Imagine if you could borrow a large sum of money from a bank, buy the things you need right now, then pay the bank back a year and a half later. Oh yeah — and you wouldn’t have to pay a single dime in interest to that bank. Wouldn’t that be a pretty darn good deal? It seems almost too good to be true, but that’s exactly how a 0% APR credit card can work.
If you are just starting a business, we understand that sometimes you have to have a decent amount of capital to buy the things you need to start your business. And when you start a business, sometimes it can take a little while to get things going before you start seeing any profits. That period of spending with no profits can make or break a new business since a normal loan can accrue interest quickly and put you in a deep hole. However, a credit card with a 0% APR introductory period can make all of the difference.
Having the right credit card at your disposal can save you or your business a ton of money. You can even get personal 0% APR credit cards for yourself especially if you are trying to pay down your current credit card debt and want to keep interest at bay. Depending on which card you choose, you can get up to 18 months of no interest for both purchases and balance transfers.
Take a look at some of our top recommendations for 0% APR credit cards, and start saving money ASAP.
Our 0% APR Credit Card Recommendations
Best Overall 0% APR Credit Card: American Express EveryDay Credit Card
If you are looking for a 0% APR credit card that seems to have everything on your credit card wish list, the American Express EveryDay Credit Card should not be overlooked. It has no annual fee, great rewards-earning potential, and a long 0% APR introductory period.
First, this card has a 15-month introductory 0% APR period on all of your purchases, which can save you a ton of money in interest for over a year. Unfortunately, this doesn’t include a 0% APR on balance transfers, so keep that in mind.
One of the great features of this card is the rewards-earning potential, especially considering it is a no annual fee credit card. This card earns two Membership Rewards points per dollar on all of your supermarket purchases, up to $6,000 in combined purchases each year. You will also earn two points per dollar when you make your travel purchases on Amextravel.com, such as airfare, prepaid hotels, and other travel expenses. All other purchases will earn one Membership Rewards point without limit. To top off the rewards, you can earn 20% more points if you make at least 20 purchases with your card in each billing cycle.
This credit card also gives you access to the Membership Rewards program, which boosts the value of your points and gives you flexibility when redeeming them. The program allows you to redeem your points in a number of different ways – transfer them to other airline and hotel loyalty programs, redeem them at the cash value for travel purchases, or redeem them for cash back. If you transfer your points to other programs, you can often get way more value from your points (sometimes as much as double value).
Not only do you get a ton of value for your everyday purchases, you can also earn a great sign-up bonus when you open the account. If you spend $1,000 on the card in the first three months, you will earn an additional 10,000 Membership Rewards points. When maximizing the value of your points, that bonus could be worth almost $200.
Although this isn’t necessarily a travel credit card, it has a few features that can make your travels easier. If you pay for a rental car with this card you will get car rental loss and damage insurance. You also get access to the Global Assist Hotline, which is a service that can help you with various emergency services when traveling domestically or abroad.
As you can see, not only does the American Express EveryDay credit card offer a really great 0% APR introductory period on purchases, but it also competes with many other rewards and cash-back credit cards. You will be hard pressed to find a better overall card with such a great 0% APR offer.
Best Extended Intro 0% APR Credit Card for Business: US Bank Business Platinum Card
If you are a business owner and want a card with a sole purpose of saving you as much money in interest as possible for as long as possible, then the US Bank Business Platinum Card is going to be your best bet thanks to its extended 0% APR period for both purchases and balance transfers.
The primary feature of this business card is that it offers a 0% intro APR for the first 15 billing cycles. That is an extremely long period to not be charged any interest. Better yet, the offer applies to purchases and balance transfers. There aren’t many business credit cards out there that offer 0% APR on balance transfers — and definitely not for so long. Just be aware that balance transfers will incur a 3% fee of the amount transferred. You might imagine that a card with such a long 0% APR introductory period would charge an annual fee, but this one doesn’t — yet another way it helps save you and your business money. You also won’t pay any annual fee for employee cards.
There isn’t much else to this card; it doesn’t offer any sort of travel benefits or cash rewards. And this card won’t help earn you anything bonuses like some of the other cards mentioned, but it will save you a ton of money if you need to make business purchases that you don’t have the cash for immediately. Don’t pass up this card if you need to keep interest at bay on business purchases or balance transfers, especially if it might take you a bit to pay off your balance.
Best 0% APR Credit Card for Balance Transfers: Citi Simplicity Credit Card
The Citi Simplicity Credit Card is going to be your best bet for a personal credit card if you need to perform a balance transfer and need an extended 0% APR introductory period. This card also has a great intro APR period for your purchases as well.
If you have a credit card balance that is accruing interest, but you are worried that you aren’t going to be able to pay it off fast enough to keep the interest at bay, you will want to get a credit card that offers the longest 0% APR period for balance transfers. The Citi Simplicity features an 18-month 0% APR introductory period on balance transfers, which is one of the longest on the market.
The best part is that the clock doesn’t start until you make your first balance transfer. You just have to be sure to make the transfer within the first four months from account opening. Like most balance transfers, you will need to pay a 3% fee of the amount transferred, but that can be minimal compared to how much interest can be saved over 18 months.
The card also offers a very generous 0% APR period of the same length on purchases. Although 18 months is not the longest 0% APR period on the market, it is on the longer end of available 0% APR intro periods for purchases. With both the extended balance transfer and purchase 0% APR, this card can save you a ton of money.
To top off all of the money savings, the card also has no annual fee, which is a great feature for a card like this. The last thing to be aware of is that this card does require that you have excellent credit, usually above about 720.
The Value of a 0% APR Credit Card
Paying zero interest on a loan seems like a pipe dream, especially for a business. But if you need to borrow thousands of dollars, and know you will be able to pay it off a year or so later, then a 0% APR credit card should be at the top of your list.
First, credit cards are one of the quickest ways to borrow money — much faster than getting approved for a traditional loan. If you are trying to get approved for a loan, it can take weeks or even months to have your financing come through before you see the money. Lost time equates to lost money and a whole lot of frustration. Credit cards provide a quick influx of spending power since getting approved for a credit card can happen in minutes, and you can have the card in hand within a week.
Because credit cards can be much easier and quicker to get, they come with much higher interest rates — up to 30% sometimes. This is the usual tradeoff between a credit card and a traditional loan, but if you have the 0% APR promotional period, you don’t have to worry about a tradeoff. You can get money quickly and not pay a cent in interest.
Let’s also take a look at how much money a 0% APR credit card can save you compared to a traditional loan. Let’s assume you need $10,000 in the near future. Best case scenario, you get a loan with a 3% interest rate and end up paying about $300 in interest over the course of the year. With a 0% APR credit card that offers no interest for 12 months, you won’t pay a single dime more than the original $10,000.
Just be aware that this assumes you pay off the entire balance within the 0% APR promotional period and make at least the minimum payment on time each month. If you are certain that you can pay off the entire balance within the promotional period, then a credit card like this is exactly what you need. If you think you won’t be able to pay off your balance in a timely manner, you might want to be wary about using a credit card to borrow money. We can’t stress enough that the extremely high interest rates on credit cards can become very dangerous very quickly.
If you need to transfer a balance from another credit card, you can also save money with a card that offers a 0% APR period for balance transfers. Let’s assume you are transferring a balance of $10,000 from a card with a 25% interest rate to another one that has an 18% interest rate that charges a 3% transfer fee. Over the course of one year, your original credit card would charge you about $2,500 in interest, assuming you didn’t pay down the principal amount. The new card with the 0% APR would charge a $300 transfer fee (3% of $10,000), and the interest over the year would be $0—assuming there is a 0% APR period of 12 months for balance transfers. Over the first year, your savings would be about $2,200. Even if it didn’t offer a 0% APR period, you could still save $400 thanks to the lower interest rate on the new card.
As you can see, a 0% APR credit card can be well worth your while, but you need to be careful not to rely too heavily on the credit card or for too long. Using the 0% APR period on these cards can be a great thing, but you have to have a plan to pay off the balance as soon as possible.