The most basic use of a credit card is to extend credit when needed. For consumers who expect to occasionally run a credit balance on their credit cards, a key feature they will be interested in is the interest rate that will be charged on that debt. A 0% promotional APR is of course attractive, but we have put together a list of the top cards for providing low interest rates after any promotional rate expires. And here they are.
1. Chase Freedom
The Chase Freedom Card from JPMorgan has that 0% introductory rate for 15 months, applicable to balance transfers and purchases. The variable APR after that will be 13.99% to 22.99%, depending on your creditworthiness. The card also offers 5% cash back on categories of goods that rotate each quarter, for up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter. Cash back of 1% is offered on all other purchases, with no limit, and you can earn a $100 bonus by using the card to make $500 in purchases during the first three months, with an additional $25 offered if you add an additional user and make one purchase during the first three months.
2. Chase Slate
The Chase Slate card offers the 0% introductory rate for balance transfers and purchases, extended for 15 months, and after that the variable APR is 12.99%, 17.99% or 22.99%. You can avoid any balance transfer fees on transfers made within the first 60 days you have the card, and after that the fee will be 3%, with a $5 minimum fee. The card has no annual fee.
3. BankAmericard Visa Card
The folks at BofA have produced the BankAmericard Visa Card that has 0% promotional APR on purchases, and on qualifying balance transfers, for 15 billing cycles. This will only apply to balance transfers made within the first 60 days of card ownership. Thereafter, the variable APR is 10.99% to 20.99%. The card has chip technology, making it useful on trips to Europe, where such technology is common. Balance transfers do incur a 3% fee with a $10 minimum fee, and the card comes with a $0 liability guarantee.
4. Citibank’s Double Cash Card
The Citibank’s Double Cash Card will help you will obtain cash back twice with each purchase. You get 1% cash back at the time you buy, and another 1% so long as you pay the minimum balance amount due at the end of the month. The card has a 0% APR for balance transfers and purchases, extended for 15 months, and after that the variable APR is 12.99% to 22.99%. There is no annual fee.
5. Barclaycard Ring MasterCard
Barclays is offering the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard, which has a low interest rate of 8% on purchases and balance transfers. If you don’t mind doing without the 0% promotional rate, this is one of the lowest rates around for ongoing credit card debt. There is no balance transfer fee, and no over-the-limit fee if you spend over your cash limit. There is also no annual fee.
6. Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card that charges 0% promotional APR on purchases through February 2016. After that, a variable APR of 11.9% to 19.9% will apply. The card gives you 20,000 bonus miles provided you spend $1,000 on the card during the first three months you have it. For all purchases, you will collect 1.25 miles per dollar. The card has no annual fee.
7. Capital One Platinum Prestige Credit Card
The Capital One Platinum Prestige Credit Card provides 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers, good until May 2016. After that cardholders will pay 10.9% to 18.9% variable APR. There are no foreign transaction fees, and a 3% balance transfer fee is applied. The card has no annual fee.
8. Discover It
Discover Financial’s Discover It card provides you with 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers, and this promotional rate applies for 14 months. After that, the variable APR is 10.99% to 22.99%. There is a balance transfer fee of 3%, and you can receive 5% cash back for purchases in quarterly rotating categories, up to a quarterly maximum. For all other purchases, you will get 1% cash back.
9. Citi Simplicity Card
Citibank’s Citi Simplicity Card offers 0% promotional APR on purchases and on balance transfers for a lengthy 18-month period. After that the variable APR is 12.99% to 22.99%. This card also offers the very attractive feature of not charging late fees, or increasing your interest rate when you miss a due date for a payment.
10. PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Card
PenFed’s offering is a Visa card that offers 5% cash back on gas purchases with its Plus edition, and 3% on its Standard edition. The Plus edition has no annual fee, and the Standard has a $25 annual fee that is waived for the first year.
Both editions offer a very low 4.99% APR for twelve months on balance transfers made during 2015, and after that the variable APR will still be a low 9.99% for balance transfers. When it comes to purchases, the variable APR is 9.99, applicable from the start. No foreign transaction fees are imposed. A good card for maintaining a relatively low ongoing rate.