The 8 Best Low Interest Credit Cards of November 2022
Best for Streaming Savings
Blue Cash Everyday
- 3% back on groceries
- Cash back on streaming
For 15 Months
Best for Overall Cash Back
Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Travel rewards
- Credit monitoring
For 15 months
Best for Long 0% Intro APR
Wells Fargo Reflect
- Low variable APR
- Cell phone protection
For 21 months
Best Sign-Up Bonus
Discover it Cash Back
- Revolving cash rewards
- Bonus matching
For 15 months
Credit cards can be an excellent way to front the money you need for purchases (and earn some rewards in the process). However, dealing with credit cards means working around their biggest downside — interest.
Low-interest credit cards can help solve this problem — and so can paying off your credit card balance every month. Low-interest credit cards feature lower-than-average interest rates, alongside powerful rewards and benefits. Some of the rewards include savings on streaming services, travel perks and cash back on groceries, entertainment and retail therapy.
The best low-interest credit cards start customers at 0% APR for at least 15 months and we’ve found some that extend that to18 months on purchases and 21 months on balance transfers. After that sweetheart period is over, you’ll be saddled with interest. So what you want to look for is the variable APR, which is what the interest will be after the introductory period. The better your credit score, the lower APR you can get.
The Best Low-Interest Credit Cards
- Blue Cash Everyday Card: Best for Streaming Savings
- Discover it Cash Back: Best Sign-up Bonus
- Chase Freedom Unlimited: Best for Overall Cash Back
- Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards: Best for International Travel
- Wells Fargo Reflect: Best for Long 0% Intro APR
- Chase Freedom Flex: Best for Cash Back Variety
- Citi Diamond Preferred: Best for Balance Transfers
- Bank of America Travel Rewards: Best for Travel Rewards
Blue Cash Everyday Card
- 15 months 0% APR
- Up to $250 statement credit
- 3% cash back on groceries
Discover it Cash Back
- Up to 5% cash back
- Unlimited Cashback Match welcome bonus
- No annual fee or foreign transaction fee
Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Ongoing cash back value
- Rewards for travel through Chase
- Credit monitoring tools
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards
- 1.5% flat cash back rewards rate
- No foreign transaction fee
- More cash back for travel bookings
Wells Fargo Reflect
- Longer intro APR
- 0% on bank transfers for 21 months
- Cell phone protection
Chase Freedom Flex
- Free credit score access
- Cash rewards don’t expire
- Fast bonus
Citi Diamond Preferred
- Good APR for balance transfers
- No cash back offers
- Free access to FICO score
Bank of America Travel Rewards
- Contactless cards
- Booking freedom features
- Longer intro APR period
What Is a Low-Interest Credit Card?
Low-interest credit cards are those that have an APR range starting around 14%–15%. Many low-interest credit cards also have 0% introductory rates for up to 21 months, giving you plenty of time to pay it off. After all, the best interest rate is the one you never have to pay.
Credit card interest rates are determined by the card’s annual percentage rate (APR). Credit cards are typically advertised with a range of APRs — say, 14%–27%. Your credit score is generally what determines where in that range your card’s APR falls, with higher credit scores getting lower interest rates.
Types of Low-Interest Credit Cards
Low-interest credit cards come in various types, just like “regular” credit cards. These include:
- Cash back: These are rewards credit cards where the focus is on giving you cash back on your purchases. Typically, the cash-back amounts are set as percentages, and can vary based on purchase categories. For example, you might get 5% back on travel, 3% on restaurants, and 1.5% on everything else.
- Travel rewards: Travel rewards cards give points or miles that can be redeemed for flights and hotel stays. For example, you might earn a point or two per dollar spent, and the points might have a value of approximately one cent. These are excellent for frequent travelers.
- Points rewards: These cards are similar to the travel rewards cards in that you earn points for each dollar spent. The main difference is that you can redeem points on a wide variety of goods and services, not just travel.
- 0% introductory APR: Many credit cards offer long initial periods where your purchases accrue zero interest. This is an excellent perk for large purchases that you know you’ll need a bit of time to pay off, or for transferring high-interest debt. The main tradeoff with these cards is that when the introductory period ends, the APR tends to be higher than other low-interest cards.
Pros and Cons of a Low-Interest Credit Card
We’ve rounded up the pros and cons of low-interest credit cards to help you decide what features are right for you.
- Reduce the amount of interest you pay
- Pay off other debt faster with balance transfers
- Pay zero interest on large purchases with introductory APR offers
- Less exciting rewards than high-interest cards
- High credit requirements
- Lower long-term value compared to other cards
The Pros of a Low-Interest Credit Card
The following features are what will likely attract you to a low-interest credit card.
Lower Your Interest Rate
Low-interest credit cards are all about, well, low interest. That means that when you make a payment, more of your money goes towards the card’s principal—the actual amount you spent. This will bring the balance down faster and means you waste less money and pay the card off quicker in the long run.
Pay Off Other Debt Faster
A balance transfer can be a great way to reduce the amount of interest you’re paying on other debts and many low-interest credit cards offer more than a year of 0% APRs. In fact, you shouldn’t even think about one that offers less than 15 months. A balance transfer is basically the process of moving one card’s balance to another. While there’s sometimes a fee involved, it’s likely less than what you’ll save on interest.
Pay Zero Interest on Large Purchases
If you’re planning to make a large purchase that’ll take a bit of time to pay off, you can leverage the 0% APR introductory offers many low-interest cards have to avoid paying interest entirely.
The Cons of a Low-Interest Credit Card
The following features are what might have you think twice about applying for a low-interest credit card. Will it really do what you want it to do in the long run?
Less Exciting Rewards
Because the low interest is such a huge perk (and the credit card company is making less money from you), many low-interest cards offer lower point or cash back amounts compared to higher-interest cards.
High Credit Requirements
Low-interest credit cards almost always have steeper requirements to qualify. In particular, you may need good or excellent credit to get one, which can be prohibitive for some people.
Lower Long-Term Value
Since low-interest credit cards often earn fewer points, cash back rewards, or other perks, they can actually be less useful in the long term, especially if you’re someone who typically pays off credit cards quickly and doesn’t carry a balance for long periods of time.
What to Look for in a Low-Interest Credit Card
When you are shopping for a low-interest credit card you need to do your homework and that means understanding the terminology that banks use. Here are some of the features and what they mean. Until you understand these, it’s difficult to know what to look for.
The first, and possibly most important, thing to look at in a low-interest credit card (or any credit card) is the APR. This is the interest rate you’ll pay each month. To qualify as a low-interest card, you want to aim for around 14%–15% APR, although some cards with really good 0% APR introductory offers may have slightly higher “regular” APRs.
0% APR Introductory Offers
Many low-interest credit cards offer an introductory APR of 0%. This period can range anywhere from 12 months to 21 months, and it’s an excellent way to make big purchases or consolidate debt. This is a really strong benefit to watch for — the longer the period, the better.
Rewards and Benefits
Many credit cards offer benefits or rewards to cardholders. These should definitely be taken into consideration. Typically, rewards come in the form of cash back, points per dollar spent, or travel miles. In general, cash back offers give the least amount of rewards per dollar spent, but you can use them in the largest variety of ways.
Finally, check the annual fees associated with your card of choice and make sure you’re okay with them. Many low-interest credit cards have no annual fee at all—it really varies from card to card. All of the cards featured in this article have $0 annual fees.
How to Reduce the Credit Card Interest You Pay
Interest is often a fact of life for credit card owners, and if you’re not careful, it can quickly get out of control. However, there are a few ways that you can reduce the amount of interest you pay on your balances:
- Pay the balance off completely each month: The simplest way to avoid paying interest is to pay the balance of your card off before interest accrues. If you pay the card in full every month, you can take advantage of the benefits while paying little to nothing in interest charges.
- Pay more than the minimum payment each month: If you can’t afford to pay off your entire balance each month, you can at least pay more than the minimum. Credit card minimum payments are designed so that only a small fraction goes towards the principal—the non-interest balance of the card. To pay down the card faster, and thus pay less interest over time, you need to pay above the minimum.
- Transfer balances to a 0% interest card: Balance transfers are a great way to consolidate debt and, if you play your cards right, reduce the amount of interest you pay. Basically, you want to transfer your balances to a card that offers a 0% introductory APR. This way, you can go from paying tons of interest to nothing (provided you pay off the new balance before the intro period ends).
- Negotiate interest rates: Finally, you may also be able to negotiate a lower interest rate, particularly if you have a strong credit history and have shown that you make payments on time and reliably. Give your credit card company a call and ask. All they can say is no.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Low-Interest Credit Cards
We’ve found the answers to the most commonly asked questions about low-interest credit cards.
There are a few ways to lower your credit card interest rate. One way is to focus on improving your credit score by making regular, on-time payments, and then negotiating lower interest rates with your credit card company. You can also use that higher credit score to get a lower-interest rate card and transfer your balances onto it.
A low interest rate is generally an APR in the 14%–15% range. To get rates this low, you usually need a good-to-excellent credit score of 670 or higher and a strong credit history.
Low interest rate cards are exactly what they sound like — cards with low interest rates. A 0% interest rate card is one that has an introductory period where you pay no interest on purchases. When that period ends, your account accrues interest at a normal rate. The two card types are often combined into one product. And to get the lowest of their credit card issuers variable APR, you will likely need a credit score of 670 or higher.
The best way to avoid paying credit card interest is to pay your card balances off every month. This way, you avoid accruing interest entirely. If that’s not possible, you can reduce the amount of interest you pay by making more than the minimum payment each month. This helps push more of your payment towards the principal, paying your card off quicker and reducing the total interest you accrue.
Penny Hoarder contributor Dave Schafer has been writing professionally for nearly a decade, covering topics ranging from personal finance to software and consumer tech. Freelancer Timothy Moore contributed to this report.