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How To: Stop Paying Credit Card Interest Until 2018

It isn't difficult to hit the stop button on credit card interest charges. In fact, issuers are in such intense competition to attract new customers that they're the ones offering the programs allowing you to do it! You just have to follow a few simple steps, and you can stop paying another penny on credit card interest - all the way into 2018.

By now most people have heard of a "0% balance transfer." But just in case the concept is new, these are promotional offers made by card companies which allow you to move a balance from a card that is charging you interest onto one that does not (at least during the promotional period). There are cards offering 0% intro APR balance transfers for as long as 18 months.

The great news is that if you have just decent credit, it's not difficult to do, and you don't need permission from your existing card. You just apply for the new card, then make the transfer by phone or online and you're done. No more interest for the entire term you signed up for.

We've reviewed the pros and cons of our highest rated balance transfer offers below. Find the one that works best for you, and stop paying massive credit card interest rates. I'm sure you can think of something better to do with all the cash you'll save.

The Ultra-Long 0% Card

All the other cards we reviewed make you choose between a long 0% Intro APR for balance transfers OR a top-flight cash back program. The Discover it®- 18 Month Balance Transfer is the only one that delivers both, featuring a staggeringly long 18 -month 0% Intro APR on balance transfers AND a cash-back program paying up to 5%. It also has a big first year bonus: after your first 12 months using the card, Discover will add up all the cash back you earned during the year, then double it as a thank you bonus. That means the cash back rate of this card tops out at an insane 10%. Just note that while the Discover it offers 6 more months of 0% interest compared to the Slate, the card does charge a 3% balance transfer fee.

The Verdict: Needless to say, between the cash back program that pays up to 10% and the long 18 -month 0% intro APR term, we're very impressed with this card. 

Most Appropriate For: Those who want a no-fee way to stop paying interest, AND also could see themselves using the card to make new purchases. This way you'll get a full 18 months of 0% intro APR and the high cash back rate.

Least Appropriate For: If you don't plan on using your new card to make any new purchases, then the cash back program isn't as important. In that case, you'll want to carefully evaluate whether you need the extra 6 months of 0% interest (and are willing to pay the 3% fee in order to get them) the Discover it offers compared to the Chase Slate.

Credit Required: Good/Excellent

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The Cards Which Not Only Don't Charge, But Actually PAY you.

Pros: Chase's new Freedom Unlimited card is essentially an improved version of the old Freedom. They bumped the base cash back rate all the way up to an industry leading 1.5%, and pay that full 1.5% on all spend, with no limit or spend category restrictions. Unlike most other high paying cash back cards, you don't have to worry about categories or have to activate anything. You'll receive the full 1.5% back as you make your spend, on all spend, automatically. In addition, Chase  is temporarily offering a cash bonus to new card-members. If you charge $500 on it in the first 3 months, you'll earn a $150 cash bonus. Finally, Chase is also offering new card-members 15 months of 0% Intro APR on Purchases interest for the first 15 months of using the card to make new purchases. So during that period, you can use the card without paying any interest on balances you tally, while still earning cash back. The card requires good, not excellent credit, making it easier to get in.

Cons: Charges a 5% balance transfer fee. This is on the high side, so we recommend looking at the BankAmericard if your goal is to transfer a balance. The Freedom Unlimited should be viewed as a cash back card.

The Verdict: One of the strongest cards available to those with good (but not perfect) credit. The card combines industry leading cash back rates (1.5% on everything) with a strong 15 months of 0% Intro APR on Purchases interest on new purchases combined with a $150 cash bonus when you use the card to make $500 in spend in the first 3 months.

Most Appropriate For: Those with good credit seeking a daily-use card offering great cash back rewards and 0% Intro APR on Purchases intro APR. Best for new charges.

Least Appropriate For: Balance transfers, as it charges the 5% fee.

Credit Required: Good to Excellent

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Pros: Capital One's Quicksilver card makes things simple: you earn 1.5% cash back on all your purchases, with no limit and no category restrictions or games. We included the card in our balance transfer list because it offers 0% intro APR 9 months  on all balances transferred.

Cons: Does charge a 3% balance transfer fee. Requires good credit to get in.

The Verdict: If you're looking to transfer a balance and make some purchases, you can use this card to avoid paying interest during the intro period AND earn cash rewards.

Most Appropriate For: Anyone who might make some large purchases in the near future, or regularly charges a lot on their cards. Making the charges on the Quicksilver  would earn cash back but not require any interest during the intro period.

Credit Required: Good to Excellent

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With so many issuers competing to offer such great introductory incentives, it seems smart to make use of them in the right way! We hope our reviews of these cards was helpful, and if you have any comments, please don't hesitate to let us at the LendingTree Credit Card Review Team know!

*Savings calculation: Credit Card Balance * (1+Average Card Rate/365)^639 days – Balance Transfer Fee - Average Household Credit Card Balance