John S Kiernan, Managing Editor
The best way to use a 0% APR credit card is with a clear plan. Interest-free credit cards aren’t always available. So, you can’t just assume that you’ll be able to transfer whatever balance remains at the end of your new card’s 0% intro term to yet another 0% credit card. And exposing much of a balance to a card’s regular interest rate is a costly proposition. The average 0% credit card has a 18% regular APR, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report.
Here’s the best way to use a 0% APR credit card:
The first thing to keep in mind is that using a 0% card correctly starts with calculating how long it will take you to repay your debt (without interest). This will tell you how long of a 0% intro period you’ll need and how important each card’s regular APR will be.
The second step is to check your latest credit score, which you can do for free on WalletHub. This will tell you which, if any, zero-interest credit card you can qualify for.
Next, you’ll need to compare whatever eligible offers remain. In doing so, consider all of the various account terms that could affect your overall financing costs. That includes the length of the 0% period, the annual fee, the regular APR and if you’re trying to reduce the cost of existing debt, the balance-transfer fee. And WalletHub’s Credit Card Payoff and Balance Transfer calculators are perfect for the task.
After you find the best 0% APR card for your needs, submit an application and, hopefully, get approved, your focus should shift to making on-time monthly payments and reaching debt freedom as quickly as possible. And the best way to accomplish those goals is to set up automatic monthly payments for your budgeted amount.
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