Cash may be king, but our growing global economy thrives on credit. If you want to purchase an airline ticket, for example, it’s hardly expedient to go to the ticket counter at your local airport and pay in cash or check. It’s just so much quicker and easier to comparison shop and make your purchase online. Even ordering by phone will require a credit card.
Since you’re very likely to use a credit card for a wide variety of purchases, you want to make sure you enjoy the best possible terms for repayment, including low interest. Although several factors will play a role in the credit cards you ultimately choose, from spending limits to rewards, saving money means locking in the lowest interest rate possible.
The only problem is that there are literally hundreds of cards to choose from, with a wide range of potential interest rates often based on your credit and other factors. How can you choose the best options? Here are just a few universally appealing cards for anyone focused on finding the lowest interest rates and fees.
Barclaycard Ring Mastercard.
This card is a great option for anyone looking for a low interest rate with no annual fee. When you sign up, you’ll enjoy an introductory APR of 0% for the first 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of opening your account, after which a 13.99% variable APR will apply. A 13.99% variable APR applies to all purchases and cash advances made with the card.
Suppose you’re carrying several thousand dollars of credit card debt at 17% or more that you just can’t seem to pay off, and you’re racking up an incredible amount of interest every month. If you transfer that debt to your Barclaycard Ring Mastercard within 45 days of opening your account, you could work on paying it down for 15 months without a cent of interest being added to the total. You will pay a one-time fee of either $5 or 2% (whichever is great) on any transfer made within the first 45 days, after which the balance transfer fee drops to 0%.
Discover it Balance Transfer.
If you’re looking for a card that helps you recoup some of what you spend, there are few better cash back reward cards with low interest than this offering from Discover. The variable APR of 13.99% - 24.99% isn’t bad, especially if you enjoy a good or excellent credit rating, and you’ll enjoy 0% APR on purchases for the first six months, as well as 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months.
You’ll also get 5% cash back on eligible purchases from grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, wholesale clubs, and Amazon (up to a quarterly maximum), as well as 1% back on all other purchases. As part of the introductory offer, Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn in your first year.
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card.
The variable APR is pretty great at 11.99% - 23.99%, but what you’ll really appreciate is the 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 20 billing cycles after you sign up. That’s almost two years of interest-free purchasing power, as well as plenty of time to pay off balance transfers with no interest charges.
There are no annual fees for this card, you can choose when to schedule your monthly due date, and when you pay your monthly cellular phone bill with the card, you’ll get up to $600 protection (minus a $25 deductible) on your phone.
Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express.
To be honest, the interest rate isn’t the best at 14.99% - 25.99% variable APR. However, you will get an introductory rate of 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the 15 months, and there is no annual fee.
Where this card really shines, though, is with cash back rewards, which aren’t terribly common with low-interest cards. You’ll get 3% back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases), 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% back for all other purchases.
USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card.
If you happen to be a military member, there are several credit cards that target you. Not all are as beneficial as they claim to be, but the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card legitimately aims to offer the best benefits for military members in terms of interest and fees.
For starters, there is no annual fee. In addition, the variable APR could be as low as 8.65%, although it could also be as high as 25.65%. It will depend largely on your credit rating. The good news is, there’s no penalty APR, no foreign transaction fees, and a set rate of 3% for balance transfers and cash advances.
Green Dot primor Visa Gold Secured Credit Card.
Getting a decent interest rate when you’re trying to claw your way back from a bad credit situation is no easy feat. This card makes it a little easier thanks to credit limits ranging from $200 - $5,000, with security (i.e. you give them a check to hold in the amount of your desired limit, just in case you fail to pay).
You’ll pay an annual fee of $49, but only contend with a fixed interest rate of 9.99%, which is essentially unheard of for bad credit candidates. It’s definitely worth it for the chance to rebuild your credit without having to pay exorbitant interest rates.