumer box).

How do you know it’s a real 0% APR offer?

To determine if a card offers a 0% intro APR, you’ll need to scrutinize the fine print.

Even if a card offers a 0% intro APR, you may still have to pay interest on some balances. For example, if the 0% intro APR offer applies to balance transfers only, then any new purchases on your card may be charged interest unless you pay off your balance in full each month by the due date.

It’s also important to remember that a 0% APR offer is temporary. After the intro period ends, your remaining balance and any new purchases will be subjected to the regular APR. If your new APR is high, it could negate any savings you saw from transferring your balance or the relief you received from not paying interest on purchases.

You’ll also need to watch for penalty APRs, which are imposed if you’re late on your payments or exceed your credit limit. Penalty APRs can be significantly higher than the regular APR. In fact, a penalty APR can be as high as 29.99%.

In addition to paying the penalty APR, paying late may cause you to lose your introductory APR offer entirely. In that case, you might end up paying even more interest on the balance than you did before you made the transfer.

When should you apply for a 0% APR offer credit card?

There are a few scenarios when you may want to get a 0% intro APR card, but there are two primary ones — paying down existing debt and financing new purchases.

You want to pay down high-interest credit card debt

High-interest balances can be difficult to pay down, but a 0% balance transfer credit card could help ease the burden. This type of card can help you focus on paying off your debt as quickly as possible, ideally during the introductory period.

Keep in mind that some cards will require you to request a balance transfer within a certain time frame of account opening, so check to see if this is the case.

One more thing to note: Balance transfers are typically subject to a fee — often between 3% and 5% of the balance (with a relatively low minimum fee).

You want to pay off a large purchase

Whether you’re saving for a vacation or a major appliance, or you get struck with an unexpected emergency, a credit card with a 0% intro purchase APR can be a handy tool.

Using this credit card can help ease the burden of paying a large amount at once. Instead, you can parcel out your payments throughout the introductory period without having to pay any interest.

But this option might only work to your advantage if you pay off the full balance (or most of it) before the introductory offer ends. Otherwise, you’ll have to start paying interest on the remaining balance moving forward. To avoid this scenario, try to make a plan to pay off the card before the introductory offer is over. Our balance transfer calculator can help.

Keep in mind that there is a chance you may get denied when applying for a new credit card. Also, if you apply to a card, you will have a hard inquiry on your credit reports. Too many of these within a short time frame could temporarily lower your credit scores.


About the author: Eric Freeman is a writer and editor at Credit Karma, specializing in credit cards and credit scores and reports. He strives to make personal finance relatable for readers and to ground complicated issues in everyday e… Read more.