Top Picks: Best Low Interest Rate Credit Cards
By Gerri Detweiler
Personal Finance Expert
Whether you typically carry a balance from month-to-month or you're just looking to transfer balances to consolidate and save on interest costs, these three cards prove that good deals on low interest rate credit cards still exist. All offer a 0% introductory rate on balance transfers and include low ongoing APRs if you qualify. (A caveat: All charge balance transfer fees from 3% to 5%.)
If you are trying to pay down debt, you need to focus on getting the best interest rate, not rewards. However, our first two picks offer the combination of a competitive low rate and a flexible rewards program — the best of both worlds.
If you're looking for a rewards program that offers generous rewards perks and pays you back in cold hard cash, the Chase Freedom Visa $100 Bonus Cash Back card may be just what you're looking for. With the Chase Freedom Visa you can earn unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases, plus up to an additional 10% cash back when you shop online at select Chase merchants. You can also earn $100 in bonus cash if you spend $500 in the first 3 months.
New Chase Freedom Visa cardholders will enjoy a 0% introductory rate for six months on purchases and 12 months on balance transfers. After that, an APR as low as 11.99% (variable) will apply. There is no annual fee.The good news: This is one of the most flexible reward cards around and there is no annual fee - which is rare for a rewards card. There's also no earning caps and your cash rebates never expire.
The bad news: Chase charges a hefty penalty APR of 29.99% if you miss a payment.
The Capital One Platinum Prestige card offers a 0% APR on purchases through August 2012. After that, an APR of 11.9% (variable) will apply. There is no annual fee, but it carries a 3% fee to transfer a balance.The good news: You'll pay a competitive low APR for both purchases and balance transfers after the introductory 0% rate expires in August 2012. With a low ongoing rate, this card is a better option if you plan to transfer a balance and take a while to pay it off.
The bad news: You need excellent credit to qualify for this card, and there is no rewards program.
With a 21 months 0% interest introductory rate on purchases, and a 21-month 0% introductory rate on balance transfers, there's no question why the Citi® Platinum Select® MasterCard® made it as one of our top picks. After the introductory period, the APR will default to a rate of 11.99%-20.99% based upon your creditworthiness.
The Citi® Platinum Select® MasterCard®, like all Citi cards, allows you to take advantage of Citibank's top-notch online and client protection security. For peace of mind as well as great cardholder benefits, the Citi® Platinum Select® MasterCard® is an excellent choice. And don't miss out on Extra Cash from Citi where you can earn great discounts when you shop online for travel, entertainment, gift cards, merchandise and more.The good news: A 21 month 0% introductory rate on purchases and a balance transfer rate of 0% for a full 21 months makes this an excellent choice if you're looking to consolidate, pay down debt and save on interest.
The bad news: If you don't have excellent credit, you won't qualify for the lowest APR, and your ongoing interest rate can be as high as 20.99%. The balance transfer fee of 4% is comparable to most cards, and there is a 3% fee for foreign transactions.
Card Comparison Chart
Chase Freedom® Visa See Complete Details Apply For This Card
Capital One® Platinum Prestige Credit Card See Complete Details Apply For This Card
|Credit Required||Excellent - Good||Excellent - Good|
|Highlights||No earning caps and cash rebates never expire so you can earn as much cash back as you want without worrying about them expiring.||The low ongoing rate makes this card a great option if you plan to transfer a balance and take a while to pay it off.|
|APR||13.99%-22.99% Variable||10.9-18.9% (V)|
|Intro APR||0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers||0% until September 2014|
|Intro Period||0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers|
|Balance Transfer||0% for the first 15 months||
0% until September 2014|
|See Complete Details||See Complete Details|
|Chase Freedom® Visa|
Apply For This Card
|Capital One® Platinum Prestige Credit Card|
Apply For This Card