No-interest credit cards won’t hurt your credit score more than any other credit card would. Opening any credit card will cause a small credit score hit due to the hard inquiry required by credit card companies when evaluating an application. A no-interest card won’t hurt your credit simply by existing on your credit report, though. After the minor initial drop from the hard inquiry, a new credit card generally will boost your credit score by increasing your total credit and lowering your overall credit utilization. That’s assuming you use it responsibly.
Zero APR credit cards could bring down a credit score if they’re misused. A no-interest period makes it easier to rack up a bigger bill than you’d planned on or can manage. No interest means there’s less pressure to pay off your balance in full every month, too. If your no-interest period turns into a high regular APR when you’re carrying a large balance, it could quickly become unaffordable. And if you’re unable to make the minimum payments, your credit score will definitely take a hit.
Simply carrying a balance on a credit card shouldn’t hurt your credit score, as long as you don’t miss due dates. But a long period of high credit utilization can do some damage. Many people seek out a 0% APR credit card specifically to pay off a large purchase over time without paying interest. That’s a good use of a no-interest period. But if the purchase takes up a big chunk of the new credit limit, the cardholder’s credit utilization will go up. That’s especially true if the cardholder doesn’t have more than one credit card or has limited credit history. This can bring down a credit score, though it’s hard to say exactly how much, because a variety of factors are in play.
It is worth noting, however, that if you won’t need your credit score for anything important for a while, temporarily high credit utilization is better than paying a lot in interest. Also, don’t worry about negative remarks on your credit report just because you aren’t paying interest—there’s no truth to that claim.
Ultimately, if you’re considering getting a new credit card for its 0% APR period, the best things you can do to minimize the chances of hurting your credit are to always make payments on time and avoid maxing out your credit limit. Also, it’s not a bad idea to set spending boundaries beforehand to avoid paying the regular interest rate after the promotional period expires.
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.
WalletHub members have a wealth of knowledge to share, and we encourage everyone to do so while respecting our content guidelines
. Please keep in mind that editorial and user-generated content on this page is not reviewed or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution. In addition, it is not a financial institution’s responsibility to ensure all posts and questions are answered.