Review: Top Cards Offering Long 0% Introductory Interest Terms

 

Credit card issuers are in such fierce competition these days to attract new customers that most have started offering sweetheart deals to win you over, like ultra-long 0% introductory interest periods. While these types of offers can be great (switching from paying something like 15% interest to 0% is obviously a smart move), so many cards are offering so many varying offers that sifting through them to find the better ones can become a little confusing. 

Compare top 0% balance transfer cards

Like most things, there's no single answer for everyone, yet in our research, we found that four cards in particular each offered appealing features that beat out other similar cards. One offers a solid 15-month 0% term, yet charges no balance transfer fee. Two more offer nice 0% intro terms together with attractive cash back rewards programs.


The Ultra-Long 0% Card

0% Introductory APR on purchases for 15 billing cycles

0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days for 15 billing cycles

12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then 12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
  • $0 Intro Balance transfer fee during first 60 days of account opening. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% (min. $10).
  • No annual fee
  • No penalty APR. Paying late won't automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Other account pricing and terms apply.
  • Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app

The BankAmericard® Credit Card is tied as our highest rated balance transfer card, featuring an unbelievable 15 billing cycles (months) 0% Introductory APR on purchases. This means that if you were to roll your balance over onto the card today, you wouldn't have to pay interest until well into 2018. For balance transfers, the card does charge $0 Intro balance transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open.  After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% (min. $10). But if you’re looking to avoid paying any interest on your credit card balances for as long as possible, the BankAmericard could be your card.

The Verdict: Getting a loan this cheaply for this long is pretty amazing. If you're carrying a balance, and realistically you know you will have to carry that balance for a while, this card becomes a no-brainer. As an example, assume you have a $10,000 balance on your current cards at a 18% rate. Over the 15 billing cycles (month) term, you would have paid $3,098 in interest.* Switching to this card would cost $300 in fees, but then nothing the rest of the way, for a net savings of $2,798. Not bad, you could do a lot with that extra cash.

Most Appropriate For: Those who have large balances and want as much interest-free time as possible to pay the principle down.

Least Appropriate For: Those who pay off their balances every month or every few months.

Credit Required: Good to Excellent

More Details >


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

0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months

15.99% - 24.74% Variable

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee

Pros: The Chase 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 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: The balance transfer fee is on the high side -- Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. So we recommend looking at the Slate or 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 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 While offering no more free term than the Slate (which has no transfer fee).

Credit Required: Good to Excellent

More Details >

0% intro on purchases for 9 months

0% intro on balance transfers for 9 months

13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Use your Quicksilver card and get 50% back as a statement credit on your monthly Spotify Premium subscription, now through April 2018
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 13.99%-23.99% variable APR after that
  • Balance transfers also have a 0% intro APR for 9 months; 13.99%-23.99% variable APR after that; a 3% fee applies to each balance transferred
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees

Pros: The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit 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 a 0% intro on balance transfers for 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

More Details >


Summary

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!


Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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

Name

BankAmericard® Credit Card

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Capital One ® Quicksilver®

Purchase
APR

0% Introductory APR on purchases for 15 billing cycles, then 12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
 

0% Intro APR on Purchases for first 15 months, then 15.99% - 24.74% Variable

0% intro on purchases for 9 months, then 13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)

Annual
Fee

$0

$0

$0

Balance
Transfer APR

0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days for 15 billing cycles. Balance transfer fee: $0 Intro balance transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open.  After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% (min. $10).

0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months, fee of Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

0% intro on balance transfers for 9 months, fee of 3% of the amount of each transfer

Credit
Needed

Good / Excellent

Good / Excellent

Good / Excellent

Features

0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days for 15 billing cycles

$150 bonus after spending $500 in first 3 months; 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limits or category restriction

1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limits or category restrictions

Our Rating &
Bottom Line

Our Rating:
4.7 out of 5
The perfect card for those seeking a simple yet convenient-to-use credit card


 

Our Rating:
4 out of 5
Excellent combination of cash back rewards and 0% Intro APR on Purchases intro APR; $150 bonus opportunity


 

Our Rating:
4 out of 5
This is a great card for making purchases. Simple cash rewards program comes out among tops in industry