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Time to upgrade that tiny TV? Maybe you're ready for a new couch, or planning to replace that old washer/dryer setup. No matter what you're buying, you can take some extra time to pay by using a credit card with a 0% APR period. Make the purchase(s), and you'll pay no interest charges on the balance for the entire length of the 0% period.
By Brendan Harkness
Spotting 0% APR cards is easy, and you have a wealth of options. Look for features like these to help you pay off your next big purchase.
Although many of the card offers below also have 0% balance transfer APR offers, we’re focusing on 0% intro purchase APRs for this post. Check out our picks for the best balance transfer cards if you want to pay off an existing balance (rather than new purchases) over time.
By Brendan Harkness
You may benefit from a zero percent card if you’re planning to make a big purchase, or if you want to carry a balance for some period of time. Why pay extra charges if you don’t have to?
There are two basic types of 0% purchase interest rates (aka promotional rates), but they work the same way:
Many 0% APR credit cards even offer points or cash back rewards for purchases — giving you both more time to pay and rewards for your spending.
Just take note that, even for a balance at 0% APR, you’ll need to make at least a minimum payment each month. If you don’t pay by the due date, you’ll face late fees and may lose that intro APR offer, and instead be given a high penalty rate (usually 29.99%).
You’ll also want to pay your balance in full by the time the intro APR offer ends. Otherwise, you’ll start accruing interest charges at your card’s normal rate.
To make sure you pay the card off before the intro period ends, we recommend dividing your card balance by the number of months in the 0% period; that will give the monthly payment you should make. Consider dividing by one less than the number of months to pay it off a bit early.
If you can follow these guidelines, you can use a 0% card to safely and easily pay down a balance over time at no interest.
The information related to Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.
The information related to Discover it® Cash Back has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.
The information related to U.S. Bank Business Platinum has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.
When you’re talking about 0% APR credit cards, you typically want the longest interest-free period you can get. Here are the cards with the longest intro periods:
If you carry a credit card balance from month to month, you’ll usually accrue interest (based on your credit card’s APR).
But if you have a 0% APR on that balance, no interest will accrue.
That means you can pay down the balance over time, month by month, without seeing it grow from interest charges. This is a great way to pay off large purchases because you get some extra breathing room, but without being charged extra.
Just be sure to make at least the minimum payment due each month — otherwise you could lose your 0% rate, and will likely get hit with late fees.
It’s simple. When your credit card’s 0% purchase APR period is over, any purchases you make will begin accruing interest at the regular APR, which is usually pretty high — but only if you carry the balance from month to month.
Even if you don’t have a 0% APR, you still don’t need to pay interest for your purchases. That’s because most credit cards have what’s called a grace period. This means if you always pay your statement balance in full by the due date, interest won’t accrue on purchases.
So, when the 0% rate runs out, pay your statement balance in full and on time each month. This will prevent your purchases from accruing interest, and it can also help boost your credit scores if you’re keeping your credit utilization low.
For rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here.
Credit Card Insider receives compensation from advertisers whose products may be mentioned on this page. Advertiser relationships do not affect card evaluations. Advertising partners do not edit or endorse our editorial content. Content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when it's published. Learn more in our Editorial Guidelines.
The information related to Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, Discover it® Cash Back, U.S. Bank Business Platinum, Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever, Discover it® chrome, Discover it® Miles, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, Discover it® Business Card, Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business, Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business, Discover it® Student Cash Back, and Discover it® Student chrome have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.