Best 0% APR Credit Cards of August 2021

The cards with the longest no-interest periods and other top benefits

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Cards with 0% APR periods let you avoid paying interest on purchases, balance transfers, or both for a limited time. Put one of these cards on this list in your wallet, and you may be able to pay for a large purchase over several months, without any finance charges. The best 0% APR credit cards on the market today offer lengthy introductory offers and low fees, plus the potential to earn rewards and score other cardholder perks.

Best 0% APR Credit Cards of August 2021

Best Overall, Best for Earning Different Levels of Rewards : Amex EveryDay® Credit Card


Our Rating Among 0% Intro APR Cards
4.9
Amex EveryDay® Credit Card
Current Offer

Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 12.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 points per $1 at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year. Earn 1 point per $1 for other eligible purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 2.7%
  • Why We Chose This Card:
  • Pros & Cons:
  • Highlights:
Why We Chose This Card:

This 0% APR credit card has a lot to offer, including a lucrative rewards scheme. On top of earning 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at U.S. grocery stores (up to $6,000 per year), you’ll get 20% more points when you use your card at least 20 times per billing period, and zero interest on purchases for the first 15 months. The Membership Rewards program offers great flexibility and can be valuable when used for travel. To top it all off, the card offers a slightly lower APR range than some competitors.

Pros & Cons:
Pros
  • Chance to earn valuable Membership Rewards points without paying an annual fee

  • 20% boost in rewards points any billing period you use your card at least 20 times

Cons
  • Only grocery purchases earn bonus points, and there’s a cap on the higher earning rate

  • Foreign transaction fee

Highlights:
  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $1,000 in qualifying purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and get 20% more points on those purchases, less returns and credits.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months.

Read the full Amex EveryDay® Credit Card review

Best for Simple Rewards : Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card


Our Rating Among 0% Intro APR Cards
4.8
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Current Offer

Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.49% - 25.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • Why We Chose This Card:
  • Pros & Cons:
  • Highlights:
Why We Chose This Card:

Consumers who want to earn easy-to-track rewards and save on interest should check out the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. This winner comes with a solid bonus and a flat 1.5% cash back on everything you buy, but you’ll also secure a 0% APR on purchases for 15 months. If you don’t need a super long 0% interest period, this could be a great go-to card for most purchases.

Pros & Cons:
Pros
  • Solid cash-back rate on every dollar you spend

  • Simple, no-fuss cash back is easy to earn and redeem

  • Competitive welcome bonus

Cons
  • No interest-free promotion on balance transfers

Highlights:
  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
  • Every purchase earns 1.5% cash back, and the total cash back you can earn is unlimited.
  • Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Read the full Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card review

Best With a Long Intro APR Offer : U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card


Our Rating Among 0% Intro APR Cards
4.6
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.49% - 24.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Balance Transfer Fee Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater.
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 20 Billing Cycles
  • Why We Chose This Card:
  • Pros & Cons:
  • Highlights:
Why We Chose This Card:

For those who want as much time as possible to pay off a large purchase sans finance charges, the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card’s 20-month offer is among the longest out there. Once the 20 months are up, the APR switches to between 14.99% and 24.49%, so be ready for that. Beyond the generous 0% period you won’t find other bells, whistles, or rewards on this card, however. But, it could still be a wallet-worthy product to have during shaky economic times in which you might need some wiggle room.

Pros & Cons:
Pros
  • Long 0% APR offers

  • Cellphone protection

Cons
  • Few perks or bonuses

  • Limited value after the intro period ends

Highlights:
  • 0% APR for 20 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee

Read the full U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card review

Best With a Low Ongoing APR : SunTrust Cash Rewards Credit Card


Our Rating Among 0% Intro APR Cards
4.5
SunTrust Cash Rewards Credit Card
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 11.24% - 21.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 2% cash back on qualifying gas and grocery purchases. 1% on all other qualifying purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • Why We Chose This Card:
  • Pros & Cons:
  • Highlights:
Why We Chose This Card:

When choosing from among cards with 0% APR offers, it’s smart to think beyond the short-term benefits. The SunTrust Cash Rewards credit card is appealing even after the 15-month 0% APR period. Thanks to a lower-than-most regular APR of 11.24%–21.24%, this card has staying power for those who might occasionally carry a balance. Plus, to sweeten the pot even more, cardholders get 5% cash back on up to $6,000 spent on gas and grocery qualifying purchases in the first 12 months, and 2% cash back in those categories thereafter. All other purchases earn 1% back.

Pros & Cons:
Pros
  • Lengthy intro 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers

  • Loyalty bonuses for SunTrust Bank customers

  • Accelerated cash back the first year

Cons
  • Must have a lot of assets with SunTrust to get the best rewards rates

  • No traditional bonus for new cardholders

  • Charges a balance transfer fee

Highlights:
  • 5% cash back on up to $6,000 of gas and groceries in year one
  • 2% cash back on gas and groceries after that
  • 1% cash back on everything else
  • No annual fee

Read the full SunTrust Cash Rewards Credit Card review

FAQs

What Is a 0% Purchase APR Offer?

While some credit cards advertise promotional balance transfer offers with zero interest, 0% purchase APR offers extend to purchases you make with your credit card. This means you can sign up for a card with a 0% purchase APR offer, use your credit card to pay bills or cover a large purchase, and then avoid paying interest for a limited time.

Promotional APR offers vary in length and scope, but you can often secure 0% APR on purchases for up to 15 months and sometimes longer. 

How Do 0% Purchase APR Offers Work?

Promotional credit card rates are nothing more than interest rates that last for a limited time. With a 0% purchase APR offer, you’ll pay zero interest on purchases you make with your card during your card’s introductory offer period. 

There are two main “gotchas” to be aware of with these offers. For starters, these promotional offers don't last forever. Once they end, your credit card’s interest rate will reset to the interest rate listed on your card agreement. 

Second, you could lose out on your promotional interest rate if you fall more than 60 days behind on your credit card bills. Worse, some credit card issuers may charge you a penalty interest rate once you’re 60 days behind, and that penalty APR is usually higher than your credit card’s ongoing variable rate.

Warning

Watch out for deferred interest offers, which are often advertised by retailers using language such as “no interest if paid in full within 12 months.” With deferred interest, if you fail to pay the balance in time, you’ll be charged interest back to the date of the purchase plus ongoing interest until your balance is paid in full.  

Credit cards that offer 0% APR on purchases almost always offer true zero interest promotional offers, meaning you’ll only pay interest on your current balances once your introductory offer ends. However, you should always read the fine print to check. 

Who Is a 0% Purchase APR Right For?

Credit cards that let you secure 0% APR for a limited time can help you save money if you have a plan to repay your debt and avoid credit card interest. Here are some other signs a 0% APR purchase credit card could be right for you:

  • You need to make a large purchase and have a plan to pay it off before your card’s 0% APR offer ends.
  • You have considerable income you can use to repay your debts.
  • You have good or great credit, meaning you can easily get approved for the top 0% APR credit cards.
  • You have good financial habits and a long history of avoiding long-term debt and staying on top of your bills.

What Are the Pros & Cons of 0% APR Promotional Credit Cards?

Pros
  • Save money on interest for a limited time

  • Helps with cash flow when you need to make a large purchase

  • Some 0% purchase APR credit cards also offer rewards

Cons
  • You’re still borrowing money and you’ll have to pay it back

  • Your card’s interest rate resets to a high ongoing rate if you don’t pay your balance off before the introductory offer ends

  • Having 0% APR may entice you to spend more

How Do You Choose a 0% APR Credit Card?

There are many credit cards that offer 0% APR on purchases, although some extend this benefit longer than others. Some 0% APR purchase credit cards offer rewards, in which case you can earn cash back or travel points on a large purchase you plan to make. 

Before you choose a 0% APR credit card, you should:

  • Figure out how much you need to borrow and how long you need to pay it off.
  • Decide whether earning rewards is important to you.
  • Look for other credit card benefits you may benefit from such as extended warranties, purchase protection, or travel insurance.

Once you’ve taken these steps, look for a card that gives consumers 0% APR on purchases for as long as you need it. Give preference to credit cards that offer rewards, a sign-up bonus, or consumer protections you would like to have.

Note

Cards with the longest 0% APR offers typically do not offer rewards. 

Here’s another summary of the cards with 0% APR offers we think are best:

Compare The Best 0% APR Credit Cards

Credit Card Annual Fee
Amex EveryDay® Credit Card
Best Overall, Best for Earning Different Levels of Rewards
$0
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Best for Simple Rewards
$0
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
Longest Intro APR Offer
$0
SunTrust Cash
Rewards Credit Card
Best With a Low Ongoing APR
$0

How Do You Make the Most Out of a 0% APR Credit Card?

  • Use it for planned purchases you can pay off before your introductory offer ends.
  • If your card comes with a sign-up bonus, make sure to meet the minimum spending requirement in time to earn it.
  • Track your credit card spending closely to make sure you don’t borrow more than you can afford to repay.
  • Pay your credit card’s minimum payment (or more) before your due date each month to avoid late payments and potentially losing your 0% APR promotional offer.

What Should You Watch Out For?

We already mentioned how 0% APR credit cards can help you save big on interest payments, but there’s plenty that can go wrong. Like all credit cards, 0% APR purchase cards come with their share of risks and pitfalls. Here’s what to watch out for:

  • Creeping credit card balances that can be difficult to pay off before your introductory offer ends
  • High ongoing variable rates; currently, the average standard purchase rate of a card that offers a promotional APR is more than 19%, according to The Balance data
  • Temptation to use credit cards to overspend or inflate your lifestyle
  • Late payments that may cause you to lose out on your 0% APR offer or pay a penalty APR.
  • The potential for long-term debt
  • Deferred interest offers that require you to pay backdated interest if you don’t pay your balance in full before your 0% APR offer ends

Methodology

We collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances. We do this because it's our mission to give you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews.

Note

Our reviews are always impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive.

About This List

Dozens of credit cards in our database have introductory periods of 0% APR on purchases, and we consider all of them for this round-up. Cards with the best combination of long zero-interest periods, low fees, and rewards receive the highest ratings.

What We Score

Each credit card feature receives a score from 0 to 5, which we weight depending on how important it is to have on a credit card used for financing large purchases. Those weighted scores produce the star ratings you see above.

Interest

From our database of hundreds of cards, we identify the ones with an introductory period of 0% APR on purchases, and we evaluate the length of that intro period (the longer, the better). The next most important factor in this category score is a credit card's ongoing APR. While the point of a 0% APR period on purchases is to avoid accruing interest on a credit card balance, things don't always go as planned. So, our scoring model favors cards with relatively low standard APRs.

Important

When scoring a credit card's APR, we use the high end of its range, because only the most qualified applicants will receive the lowest APRs. For example, if a credit card has a regular APR of 14.49%-24.49%, the 24.49% APR determines the card's score for ongoing APR.

Only cards with true 0% APR periods on purchases receive the highest scores in our model—we ding cards that have a deferred interest structure. 

Fees

Annual fee is one of the most important factors in credit card decisions, particularly if you’re trying to save money with a 0% APR credit card. As a result, we give cards higher scores if they have no or low annual fees.

Cards with fewer overall fees score higher in our system, in general.

Rewards

You probably want to use your credit card after the introductory purchase period ends, so our scoring model favors cards that give you more than a no-interest offer. Cards with high rewards-earning rates, flexible redemption options, unlimited earning potential, and rewards that don’t expire fare the best under our methodology. 

Credit Score

We always look at the minimum recommended credit score when evaluating a credit card, because cards with high credit score requirements aren’t available to most people. That means cards that state they accept applicants with lower credit scores receive higher scores. We also give credit cards a higher score if they allow people to prequalify for a card, meaning a person can see if they have a good chance of getting approved before filling out an application that could have a negative effect on their credit score.

As we do in all methodologies we use to score credit cards, we evaluate a card’s customer experience and security features. These generally carry a small weight but can be the difference in score between a few very similar cards. For more information about how The Balance analyzes credit cards, see our full credit card review methodology.