A low interest credit card can be helpful for consumers who tend to carry a month-to-month balance and don’t want to be buried under a mountain of debt. We’ve rounded up the best low interest credit cards of 2020 so you can pay less in interest charges over the long term and save money.
5 Best Low Interest Credit Cards of 2020
- Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card: Best for low fees
- Discover it® Cash Back: Best for introductory bonus
- Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card: Best for no annual fee
- Citi® Double Cash Card: Best for cash back
- Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for low balance transfer fee
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card — Best for low fees
- APR: 0% on purchases for 12 months, then 14.49%-24.49% variable APR.
- Annual Fee: $0
- Primary feature: Earn unlimited 1.25x miles per dollar on all purchases and redeem them for any hotel stay, airline or travel purchase with no blackout dates.
- Introductory Bonus Offer: New card members receive 20,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months from the initial account activation.
Discover it® Cash Back — Best for introductory bonus
- APR: 0% APR for purchase and balance transfers for 14 months, then 11.99%-22.99% variable APR.
- Annual Fee: $0
- Primary feature: 14 months of 0% interest on balance transfers and purchases. A balance transfer fee of 3% is assessed on transfers and after the intro period is over, transfer fees may be up to 5%.
- Introductory Bonus Offer: Get a dollar-for-dollar cashback match at the end of your first year.
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card — Best for no annual fee
- APR: 0% APR for 12 months; then 13.99%-25.99% Variable APR
- Annual Fee: $0
- Primary feature: Earn 3x points on eating out, gas and transit costs, travel expenses and streaming services. There are no blackout dates, and points don’t expire as long as the account remains open. Plus, earn 1x points on all other purchases.
- Introductory Bonus offer: Earn 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months — a $200 value.
Citi® Double Cash Card — Best for cash back
- APR: 13.99%-23.99%
- Annual Fee: $0
- Primary feature: Earn 2% back on everything you purchase, 1% when you make a purchase and 1% when you pay the bill.
- Introductory Bonus offer: No intro bonus offer.
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card — Best for low balance transfer fee
- APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then 15.49%-25.49% variable APR.
- Annual Fee: $0
- Primary feature: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
- Introductory Bonus offer: Earn a $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months of account activation.
Compare 5 Best Low Interest Credit Cards of 2002
|Card||0% Purchase APR Period||Regular APR||Annual Fee|
|Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card||12 months||14.49-24.49%||$0|
|Discover it® Cash Back||14 months||11.99-22.99%||$0|
|Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card||12 months||13.99-25.99%||$0|
|Citi® Double Cash Card||N/A||13.99-23.99%||$0|
|Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card||15 months||15.49-25.49%||$0|
What is a low interest credit card?
As you might have guessed from the comparison of low interest credit cards above, there are several different ways low interest credit cards may work for your specific financial situation. Fee-averse? There’s a card for that. Want cash back in the form of statement credit? There’s a card for that.
With that said, here are some questions surrounding interest rates and what you need to know to stay informed.
What is the average interest rate on credit cards?
According to the Federal Reserve, which releases its report on credit card rates every quarter, the current credit card average APR is just above 15 percent.
How do you calculate credit card interest?
First, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page here — your interest rate and your APR for your credit card mean the same thing. It’s the percentage you’re paying on the debt you carry over month to month.
There are three steps:
- First, divide your APR by 365, the number of days in a year. Let’s say your interest rate is 14 percent for the purpose of this example.
- 0.14 / 365 = .00038356 is what’s known as you daily periodic rate.
- Multiply your daily periodic rate by your average daily balance. Let’s say yours is $1,000 in this case.
- 0.00038356 x $1000 = $0.38
- Multiply this answer by the number of days in the billing cycle, 30.
- $0.38 x 30 = $11.40 in interest was charged for your billing cycle.
What types of credit card interest are there?
There are three main types of transactions credit card companies charge interest on: purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. In many cases, credit card lenders will offer an introductory bonus on one or multiple types of transactions for a length of time before the regular interest rate kicks in.
Outside of transactional APRs, there’s also a penalty interest rate. These penalty rates activate under negative circumstances like surpassing your credit limit or falling behind on your credit card payments. The average penalty rate is steep: around 30%.
How can you save money with a low interest credit card?
As a general rule of thumb, it’s prudent to refrain from keeping a balance on your credit card. If you charge $1,000 to a credit card that has an APR of 20% but don’t put anything toward your balance, you’ll be hit with $200 in interest charges during the billing cycle. And if you keep that balance high, your credit card debt will keep snowballing. If it’s possible, the best financial practice is paying off your credit card balance in full each month.
However, if you tend to carry a balance on your credit card, a low interest card can make it a little less painful and easier for you to pay off your debt in full.
The final word
When you’re looking for a low interest credit card, it’s important to understand what matters to you. For example, a low interest rate might not be everything you’re looking for in a card if you prefer a more robust travel rewards program and don’t tend to carry a high balance month to month. It’s also important to thoroughly understand the terms and conditions of whatever card you end up choosing. A 0% introductory APR might initially hook you, but if you have a low-to-fair credit score, you could end up with a less favorable APR that piles more debt onto any outstanding balance you carry.