If you’re the type of credit card user who rolls a balance from month to month, a low interest credit card is essential. No longer will you find credit cards with 5% APR, but you also don’t have to settle for 34.99%, either.
Many of these low interest cards aren’t just low interest, either. They come with other benefits you’ll want to take advantage of. Some offer a cash back bonus or ongoing rewards, which is great. Others offer a balance transfer arrangement, which is great if you’re trying to get out of debt faster by carrying less interest.
These low interest cards are great options for any credit card user, but they’re particularly useful if you’re planning a big purchase that will take a few months to pay off.
1. Discover it®
This is a particularly good option if you’re looking to make a large purchase, and then pay it off in a few months. Right now, it offers 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months. After that, you’ll get a variable APR of 10.99% to 22.99%, depending on your creditworthiness. So for credit card users with good credit, this is an excellent low interest option.
Cash Back Rewards: With the Discover it® card, you’ll get 5% cash back in rotating categories. In January to March 2015, for instance, you’ll get your cash back bonus on up to $1,500 in purchases at gas stations or on ground transportation. Plus, the card offers 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Easy to Redeem: Discover focuses on making the cash back rewards easy to redeem. You can redeem any amount at any time as a statement credit or a deposit to your bank account. Or, you can use the cash back rewards to pay for purchases from Amazon®.
Added Security Features: If you are concerned about credit theft, this is a good card option. It offers free access to your FICO Credit Score, including alerts and reminders. Your score will come in monthly on your statement, but you can also access it any time through your online account.
No Annual Fee: The Discover it card comes with no annual fee.
Credit Needed: According to CreditKarma, the average credit score needed for the Discover it® card is between 607 and 741. However, if you’re a student trying to build credit, check out the Discover it® for Students card, which requires a score of more like 550 to 709.
Bottom Line: An excellent option if you’re looking for solid cash-back rewards and a decent overall APR.
2. Chase Freedom®
This card offers 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, after which the APR jumps up to a variable 13.99% to 22.99%. This is a great card for a big purchase up front, since it offers a $100 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within three months of opening your account. You can get another $25 bonus by adding an authorized user within 3 months of your account opening.
Cash Back Rewards: This card also offers 5% cash back rewards in rotating categories year-round. For instance, from January to March 2015, you can get 5% cash back at grocery stores, movie theaters, and Starbucks®. Then, you’ll get unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. You can also use the online Shop through Chase® program to earn a cash back boost.
Balance Transfers: You can transfer a balance to this card to take advantage of the 0% introductory APR. But the balance transfer fee is 3%.
No Annual Fee: This card has no annual fee, so you don’t need to worry about that sneaking up on you.
Credit Needed: This card requires good credit. CreditKarma puts the threshold at around 615.
Bottom Line: A goad card with generally low interest and excellent bonuses.
3. US Bank Visa® Platinum
This is a rather no-frills card without any flashy rewards, but it’s still a good deal. Right now, this card offers 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months. After that, the variable rate is 9.99% to 20.99%, making it one of the best truly ow interest cards over the long term.
FlexControl: US Bank’s FlexControl program lets you take more control over your credit card payments. You can change your due dates, which is great if you’re on a variable income. And you can see how to pay off your balance more quickly and efficiently.
No Annual Fee: Again, this card has no annual fee.
Online Bill Pay: If you’re looking for a low-interest credit card to pay bills with and then pay off the balance monthly, this is a good option. The online bill pay ensures that all your bills are paid on time, every time.
$0 Fraud Liability: With this card, you aren’t responsible – at all – for any unauthorized transactions if your card is ever lost or stolen.
Credit Tracking: US Bank will attach a copy of your most recent Experien credit score to your statement each month, or you can access this information online any time.
Credit Needed: Those with slightly lower credit can apply for this card. Reports show that the lowest approved score was 573, and the average is around 677.
Bottom Line: A no-frills card if APR is more important to you than rewards.
4. Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
This card is obviously one that features travel rewards. However, if you can qualify, it also offers relatively low APR – 11.99% to 21.99$ variable. You can also take advantage, as of March 2015, of 0% APR until March 2016, and no annual fee.
Travel Rewards: If you want a card that offers both low interest and travel rewards, this is a great bet. Get 1.25X miles – unlimited. So that’s 1.25 airline miles per $1 spent on any purchase. You’ll also get a one-time bonus of 20,000 when you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first three months.
Easy to Redeem: The rewards you rack up with this card don’t expire. You can use them for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, cruises, and other travel-related expenses. And you don’t have to worry about frustrating blackout dates when you can’t use your rewards.
No Transfer Fee: Unlike the other cards on this list, this one doesn’t offer 0% introductory APR on transfers. However, it doesn’t have a transfer fee. So depending on how quickly you pay down the balance, that could be a valuable perk.
No Annual Fee: You’ll pay $0 in annual fees with this card.
Credit Needed: This is for individuals with good to great credit, with the average scores for cardholders running from 629 to 771.
Bottom Line: A great option if you want to combine good APR with travel rewards.
5. Barclaycard® Ring MasterCard®
This card has an interesting twist – it’s crowdsourced. Barclaycard has created a forum where card holders can get together to decide what benefits to add to the card. It offers a very low interest rate, no balance transfer fee, no annual fee, and some good cash back rewards. And card users can put in their input for how to change the card to make it even better.
Low Interest Rate: This card offers a low 8% variable APR on balance transfers and purchases.
Giveback: Essentially, the credit card’s books are open to users, so you can see how your choices – and the choices of the community – can affect the card’s bottom line. When the card does well, you can share in the profits through the Giveback program. You can use Giveback money as a statement credit, or choose a charity to donate to.
1% Cash Back on Transfers: This card gets even better if you’re looking for a balance transfer. You’ll actually get 1% cash back on transfers (rather than paying the standard 1-3% fee!).
No Annual Fee: You can save money with this card because it offers no annual fee – ever.
Credit Needed: Credit Karma puts the statistics for this one pretty high, with approved scores between 641 and 800, and an average approved score of 718.
Bottom Line: If you have great credit, this could be a great card to keep around for big-ticket purchases that you want to finance. We don’t recommend this approach for everything, of course. But if you’re planning to carry a balance purposefully – or trying to pay off a balance on a high interest card – this is a great option.