If you’re willing to consider a different credit card company, a great card with no interest for 18 months is the Wells Fargo Platinum card. It offers 0% APR for 18 months on purchases and 0% for 18 months on qualifying balance transfers with a $0 annual fee. It has a balance transfer fee of 3% intro for 120 days, then up to 5% (min $5).
A 0% APR means that you pay no interest on new purchases and/or balance transfers for a certain period of time. The best 0% APR credit cards give 15-18 months without interest. But the average 0% APR intro period is about 11 months for cards offering 0% purchases. And it’s around 13 months for the average card with 0% on transfers.… read full answer
A 0% APR does not keep you away from monthly payments, nor does it completely remove interest out of the equation. You still have to make monthly minimum payments to keep your 0% APR. And if you don’t pay off your balance by the end of the 0% intro period, you’ll have to pay interest on whatever balance remains. The penalty is even worse with many retailers’ 0% financing offers. If you don’t pay off your full balance in time, interest will retroactively apply to your entire original balance – as if the 0% APR was never there.
There are a few other things you should keep in mind when thinking about 0% APRs, too.
Here are some 0% APR key takeaways:
You pay no interest on your purchases and/or balance transfers for the duration of the introductory APR period, which depends on the card.
0% APRs make debt cheaper to pay off, which helps you get out of debt faster.
A 0% APR does not free you from the responsibility of making monthly payments. You must pay at least your monthly minimum to avoid being classified as late. Late payments damage your credit score.
0% credit cards tend to have fairly high regular APRs. So, you should strive to bring your balance to zero by the end of the 0% APR period, when regular rates take effect.
It’s also important to note that you won’t only find 0% APRs on credit cards. You may see auto loans with them, for example. Just be sure to always read the terms in detail before signing. You don’t want to end up with deferred interest instead of a true 0% APR.
A long period of 0% interest can be really helpful if you need to make a big purchase but can’t pay it all off right away. You can avoid interest entirely if you pay in full by the time the intro rate ends. And if you can’t manage that, you’ll at least have a smaller balance when interest kicks in.
It’s important to note that some store cards may offer 0% interest for longer than 21 months, but they use deferred interest. That is, you earn interest on your balance during the 0% period but don’t have to pay that interest if and only if you bring your balance to $0 before the 0% period ends. The JCPenney Credit Card is one example, offering up to 60 months of deferred interest. But those cards are best avoided because there’s a chance you’ll get blindsided by interest charges. So, they’re not really eligible to be in the running for longest 0% APR.
Here are the longest 0% APR credit cards:
Citi Simplicity® Card: 0% for 18 months on balance transfers and 0% for 18 months on purchases. 3% (min $5) transfer fee. $0 annual fee and no late fees. Requires good credit.
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card: 0% for 20 billing cycles on purchases and 0% for 20 billing cycles on balance transfers. 3% (min $5) balance transfer fee. $0* annual fee. Requires with good credit.
Wells Fargo Platinum card: 0% for 18 months on purchases and 0% for 18 months on qualifying balance transfers. 3% intro for 120 days, then up to 5% (min $5) balance transfer fee. $0 annual fee. Requires good credit.
HSBC Gold Credit Card: 0% for 18 months on purchases and 0% for 18 months on balance transfers. 4% (min $10) balance transfer fee. $0 annual fee. Requires good credit.
None of these cards offer rewards, but they’re meant for financing rather than regular spending. And you can use a different card for purchases you’ll pay in full each month. All of these cards also require good or excellent credit.
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