The Best Low-interest Credit Cards in 2021
A low-interest credit card includes the following: introductory 0% APR for at least a year, a $0 annual fee, and a low APR after the intro period expires. But the best credit cards also come with many additional features - generous welcome offers, lucrative rewards programs, and high-level security measures.
Here is the list of our candidates for the best low-interest credit cards:
Top 4 Low-interest Credit Cards
With the CitiⓇ Diamond PreferredⓇ Card, you’ll get a 0% introductory APR for 18 months on both purchases and balance transfers. You’ll also get a credit card with the lowest interest, no annual fees, and low transaction fees. Rewards are not its strong point, but you can enjoy a multitude of discounts on tickets bought from the Citi Entertainment website.
The next candidate boasting the lowest credit card interest rates is Discover itⓇ Miles. With a generous APR intro period of 14 months, lots of security features, and a tempting welcome bonus, it’s undoubtedly a worthy contender. Each dollar spent on purchases earns you 1.5 miles, and the miles earned by the end of your first year are doubled, with no cap. The rewards program is focused on travel, but there are several other redeeming options to choose from.
On par with other credit cards with low interest, Discover itⓇ Cash Back’s relatively long intro APR period applies both to purchases and bank transfers. A card like this best serves consumers who want cashback rewards: Discover itⓇ Cash Back provides ample and versatile redemption options
An excellent choice for those looking to get the lowest interest rate on their credit cards, this Bank of AmericaⓇ credit card also boasts a great rewards program. On top of its lucrative $200 welcome offer, this card is a gift that keeps on giving - consumers with over $20,000 in their Bank of America and Merrill accounts can look forward to both cashback and preferred rewards.
Our Method for Evaluating the Best Low-interest Credit Cards
Credit cards with low interest rates are reserved for clients who have excellent credit scores and no open debts or outstanding balances. However, these consumers face a fiercely competitive market, as there’s no reputable bank without a take on the low-interest credit card. In fact, the options and perks are so overwhelming that you would be hard-pressed to choose just one.
For instance, some banks offer cards with extremely low APR and an extended 0% intro period, but their rewards programs are limited. Others have great bonus programs, but their APR benefits are lackluster.
There’s a checklist for choosing between low percentage credit cards: Introductory APR offers should apply to both purchases and bank transfers for as long as possible. Does the bank charge high transfer fees, and can you look forward to a rewards scheme? If the offer is rounded off with efficient customer support and high-grade security measures, you just may have found the one.
Listed below are the critical factors that differentiate run-of-the-mill credit cards with low interest rates from the true industry leaders.
APR and Fees
APR and fees are the cornerstones of any credit card offer, and therefore the first things you should evaluate. A 0% intro offer is practically a given, and the interest rates should be low - as the name suggests - even after that expires.
The best low-interest rate credit cards usually have welcome APR offers that apply to both purchases and balance transfers. The average intro period lasts for 14 months, but some banks are more generous than others and extend it to 18 months, even.
We put the threshold for the minimum post-grace-period APR at 14% or less. Of course, the APR can go as high as 24% - too high if you are looking for a card with the lowest annual percentage rate. Your creditworthiness is the main factor when calculating these rates, but you should still look for the lowest ones in your range.
Transaction fees for purchases and cash advances, additional charges, and late payment penalties are all part of the deal for credit cards with the lowest interest rates. Though usually not too exorbitant, these can stack up over time, so factor them into your decision. Thankfully, most come with a $0 annual fee, so you can probably put that out of your mind.
Rewards and Bonuses
On top of long intro periods, low standard APR, and no annual fee, the best cards come with welcome bonuses and lucrative rewards.
The cards from our list include various promotions for new users. Some of them offer a bonus amount you can claim after spending a certain amount of money.
Others match your spending with miles or points, and some even double them at the end of your first year as a cardholder.
Low-interest-rate credit cards also come with lucrative redemption options. Depending on your spending habits, some rewards might suit you better than others, so we made sure to provide you with a diverse assortment to choose from.
Low-interest credit cards are usually reserved for clients with the best credit scores, and banks go to great lengths to make them feel safe. Industry-leading security features for protecting your personal information and transactions are par for the course. Most of these cards have $0 fraud liability to protect you from any unauthorized charges, as well as additional identity theft tools and instant replacements for lost cards.
The next factor we considered when choosing the best low-interest credit card was the extra benefits you get as a cardholder. A mobile app for iPhone or Android is a nice touch because it grants you access to your account at any time you want. Free overnight shipping and the option to schedule alarms for your payment dates are also lovely additions.
Credit Score Requirements
The best cards require excellent credit scores and change your interest rate based on that. You would be wise to check your credit score to see if you meet the credit card criteria before applying if you want to have lower interest rates on a credit card. The lower threshold is usually somewhere around 690 or higher.
Considering how vital constant availability is for quality customer support when a card problem occurs, we evaluated our candidates based on their working hours. Aside from 24/7 service, we also considered the speed and demeanor of the bank representatives.
Best Cards With Low Interest Rates 2021:
Credit Card Companies with Low Interest Rates - Detailed Reviews
Citi Inc. is a New York-based multinational banking company that had over 74 billion in revenue in 2019. Naturally, it has a card for every pocket depth, and for customers with excellent credit scores, it created the Diamond PreferredⓇ Card.
This card is provided by Mastercard, so you can be sure everything is above board, even if you haven’t worked with Citi before. It’s obviously a formidable candidate, but let’s see if it deserves the title of the best credit card with a low interest rate.
APR and Fees
The CitiⓇ Diamond PreferredⓇ Card bestows its benefits upon consumers who have an excellent credit score, from 720 points upward. The introductory period with this card lasts for 18 months - several billing cycles above the industry standard. You’ll have a 0% APR on both new purchases and card balance transfers during this time.
After the intro APR period expires, your rate switches to its regular value, anywhere between 14.74% - 24.74%, depending on your creditworthiness. Cash advances will carry 25.24% APR, also.
Though you may not expect this from the best credit cards with low interest rates, CitiⓇ Diamond PreferredⓇ charges a balance transfer fee for each transaction, and it will be the greater of 3% of the amount or $5. It’s similar for cash advances, except the share goes up to 5% or $10. This is no crucial detriment, but keep in mind that there are low interest cards with no transfer fees. On the bright side, with CitiⓇ Diamond PreferredⓇ, you won’t be paying an annual fee.
Rewards and Redemption
Although it saves you a lot of money on an annual level, the CitiⓇ Diamond PreferredⓇ Card falls short in reward terms. Many of the best low rate credit cards have some sort of welcome bonus, but not CitiⓇ Diamond PreferredⓇ. And you can’t count on a cashback program, either. If these benefits are essential to your opinion of a credit card, other low APR credit cards from our list will probably suit you better.
However, with this card, you’ll get access to the Citi Entertainment platform: It features discounted tickets for various events - concerts, sports games, etc., all packed together on an easy-to-use website.
The security program protecting your data and, more importantly, your money is an essential benefit with any card. Luckily, this low-interest credit card offers you identity theft and unauthorized access protection. Rest assured that if there’s a transaction made without your knowledge, you won’t be responsible for it.
The CitiⓇ Diamond PreferredⓇ Card has marvelous customer service. According to numerous client reviews found on Citi’s website, the representatives manning the phones 24/7 are both fast and knowledgeable.
Reasons to choose the CitiⓇ Diamond PreferredⓇ Card
The main reason is the extended 0% APR intro period, a benefit boosted by some excellent security features and round-the-clock customer support.
Reasons to avoid the CitiⓇ Diamond PreferredⓇ Card
Citi Diamond Preferred is not a good option for those looking for low interest rate credit cards with rewards. Aside from poor redemption options, the regular APR rates can become quite costly after the intro period expires.
Reasons to Apply:
- 18-month zero interest credit card
- $0 annual fee
- Citi Entertainment platform
Discover itⓇ Miles is a part of the Discover Card brand, founded by Sears. Discover is among the largest credit card brands in the industry, and only clients with good or excellent credit scores can apply for its low interest credit card.
APR and Fees
Like other low-interest-rate cards, Discover itⓇ Miles has an introductory APR rate - 0% on purchases and 10.99% on balance transfers for 14 months. After that, you can qualify for APR ranging between 11.99% and 22.99%. If you have an excellent credit score and a good credit history, you can expect a lower rate.
The bad news is that it doesn’t apply to cash advances: With Discover it Miles, you’ll have a cash advance APR of 24.99%.
This card has the lowest credit card rates for the highest credit scores, but this won’t save you from steep transaction fees. For each purchase until March of 2021, the balance transfer fee is 3%, while the cash advance fee will be 5% or $10, depending on what is greater. After this date, the balance transfer fee will rise to 5%.
Luckily, DiscoverⓇ Miles doesn’t charge any annual fees, and you won’t be penalized the first time you make a late payment.
Rewards and Redemption
Thanks to its welcome bonus and exceptional rewards, DiscoverⓇ it Miles is one of the best credit cards with low interest. For every dollar spent on purchases, Discover itⓇ Miles rewards you with 1.5 points. You can earn unlimited miles and redeem them at any time you want, without an expiration date looming.
The welcome bonus is even more generous, as it entails automatically doubling your bonus miles at the end of the first year or after 12 consecutive billing periods, with no cap. In other words, if you collect 20,000 miles, you’ll have 40,000 miles at the end of your first year as a cardholder.
This offer also makes Discover itⓇ Miles the best low interest rate credit card for travelers. And if you’re not much of a voyager, you can redeem your miles for cash, use them for shopping on Amazon, or pay for something via PayPal.
Discover itⓇ Miles credit card users will enjoy lots of additional benefits. For instance, you’ll find the calculator on the website that helps you find out how many miles you can get for one year, with and without the Discover Match offer. There’s also a mobile app for Android and iPhone that you can easily download to manage your account at any time you want.
Low rate credit cards usually come with excellent customer service. Discover itⓇ Miles is no exception.
Reasons to choose Discover itⓇ Miles
If you want a low interest rate credit card with lots of redemption options, you will like Discover itⓇ Miles. To protect your hard-earned reward points, it comes with top-level security and protection features that you will not find at any other bank.
The bank support team checks if your personal details appear on the dark web, and there’s a $0 fraud liability for unauthorized card activities. Moreover, if your card is stolen, you can activate the Freeze It option and prevent any further transactions.
Reasons to avoid Discover itⓇ Miles
Compared to other credit cards with low interest rates, the dollar-to-mile matching for this card isn’t as high as it could be. You will earn 1.5 miles for each dollar you spend, but with some other options, you can earn up to 3.
Reasons to Apply:
- Long 0% intro APR for purchases
- Good for travelers
- No expiration date on rewards
Discover itⓇ Cash Back is another financial product from the large Discover group. Like its Miles counterpart, this is a low-interest credit card that includes an introductory period of 0% APR on all purchases.
APR and Fees
Discover itⓇ Cash Back stands out even among the lowest interest credit cards. For the first 14 months of being a cardholder, you’ll enjoy a 0% APR on every purchase and all balance transfers. Depending on your score, the standard APR can be as low as 11.99% and rise only to 22.99%.
Basically, the already low starting APR is complemented by a perfectly reasonable maximum APR. The cash advance APR is 24.99%.
As for the rest of the fees, there’s a 3% intro balance transfer fee that applies until the 10th of March 2021, or 5% afterward. And every cash advance carries the greater of 5% of the amount or $10 in fees. But even with these in mind, Discover itⓇ Cash Back is still one of the lowest-interest-rate credit cards.
This is further supported by the fact that the first late payment doesn’t incur any penalties. However, don’t overdo it on this front, as every late payment after that will cost you up to $40 on top of your outstanding balance.
Rewards and Redemption
Tempting cashback promotions are truly what makes the Discover itⓇ Cash Back card shine, more than even its $0 annual fee. Once your card application is approved, you’ll be rewarded with the Cash Back dollar-for-dollar match bonus. This credit card with no annual fee and low interest will give you an extra 100% cash back on everything you already earned through its cashback scheme during your first year.
Speaking of earning money back, you can get 5% quarterly cash back on funds spent in restaurants, stores, gas stations, etc., with a $1,500 cap every quarter. There’s also the option to earn 1% back instantly on any purchase you make.
Discover itⓇ Cash Back offers several options for redeeming your rewards. You can redeem the extra money any time you want by making deposits to your account, spending your cashback on Amazon or PayPal, or using it as a statement credit.
Like most credit cards with the lowest interest, the Discover itⓇ Cash Back card is secured with industry-standard measures. Moreover, this card comes with several additional protective features: Share your Social Security number with the bank, and you’ll be notified if your personal details appear on the dark web.
With a powerful mobile app, you can freeze your card at any time in case you lose it. You’ll also get $0 liability on unauthorized purchases.
Discover itⓇ Cash Back users will get to enjoy excellent customer service, with operators available 24/7 via phone call. If you lose your card, the bank offers free overnight shipping to get your new credit card with the lowest interest rate to you as soon as possible.
Reasons to choose Discover itⓇ Cash Back
This card is without a doubt an excellent opportunity to make some savings with its cashback program, especially with the bonus match offer to back it up.
Reasons to avoid Discover itⓇ Cash Back
The card isn’t a great fit for travelers, as none of its rewards can be redeemed for air miles.
Reasons to Apply:
- Long intro period
- Double cash back at the end of the first year
- Efficient customer support
The Bank of America is a US-based corporation offering a wide array of financial products, and anyone looking for low-interest credit card offers should check it out. The Bank of AmericaⓇ Cash Rewards credit card comes with a $200 cashback bonus and generous preferred rewards for loyal members.
APR and Fees
The first thing we looked into for this credit card is its intro APR. Bank of AmericaⓇ Cash Rewards has a short welcome period: You’ll have a 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles. After that expires, the bank will calculate the standard APR based on your credit score. If it’s good or excellent, your credit card will have low interest, on the bottom end of its 13.99% to 23.99% range.
As is par for the course with the lowest-rate credit cards, Bank of AmericaⓇ Cash Rewards doesn’t have an annual fee. It does have a 3% or $10 - whichever is greater - fee on every cash advance or transfer. Purchases will carry the greater between a 5% share or $10. There’s also a 3% foreign transaction fee.
Rewards and Redemption
A particularly likable feature of this card is its generous welcome bonus. As soon as you get a card, you qualify for a bonus of $200. To get it, you just need to spend $1,000 in the first 90 days.
On top of the welcome bonus, this low interest rate credit card offers an exciting reward program. You will get 3% cashback every time you make a purchase in the spending categories of your choice - travel, drugstores, inventory purchasing, online shopping, gas stations, dining, and more.
Next, you’ll get 2% cashback each time you make purchases at grocery stores and wholesalers clubs. Finally, 1% cash back awaits after all other purchases you make. Remember that 3% and 2% cashback apply only for the first $2,500 in the first quarter.
This Bank of America card also has an additional reward program: If you qualify for preferred rewards, you can earn between 25%-75% more cashback from every purchase you make.
To stay competitive with other low interest credit cards, this one offers lots of additional benefits. You can check your account at any time you want, track your credit score, or pay your bills thanks to its excellent online and mobile banking options. You can also set reminders so as not to miss any due payment dates. Bank of AmericaⓇ Cash Rewards is a contactless credit card, meaning you can pay your bills faster.
This card also comes with an excellent protection program and plenty of educational material on protecting yourself from identity theft. The card also offers a wide range of security measures that you can employ if you lose your credit card.
Credit cards with the lowest interest rates all take good care of their customers, and this applies to this Bank of America card, too. Fast and polite operators will handle your concerns, and you’ll find an extensive FAQ section with thorough explanations on how to get the maximum from this Bank of America card.
Reasons to choose Bank of AmericaⓇ Cash Rewards
The Bank of AmericaⓇ Cash Rewards credit card is a great option for those looking for a credit card with no annual fees and a generous welcome bonus. The preferred rewards program is another good reason to apply for this card.
Reasons to avoid Bank of AmericaⓇ Cash Rewards
This lowest-interest credit card offer includes an intro APR of only 12 billing cycles. Compared to other low-interest cards, this period is significantly shorter than the average.
Reasons to Apply:
- Preferred rewards program
- Cashback rewards on various purchases
- Informative website
How to Get a Card With a Low Interest Rate?
In a nutshell, your creditworthiness determines whether you’ll get a low interest rate or not. It means that the bank checks your credit score, your income, and your debts. Based on these parameters, the bank calculates rates.
If you don’t have any open debts and don’t carry a balance on your credit card, you are indeed a good candidate for a lower interest rate on credit cards. As a rule, your credit score shouldn’t be less than 690, and the higher it is, the better your chances of qualifying for the most affordable rates.
Almost every lowest-rate credit card offers a relatively long intro period during which you won’t pay APR on your purchases or balance transfers. After that, the card’s standard APR applies, and it varies between banks. Make sure to know what you’re getting yourself into before applying for a card. For example, some banks offer longer than average APR grace periods on both purchases and balance transfers, with $0 annual fees and a tempting welcome bonus, but your regular APR might be quite high.
On the other hand, the lowest regular APR credit cards sometimes have a really short intro period. Before choosing what you think is the right option, consider how you will use the credit card. Maybe you need to pay off a debt, and a credit card with a low interest rate for a limited period suits you just fine? In that case, a 0% APR intro is a better option than cards with a low standard APR. However, the latter is better if you plan on using it even after the intro period.
We evaluated only credit cards with 0% intro APR and low standard APR, meaning that regardless of which card you pick from this list, you’ll get industry-leading rates.
A low-interest credit card usually has a 0% APR intro period for either purchases or balance transfers, or both. With the best cards, your intro APR can last up to 18 months. Low-interest cards also come with an average regular APR lower than 14%.
The best low interest credit cards require excellent credit scores. To get a card, you need to check your FICO first. The minimum credit score that you need to have to obtain a low interest rate card is 690. Of course, the better your credit score is, the lower your rate will be.