The best 0% APR cash back credit card is the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card. It offers 2% cash rewards on all purchases, an intro APR of 0% for 15 months from account opening on new purchases, and an intro rate of 0% for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers.
There’s also an initial bonus of $200 cash rewards after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months and a $0 annual fee. Like with most other 0% APR cash back credit cards, you will need good credit or better for approval.
These cards allow you to finance your purchases and pre-existing debt at a low cost, while also offering extensive cash back rewards. If you want more options, check out our editors' picks for the best cash back credit cards and the best 0% APR credit cards overall.
A 0% APR credit card is a card that does not charge any interest on purchases, balance transfers or both for a specific length of time. On average, 0% APR credit cards charge no interest on purchases for 12 months and no interest on balance transfers for 13 months.
The easiest way to get a 0% APR is to apply for a new credit card.
Some credit card issuers offer 0% APR promotions on existing accounts, though it doesn’t happen very often. The most straightforward way to get 0% interest is to apply for a credit card that offers 0% introductory APRs.
Most 0% APR credit cards require good credit or better for approval.
In general, you will need good or excellent credit to qualify for a 0% intro APR credit card. If you don’t know where you stand, you can check your credit score for free on WalletHub.
Credit cards with 0% APRs for below-average credit are usually retail credit cards.
Some 0% APR store credit cards accept less-than-good credit. That means you can get 0% interest on purchases from specific merchants. However, watch out for store credit cards that charge deferred interest, which applies if the balance is not paid in full by the time the 0% APR period ends.
Credit cards with 0% APRs charge high regular interest rates.
Most credit cards that offer 0% APRs also have high regular interest rates that kick in as soon as the introductory period is over, so it’s best to repay your balance in full before the promotional term ends.
A 0% APR on balance transfers usually comes with a balance transfer fee.
The average balance transfer fee for credit cards with 0% interest on balance transfers is 2.53%. From time to time, there are a select few 0% APR balance transfer credit cards that do not charge a balance transfer fee.
A 0% APR doesn’t save you from regular payments.
You still have to make minimum monthly payments by the due date to avoid credit score damage and keep the low interest rate.
If you are looking for a no-interest credit card, you can easily compare the latest 0% APR credit card offers for both purchases and balance transfers on WalletHub.
There are credit cards with no interest in the short term, but there is no credit card with no interest forever. A number of credit cards do have introductory 0% APR offers, giving an average of 12 months with no interest on purchases and 13 months with no interest on balance transfers. However, once the introductory rate expires, the card’s regular interest rate goes into effect.… read full answer
Plus, even credit cards offering a promotional 0% APR will still charge a separate, and usually higher, interest rate on cash advances. Others will also impose a penalty APR for late payments.
The good news is that you can avoid paying interest altogether, regardless of the interest rates a credit card may charge. As long as you pay your credit card balance in full by the payment due date every month, the issuer won’t charge interest. Consider setting up automatic monthly payments for the entire balance so you don’t forget.
Also, don’t use the card for cash advances, or for balance transfers not subject to an introductory 0% APR. Interest accumulates daily on both cash advances and balance transfers, starting on the transaction date, and will be added to your statement balance at the end of the billing period.
No, balance transfers do not hurt your credit score directly, though transferring a balance can indirectly lead to credit score damage. When you apply for a balance transfer credit card, for example, it will generate a hard inquiry on your credit report, causing a slight dip in your credit score.
If you transfer a balance to an existing credit card account, however, there is no hard inquiry and no credit score damage. A balance transfer could still result in high credit utilization, though, and allow you to rack up more debt than you can afford to repay. Both of those things can hurt your credit score.
So, the act of transferring a balance itself won’t affect your credit, but it will indirectly alter several key components of your credit profile, from utilization to the age of your accounts. These changes might lower your score a bit in the short term. But over time, interest savings and the ability to pay off your debt faster should make transferring a balance a net positive for your credit score.
How Balance Transfers Can Help or Hurt Your Credit Score
Credit Inquiries Hurt: If you apply for a new balance transfer card, the resulting hard inquiry will likely cause a slight dip in your credit score for up to 12 months.
Lower Account Age Hurts: Adding a new balance transfer card will reduce the overall age of your accounts, which can have a slight negative impact on your score.
Increased Utilization Hurts: Keep an eye on how the transfer affects your account’s credit utilization. Making a transfer will usually add 3%-5% to your debt due to balance transfer fees. If your utilization is over 30% of your credit limit, that’s not good for your score.
Missed Payments Hurt: If you don’t continue to make payments to your original creditor while the balance transfer is being processed, your credit score will suffer. Balance transfers can take up to three weeks, or be completed in just a few days, after you make a request or apply for a card.
Reduced Utilization Helps: If you leave your old credit card(s) open, adding a new card will reduce your utilization ratio across all accounts, assuming no additional spending. The utilization on the card you transferred the balance from will drop, and it will increase on the card you transferred the debt to.
Low Interest Helps: Balance transfer cards often have 0% introductory APRs. This gives you the chance to pay off your balance faster, since the full amount of your payments will go to the principal rather than interest. This is good for your score long-term.
Less Debt Helps: A balance transfer can help you reduce your debt load. That’s important because how much debt you owe is a key ingredient in your credit score. The less, the better, since people with little-to-no debt are in a more stable position financially.
Balance transfers won’t hurt your credit by themselves. But they affect other elements of your credit that could bring your score down a little temporarily. Still, the benefits will outweigh the negatives in the long run, as long as you plan to repay most, if not all, of your balance during your card’s low introductory APR period.
Where people get into trouble is trying to use a balance transfer to support unsustainable spending habits, thinking 0% balance transfer credit card offers are always available. They’re not, and learning that the hard way is a very expensive mistake. So make sure to use a balance transfer calculator to make a payment plan.
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