How to pick the Best 0% Credit Cards
A 0% APR credit card will save you a lot of cash if you are looking to transfer credit card balance or make a huge purchase. Several credit cards in the market offer a 0% introductory APR period which allows cardholders to make purchases and pay off transferred balances at zero interests. A lot of people use such cards to transfer huge credit and pay off as much of it as possible within the introductory period. Making huge purchases in this phase will also save you hundreds of dollars.
There are several 0% Introductory APR credit cards in the market each of them coming with different terms. Some of these cards are best suited for credit transfers, and hence it’s only the people who are looking to offset as much of their debt as possible that can take advantage of them. Others are ideal for people that are hoping to make either a huge purchase or a lot of purchases in the near future. A few other credit cards lie at the middle offering relatively the same terms for both credit transfer and purchases. Therefore, the best 0% introductory APR credit card for you will depend on what you are hoping to achieve with the card.
Choosing a 0% Credit Card
a. Length of the 0% APR Phase
The 0% APR introductory phase varies from one credit card to the next. Getting a card with the longest duration is your best option regardless of whether you want the card for credit transfer or for huge purchases. We also advise the cardholders to take full advantage of the card at this phase. This is because some of these cards tend to charge a high variable APR immediately after the introductory period is over.
b. Ongoing APR
The introductory phase won’t last forever. There is also a possibility that you won’t get all your needs solved within this period. You must, therefore, consider the current APR of the credit card to determine how much you might end up paying in interest rates once the promotional period is over. Most 0% credit cards have high but variable APR. Try and choose one with low interest rates to avoid losing a lot of money once the APR kicks in.
Credit cards usually come with various fees some of which can get very expensive. If your intention of owning one of these credit cards is to transfer a balance, you may want to check out the credit transfer fees. This is a percentage charged on the total balance transferred. The fee varies from one card to another depending on the issuer. Take your time and scan through your options to get a card with low or even no credit transfer fee. Some issuers will also charge annual fees. If possible, avoid cards with this fee. Cards with no annual fees are also a good option because once you are done with the card, you can leave it open at no cost. This will increase the length and overall record of your credit history.
d. Other benefits offered
What other incentives do you get from owning the card? Are there reward programs and how do they align with your spending habits? The answers to these questions should help you secure a card that will remain beneficial even after the promotional period comes to an end. While checking on the rewards, you should also compare them against the interests charged and all other fees to determine whether the rewards are really worth it.
Top 3 0 Credit Cards
1. Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card is an incredible option for everyone looking to enjoy various benefits beyond the introductory promotional period. It is one of the few credit cards whose 0% APR introductory phase extends beyond the first 12 months. The card offers 15 months of 0% APR! This gives you enough time to settle as much of your debt as possible and make all the huge purchases you need. The issuer will then start charging you a variable APR of between 16.99% to 25.74%.
This card offers new customers $150 in cash back if you spend at least $500 in the first three months. A lot of issuers usually have sign up bonuses, but how many of them have capped these bonuses to a spending threshold of just $500? The $500 minimum spending is achievable to everyone. There is also a 5% cash back on rotating categories and another 1.5% cash back reward on all purchases you make.
This credit card also gets the upper hand over its competitor’s thanks to its partnership with Chase Sapphire Cards. You can use the points from these cards and redeem them through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program to enjoy even more perks.
One of the significant limitations with the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card is the high variable APR. This makes the card quite expensive to use once the introductory period is over. You should, therefore, make the promotional period count.
This card also has a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5 (whichever is greater) of the amount of every transfer made.
2. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a 0% APR on all purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. The card will then activate a variable APR of between 14.74% to 24.74% which is much better compared to most of its competitors.
Upon signing up, you will also get an opportunity to earn $150 in cash-back bonuses if you spend $500 within the first three months. You will also earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases made regardless of their category.
The 1.5% cash back is welcomed, but it is quite low. There are also no other cash back rewards in case you buy products in specific categories as is the case with most other credit cards.
3. Wells Fargo Platinum Visa Card
The Wells Fargo Platinum Visa Card offers a 0% APR on all purchases and balance transfers within the first 120 days. To qualify for this promotion, the cardholder must transfer the balance within 120 days of obtaining the card. Therefore, if you are hoping to use this card to pay off your credit debt, you must be fully prepared and ready to make the transfer as soon as possible failure to which your qualification for the 0% APR on credit balance will expire. After the 12 months, a variable APR of 15.99% to 26.99% will be activated.
Wells Fargo Platinum Visa Card also comes with $200 cash reward bonuses if you spend $1000 within the first three months. The spending threshold here is a bit higher compared to the other two cards, but it is still very achievable. You will also earn 1.8% cash back on mobile wallet purchases within the first 12 months of opening the account. There is also a 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no caps.
At just 12 months, the introductory period of this credit card is quite low compared to its competitors.
The 0% APR introductory phase is crucial, but you must also look at other factors before settling on any one particular card. Check on all the rewards you can get from the cards and most importantly, the various fees charged by the issuer.
This is very important especially if you are considering using the card after the promotional period. If your sole purpose is to transfer a balance or make a purchase and move on to another credit card, you can put your focus on the duration of the 0% promotion and make sure that you achieve your objectives before it ends.