Best Low-Interest Rate Credit Cards & Offers in 2021

A low-interest credit card is an outstanding tool to utilize short-term borrowing. Along with favorable interest rates, these credit cards often have many other perks that can benefit cardholders.

By  
  |  

Nearly a year and a half after initial pandemic lockdowns, American spending has soared. Simultaneously, credit card debt has fallen significantly. But as spending creeps back, a low-interest credit card may be favorable for consumers looking to finance a large purchase or home renovation project or refinance high-interest debt.

Americans pay hundreds of billions each year in credit card interest. However, low-interest credit cards can help you avoid excessive interest fees and give you great benefits at the same time.

tip icon
READY TO GET STARTED?

Use the links below to find the information you’re looking for quicker:

MoneyGeek Quick Tip: Low interest rates are available on nearly any type of loan. Credit cards, mortgages, auto loans and student loans all have significant differences in interest rates. Still, with an excellent credit score and due diligence, you can find a product that fits your needs and gives you the low interest rate you desire.

tip icon
WHICH CARDS STAND OUT IN 2021?

Find Out Today

Sponsored by CardRatings

 

Learn More >

MoneyGeek’s Take: Best Low-Interest-Rate Credit Cards

MoneyGeek experts looked at several of the best low-interest-rate credit cards to find the top cards available. We compared cards based on their interest rates, rewards programs and initial bonus offers. We looked for cards that offered 0% introductory APR offers as well.

1

Credit Cards with Low-Ongoing Interest Rates

  • Simmons Rewards Visa Signature - The Simmons Rewards Visa Signature is our top pick for the best low-interest-rate credit card because of its generous introductory rate, low interest rate and respectable rewards program.
  • Simmons Visa - The Simmons Visa card is a close competitor with its 0% intro APR, low variable interest rate and no annual fee. It also comes with excellent protections, such as travel insurance and rental car coverage.
2

Cards with 0% Interest on Balance Transfers or New Purchases

  • Citi Diamond Preferred Card - The Citi Diamond Preferred Card is a leading candidate for the best credit card with 0% interest on balance transfers and purchases. The card gives this introductory rate for 18 months after the card is opened. After that, the variable APR kicks in.
  • U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card - The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card is an industry-leading, low-interest-rate credit card. The card has a 0% introductory APR for 20 months after the card is opened. It also comes with benefits like no annual fee, contactless payment and the ability to add to digital wallets.

Best Low-Interest-Rate Credit Cards in October 2021

The best low-interest-rate credit cards can be very similar when put side-to-side. Looking at the details of each card can help you determine the best fit for you. Some specifics to consider include the rewards program offered, the value of points earned, annual fees, additional insurance policies or benefits, and protections given to customers.

Credit Cards with Low-Ongoing Interest Rates

The low-interest-rate credit cards featured on our list offer points or cash back in return for your spending. However, keep in mind to never spend more money for the sake of earning more credit card rewards. Why pay $1 to make a few cents back?


  • creditApproved icon

    FEATURED

    Simmons Rewards Visa Signature
    A great no annual fee card that offers rewards and travel benefits

    • ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 12.25% to 20.25% VariableReg APR
    • 0% Balance Transfer OfferOther Perks

  • Simmons Visa
    A fantastic low-interest card with no annual fees

    • ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 10.25% to 18.25% VariableReg APR
    • 0% Balance Transfer OfferOther Perks

Cards with 0% Interest on Balance Transfers or New Purchases

A credit card with 0% interest on balance transfers or new purchases can be seen as nearly an interest-free loan. It is quite popular to put a large purchase or transfer an old credit card balance to one of these cards, to utilize an interest-free loan.


  • creditApproved icon

    FEATURED

    Citi Diamond Preferred Card
    A great no annual fee card with a fantastic intro APR offer

    • ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 13.74% - 23.74% VariableReg APR
    • 0% APR for 18 months*Other Perks

  • U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card
    An excellent card with no annual fees and an extended intro APR offer

    • Good, ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 14.49%-24.49% VariableReg APR
    • 0% APR for 20 months*Other Perks

How We Rank Low-Interest-Rate Credit Cards

Our lists of the best credit cards are based on publicly available data from card issuers and other reputable sources like the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. We review each card's fees, interest rates, rewards, benefits and more to assign a rating for each feature. These ratings are stack ranked and weighted for each card category to determine our top selections for each type of user. Because card details change regularly, we revisit our data each month to update our ratings, recommendations and other card information as needed. Learn more about our data collection and ranking process.

Top Rating Criteria for Low-Interest-Rate Cards

lowInterestAPR
On-Going APR
noAnnualFee
0% APR Offers
balanceTransfer
Balancer Transfer Offers

Comparing the Value of On-Going Low Interest vs. 0% Interest Offers

For those interested in reducing the amount they pay in credit card interest, the best way to avoid interest altogether is to pay your credit card balance in full. While that isn’t always possible, the next best thing is to consider a credit card with zero interest or low interest rates.

It is nearly always the case where paying less interest is better. However, in the world of credit cards, understanding the value of each of these cards and which situation is more appropriate for which card is crucial.

It is best to use an ongoing low-interest-rate credit card if you:

  • Have revolving credit card debt balances
  • Pay over 18%+ interest rate on your current credit card
  • Want to earn rewards (i.e., points or cash back) for your purchases

While it is never advantageous to pay credit card interest, sometimes, it is a necessary evil. A 0% interest credit card can be beneficial if you:

  • Want to make a large purchase(s) and need short-term financing
  • Are uninterested in credit card rewards
  • Can handle a hit to your credit score

Scroll for more

swipe icon
  • Card Name
    Annual Fee
    Reg APR
    0% Interest Offers
  • Simmons Rewards Visa Signature
    $0
    12.25% to 20.25% Variable
    0% Balance Transfer Offer
  • Simmons Visa
    $0
    10.25% to 18.25% Variable
    0% Balance Transfer Offer
  • Citi Diamond Preferred Card
    $0
    13.74% - 23.74% Variable
    0% APR for 18 months*
  • U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card
    $0
    14.49%-24.49% Variable
    0% APR for 20 months*

MoneyGeek’s Quick Guide to Low-Interest-Rate Credit Cards

A low-interest-rate credit card is an excellent product to have in your wallet to give yourself spending flexibility. In addition, using your credit card responsibly and ensuring your statement is paid on time each month can quickly improve your credit score.

However, just because a card has a low interest rate doesn’t mean that any extra money out of your pocket is a good thing. When looking for a low-interest credit card, be sure to read the terms and conditions of each credit card carefully. If the card advertises an APR over 12%, that would be considered a high interest rate. Anything below 10% is regarded as a low-interest credit card.

≫ More: What Is a Good APR for a Credit Card?

If you have a large purchase coming up, or revolving credit card debt, consider sitting down and running the numbers of how much interest you would accrue with a low-interest-rate credit card. Interest rates are important, but what you’ll spend in interest overall is just as crucial to consider.

Here are a few benefits to having a low-interest credit card.

  • Short-Term Lending: If you are running into financial difficulty and need to make a purchase, a low-interest credit card is an excellent product to do that. If you go this route, be sure to pay your bill off as quickly as possible. The faster it’s paid, the less interest you’ll accrue.
  • Rewards Programs: Typically, credit cards with 0% introductory APR offers don’t offer robust rewards for your spending. Low-interest credit cards will likely offer either travel rewards or cash back to incentivize spending.

How Do Low-Interest-Rate Credit Cards Work?

Low-interest-rate credit cards are simple products. The credit card issuer offers you flexible spending and repayment terms while you pay them an interest rate for the service.

The benefit of using a low-interest-rate credit card is that you have flexibility with how much you pay back over time without unreasonably high interest rates. This strategy is typically good for a large purchase — such as a TV or appliance — that you plan to pay off relatively quickly. Once your monthly balance is calculated, you’ll be charged interest on the amount not paid off.

For example, let’s say you have a $1,000 balance on a low-interest credit card, and you only pay $100 per month at a 9% interest rate. Your total amount of interest you will pay is $36 over 11 months. For many, this interest rate is nominal compared to the overall balance.

However, with that same $1,000 balance on a card with an 18% interest rate, paying $100 per month will cost you $75 over 11 months. That’s double the interest accrued on a low-interest credit card.

Low-Interest-Rate vs. Regular Credit Cards

It can be challenging to decipher the differences between low-interest-rate credit cards and regular credit cards. The standard interest rate for many credit cards will hover around 18%, which is high. At that interest rate, it’s not advised to have a revolving balance. Additionally, it’s rare to see a credit card ever advertised as “low interest.”

The chart below can help you distinguish between low interest rates, somewhat high interest rates, high interest rates and extremely high interest rates.

  • Credit Card Rate
    APR
  • Low-Interest
    0-9%
  • Somewhat High-Interest
    10-14%
  • High-Interest
    15%-18%
  • Extremely High-Interest
    19%+

How to Make the Most Out of Low Interest Rates or Offers

A low-interest credit card is a great tool to utilize when you need short-term financing for a purchase.

If you regularly carry balances on your credit card, it’s best to strategically have them on low-interest credit cards to avoid spending more money on interest than necessary. Additionally, you may also qualify for a 0% introductory APR where you can transfer your balance to a card that won’t accrue any interest for a select period.

Keep in mind that if you’re a loyal and on-time paying customer, a credit card issuer may lower your interest rate if you ask. Issuers spend millions of dollars in advertising to get your business, so it benefits them to lower your interest rate rather than lose your business.

  • This is an icon

    Low-Interest-Rate Credit Cards for Paying Down Debts

    Many people consistently find themselves in the never-ending cycle of credit card debt because of high interest rates. If paying interest is a regular occurrence for you, consider that there may be a better option available to make your interest payments and debt shrink.

    Low-interest rate credit cards are an excellent way to help pay down debts. With many credit card interest rates around 18%, transferring that debt to a card with a low interest rate or even an introductory 0% APR rate can save you significant amounts of money each month.

  • This is an icon

    Low-Interest-Rate Credit Cards for Financing Big Purchases

    A low-interest-rate credit card can be a convenient way to make a large purchase without accruing excessive interest.

    For example, let’s say you purchase a $1500 television for your living room but want to spread payment over 12 months. You could utilize the Simmons Rewards Visa Signature Card with a 0% APR for 12 months on balance transfers or a modest 10.25% variable rate APR.

    If you decide to take advantage of the balance transfer offer, it will cost 3%, or $45, to transfer the balance over. And then you will have a 0% interest rate for 12 months. Or, if you make the purchase directly on the card, you’ll pay $98 in total interest when you pay $100 a month for 16 months.

  • This is an icon

    Low-Interest-Rate Credit Cards for Carrying a Balance

    Carrying a balance on a credit card is usually cautioned against, and for good reason. It is never advised to spend more on interest fees than you need to. However, some interest can be a small cost for much-needed financial flexibility.

    A credit card with a 9% interest rate and a $2000 revolving balance only accumulates $15 per month in interest if you pay $150 per month.

FAQs About Low-Interest-Rate Credit Cards

Low-interest credit cards can seem to be too good to be true, but they aren't. Low-interest options are an excellent choice for those who want purchasing power at a relatively small cost.

Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about low-interest-rate credit cards.

Low-interest-rate credit cards are a great way to lower your expenses each month. The best way to save money is to avoid accruing interest altogether. When that isn’t an option, paying lower interest on your balances is always better.

Remember that as a customer of the credit card companies, they want to work with you. If you’re struggling to pay off credit card debt, or simply need your interest rates lowered, don’t hesitate to give customer service a call. It could help you out more than you think.

Next Steps

About the Author


expert-profile

Brett Holzhauer is a personal finance reporter that has written for several leading publications and mentioned in many others such as Forbes Advisor, Lending Tree, CNBC and ValuePengiun. An alum of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State, when he is not reporting, Brett is likely scuba diving, golfing or watching college football. He tweets regularly at @brett_holzhauer.


*Rates or fees may vary or include specific stipulations. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
Advertiser Disclosure: MoneyGeek has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. MoneyGeek and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. To ensure thorough comparisons and reviews, MoneyGeek features products from both paid partners and unaffiliated card issuers that are not paid partners.