Whether you are looking to consolidate a debt or finance a large purchase at the cheapest interest cost possible, there are different credit cards available that can help you with this process. In this article, we are going to take a look at five of the best low-interest credit cards. These will be cards that either:
1) Offer an everyday low rate or 2) Offer a very nice sign-up introductory rate for an extended period.
Chase Slate: A Compelling Introductory Offer
Usually, a credit card company will offer either an intro purchase APR rate or an intro balance transfer APR rate in an attempt to attract new customers. With the Chase Slate Card, you get both.
For the first fifteen months that you are activated, you will be able to enjoy 0% APR on BOTH balance transfers AND purchases. This means that this card is perfect for you if you are looking to finance a large purchase OR if you are looking to consolidate your debt into one place.
On top of that, the Chase Slate is an industry leader because it does not charge any balance transfer fees if you make a transfer within the first 60 days that your account is opened. This is a first for balance transfer offers, as most card companies usually charge $5 or 3% of the transfer, whichever is greater, even when they offer zero percent intro offers for balance transfers.
Now, be aware that you will probably need an excellent credit score to get the Chase Slate card, but it may be worth trying to prequalify on their site even if you don’t have a 740+ score.
Best All-Around Low Rate: Barclaycard Ring Mastercard
With that said, while Chase is able to make an incredible introductory offer to its new customers, Barclaycard has beaten all the rest when it comes to generally low interest rates. Currently, the Ring Mastercard offers an industry-leading 8.24% variable APR on all purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances.
In terms of a low interest rate, this card is the best there is. Almost no one else in the industry has a rate that goes beneath 13.24% for an unsecured card, and that rate being only for the most creditworthy borrowers. With that said, the 8.24% rate is a variable rate that tracks the prime rate, so it is possible that it could increase.
Still, the Ring Mastercard should consistently have a lower rate than all other cards on the market, even when interest rates rise like they just did this December. So, if you have a very large balance that you can’t pay off during an introductory balance transfer period, this card may be a good option to help you save on some of the interest that you would otherwise pay with another credit card.
Low Interest With a Plus: Penfed Promise
The major drawback to low-interest credit cards is that they often don’t offer much in the way of sign-up bonuses or rewards. With the Penfed Promise Visa Card, that doesn’t hold true.
The Penfed Card is another card that has a generally good, all-around low interest rate. It is a variable rate that currently ranges from 10.24% to 17.99% based on your creditworthiness, which is far lower than the current industry average of 13.24-23.24%.
It also gets better because Penfed is currently offering a nice sign-up bonus of $100 when you spend $1500 on their card within 90 days of signing up. Furthermore, this card does not charge an annual fee and has a 4.99% intro APR offer on balance transfers (with no transfer fees) for the first 12 months of your account being open.
Good Upon Invitation: Citi Diamond Preferred
While you don’t technically have to be “invited” in order to apply and be accepted for the Citi Diamond Preferred Card, you are far more likely to be approved for this high-end card in that manner.
Why is it so difficult to get approved? It is because Citi is currently offering one of the best intro APR offers in the industry. For those who are approved, you will receive an incredible introductory APR offer, good for both balance transfers and purchases, of 0% for 21 months from the time you open your account.
Only one other card is currently offering an intro APR for this long of a period–that’s nearly two years! As a result, this card is perfect for either making a very large purchase and paying it down over time or transferring a high-interest balance and paying it off with a little more room to breathe.
However, keep in mind that the balance transfer offer doesn’t come fee-free. For every balance transfer that you make during the introductory period, there will be a fee of $5 or 3% of the total balance that you are transferring–whichever is greater. In many ways, this can tack a good bit of the interest back onto your balance that you would otherwise be avoiding by taking this offer, so be wary.
Citi Simplicity Keeps Interest Simple
The only other card that offers a 21 month, 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases? Citi Simplicity. Much like their Diamond Preferred Card, Citi is extending these fantastic offers using their Citi Simplicity card as well. Plus, it is a little bit easier to get approved for too!
This card also does not charge an annual fee, and you will also find that it is a little more gracious than most. The Citi Simplicity Card never charges a late fee for a missed payment, and it doesn’t have any sort of penalty rate.
Given, it doesn’t have some of the cool benefits that Citi offers to its customers with the Diamond Preferred card from time to time, but it also doesn’t face a risky 29.99% penalty APR that those card users face if they ever miss a payment.
There Are Plenty of Options Better Than a Bank
Whether you are paying off a large debt or looking to finance a large purchase with some breathing room, there are plenty of low-interest credit card options out there that may be better than getting, or consolidating, a loan with your local bank.
At the very least, your bank will usually charge you between 3-9% for a personal loan, and they are also known for charging origination and closing fees on new loans or consolidation fees for outstanding credit that you have. In other words, you can save all that interest expense just by obtaining the right low-interest credit card.
Furthermore, always check Credit Karma and the FICO Forums before applying for any card to know your approval odds. Hopefully by doing this you can increase your chances of approval so that you don’t waste hard inquiries and hurt your credit score during the application process.