Should I get the longest 0% APR period possible?
In general, yes. If your goal is to repay your entire balance by the time the card’s regular APR kicks in, a longer 0% period means lower monthly payments. But it’s not always so straightforward.
For starters, if you plan to carry a balance beyond the card’s 0% period, you’ll also need to factor the card’s regular APR into your calculations. And if the card with the longest 0% period also happens to have a very high APR, it might not end up being your best option. Similarly, if you’re interested in a 0% balance transfer credit card
, you’ll also need to consider balance-transfer fees. You can use WalletHub’s Credit Card Payoff Calculator
to see which card offers the best overall package for your particular needs.
Finally, it’s important to note that while a long 0% period is always eye-catching, you should be cautious when it comes from a specific retailer. According to WalletHub research, all of the major retailers with 0% financing use a feature called deferred interest
. That means interest can retroactively apply to your entire original purchase amount if you’re late with a monthly payment or you don’t repay your full balance by the end of the intro period. As a result, you’re generally better off getting a 0% general-consumer credit card, even if the 0% term isn’t quite as long.
What if I pay my bill in full every month?
If you pay your bill in full every month, you should get the best rewards credit card possible, based on your current credit standing and spending habits. You can check your latest credit score and get a personalized credit card recommendation by signing up for a free WalletHub account
With that being said, you should never try to do everything with a single card. So if you’re planning to make a big-ticket purchase that will take longer than a single billing period to repay, you could save a lot of money by using a 0% credit card instead of your everyday rewards card. After all, the average credit card offer has a regular APR of 18.16%,
What is the average interest rate on a credit card?
The average interest rate for new credit card offers is 18.16%, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report
. People with excellent credit can expect the best credit card rates, and the average APR for that segment is currently 13.16%. Conversely, store cards have one of the highest average rates, at 24.30%.