0% Intro APR Credit Cards

Some of the most favorable credit card deals around are the ones for cards that offer a 0% introductory APR. More of these cards have become available recently, many with longer introductory periods and no annual fees. Take a look at our list below, with cards that have been ranked according to popularity and how attractive the terms are. Some cards have the 0% interest rate applied to various transactions such as balance transfers or new purchases only, while most cover both cases. These cards promise NO interest charges for extended periods, with many of them providing cash bonuses as well.


CitiBusiness ThankYou℠ Card

Intro APR Intro Period Regular APR
0% 6 Months on Purchases 13.24% (Variable)
Annual Fee Balance Transfers Credit Needed
N/A Yes Excellent
See Terms for CitiBusiness ThankYou℠ Card

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Silicon Valley Blogger October 12, 2009 at 2:23 pm

With balance transfer cards and other 0% APR credit cards (intro APR), you’ll be able to make a dent on your debt by committing to a payoff schedule that quickly retires your outstanding balance over the span of the card’s promotional period. Balance transfer cards can work pretty well for you even after taking into account their balance transfer fees and regular interest rates (which are set after the intro period): they may still come out a better deal than other cards you may already be using. For other cards in our list above, new purchases can be made with 0% APR for a limited time. So it pays to shop around!

For best results, pay your balance off before the teaser rates expire to make these cards worth using. These cards may be worth it if you’ve got the discipline to pay them off.

Financial Samurai October 13, 2009 at 8:10 pm

Sweeet! Let me know how it all goes guys. Spend spend spend and use the money for free.

I remember doing this when I first graduated, and made some money in the stock markets. No more!

It doesn’t matter if your card is 0%, because you are paying off your debt every month anyway. If you can’t pay it off every month, you can’t afford it.

Stand strong folks!

The Digerati Life October 13, 2009 at 8:48 pm

I pay off my credit card in full each month, so 0% may not matter to me (and consumers like me) as much. But I do like Discover More’s rewards! 🙂 At any rate, balance transfer credit cards can help people retire their debt faster, if they’ve got the discipline to do it quickly and aggressively!

John DeFlumeri Jr October 14, 2009 at 4:49 am

Be careful with those offers, things can get ugly real fast at the term’s end!

Former Credit Cardholder October 14, 2009 at 12:31 pm

No matter what you think of credit cards, there are certain credit cards I won’t use. I’ve had a card since 1998 and never missed a payment (oops – I was TWO HOURS late in 2006 when I made my payment online and forgot the time difference between Colorado and Delaware! So my rate increased from 12.99% which I felt was high, to a whopping 24.99%). Then they reduced my credit limit from $2500 to $1900. NOW they have decided not to renew my card, since I had “too many late payments”. First I have NO late payments on anything and have 93% of my credit available, since I’m trying to pay down everything to buy a home and only owe $245 on this card. I can’t believe this! ONE time, two hours late in 11 1/2 years and I’m a bad credit risk? My TOTAL debt is less than $2,000 including my vehicle! I’m so mad I’m spitting nails. Then today I found my boss didn’t get a renewal on HIS credit card either and he’s got GREAT credit. This will probably lower my credit score and I’m taking the info to the Consumer Protection Agency and my Senator.

Financial Samurai October 14, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Wow, 25% on a credit card? Yikes.

I’ve never missed a payment on my Citi Home Rebate Card, and they jacked my rate up arbitrarly from 7% to 14% this past year, even though rates remain at all time lows. Awesome! Love banks!

The Digerati Life October 14, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Hmmm… that’s interesting to learn about some credit cards. I actually have several credit cards but haven’t had any problems with them. Both my husband and I use credit cards quite a bit. Our main cards were Citibank cards which somehow ended up as Bank of America cards (transfer of issuer here, I guess). I actually heard rumors that our particular Bank of America Upromise cards are going to be getting annual fees in the near future.

I’m hoping it’s a bad rumor, or I’ll have to move my business elsewhere. Not too happy about this because if this turns out to be true, it’ll be the second time this year that I’ll have to be picking up new credit cards (the first was when Advanta kicked me out as a customer when they folded). In the meantime, we use our Chase cards to tide us over.

Dermot October 17, 2009 at 5:38 am

This is a very handy cards list. Thanks.

One thing that you need to know is that the 0 percent interest rate credit cards will not always continue at zero percent. This is what is known as in the card trade as an introductory rate. So basically you may be able to get 0 percent on your card buys for the first 6 months to a year. When this opening offer is through then you will be using a higher interest rate.

ecosarah October 17, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Actually, I was looking for a credit card to put my solar panel purchases on. This list should help me. Just need a short term loan to carry the debt rather than applying for a line of credit through the bank or financing it onto the house. Should be paid off – just need to decide if it’s 6 or 12 months. Obviously, the 12 months is better… 🙂

John October 28, 2009 at 9:01 am

If you are carrying an interest-bearing balance, you can consider transferring the balance to a 0% introductory offer card. 0% credit cards include a wide range of balance transfer cards, and many also offer cash back, rebates, reward points, and high credit limits for qualified applicants.

jason w November 11, 2009 at 10:23 pm

I used to have a card and got into big problems with it. I ended up owing them money then I finally settled with them and paid it all over. I’m trying to stay away from credit cards but 0% sounds good 🙂

Megan Eckert January 19, 2010 at 10:38 am

I’ve got my credit card almost paid off. My interest was going up so I applied for a 0% card because they sent me preapproval for 0% interest. Well I was approved and I received an email congratulating me. They told me my card was on the way on December 18. On January 6 I called and said I had not received my card but I needed to transfer a balance by Jan. 25. They told me I had to wait until the card was in hand and they ordered a new card to be delivered by UPS in 2 days. A week later I still did not have my card and I called. They said it had been sent but they could not give me a UPS tracking number? THEN, I figured it out when I learned that 0% interest on balance transfers are only good the first month of approval! You do the math.

They agreed to do my transfer, but I still don’t have my card…. BE CAREFUL.

Repeating Crossbow April 30, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I’m still a bit cautious about transferring over my balance (18%) over to a 0% card. If it’s too good to be true… I’m done with that phrase. Which is why I have a high balance to begin with!

Miss Platnum June 21, 2010 at 7:39 am

0% sure sounds good, but my opinion is that one should never get a credit card at all. I don’t have a credit card. In fact, I got one from my work, then when I got home, I cut it in pieces with my scissors.

Joshua December 20, 2010 at 11:26 am

This is great information. As a credit card and personal financial consultant, I find that most people don’t understand hidden costs involved with balance transfer credit cards.

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Using 0% Intro APR Credit Cards Wisely

So much has changed over the past few years in the credit card industry, what with new regulations, the disappearance of easy credit, the reduction of credit card offers and advertisements through the mail, and not to mention, the expiration of lifetime balance transfer programs (and awesome card terms). But through it all, there have remained 0% intro cards that stayed in the market, albeit with shortened intro periods and higher transfer fees.

These days, it appears that the card industry is on the uptick, with issuers reintroducing 0% interest credit cards with longer intro terms (between 12 to 24 months). As you can see from this page, there are many options for those looking for cards with really good rates today. If you're carrying a balance on a credit card that you aren't too happy with, consider some other cards that may offer better APR rates, at least for a certain period of time.

Various Ways To Use Zero Interest Credit Cards

In the past, a lot of people did very well by moving their debt balances and switching their allegiances to credit cards with lower rates or with better rewards. And before the credit crisis hit, we had an atmosphere which highly encouraged the popular scheme of making money by taking advantage of these 0% rate offers. It's a scheme called credit card arbitrage, which was a fad during the years of easy credit. These days, such activity has been discouraged by card issuers, given the higher fees applied to balance transfers (typically 4% of the transfer amount) and the low rates of return of alternative investments and savings accounts. It's no longer quite the easy money it used to be.

Card arbitrage works when you apply for several such cards that advertise a 0% APR or a low APR, and you take out balance checks from them to deposit into your interest bearing savings accounts which sport higher rates. By doing so, you can earn interest on this money during the promotional period when rates are at 0%. You'll have to be extra careful about playing this game because once the intro period lapses, rates can jack up and you could get caught owing much more on the money you borrowed than from where you've decided to invest it. Anyone who embarks on this scheme also needs to keep extremely good records. You may also need a lot of cards with high transfer limits to make this work. These days, many of the card features and savings account benefits that allowed this scheme to thrive are no longer existent. So it's doubtful you can make money this way.

It's best to use the 0% APR cards in a much more conservative manner -- primarily for debt consolidation purposes or for generating much needed liquidity for short periods of time. Going this route will help you eradicate your debt faster and can help you stay out of trouble.

Watch Out For The Fees

Credit card companies have now altered the terms for their products and are making it less interesting to leverage credit cards by arbitrage. So these days, many 0% intro APR cards now come with a transfer fee -- typically at least 3% of your balance.

So if you plan to borrow $1,000 from your 0% APR card, you'll end up paying $30 for the privilege of doing so (when you decide to move your balance). Therefore, be particular about signing up for such a card; you'll have to make sure you are truly getting a better deal with using such a card for your intended purposes. If you can pay off a high interest debt quickly this way, with your eye on retiring your existing balance before the promotional period is over, then going with a credit card offering a 0% rate could be worth it.

The best cards of course are those that have no fees associated with them, coupled with long introductory periods at very low rates. But there are fewer cards possessing these features these days. Do check out our list above for some good options. For other options, you can check out our other lists showcasing 0% balance transfer & purchase credit cards.