What is a low interest credit card?
Low interest credit cards are credit cards with a low APR. They typically have an APR between 10% and 20%, which is much lower than the average credit card interest rate. Low interest cards can save consumers a substantial amount of money on interest over time. Lower rate cards often have all the features of other credit cards such as a rewards program and the capability to do balance transfers with the added bonus of low APR.
Who should consider a low APR credit card?
Low APR credit cards are most beneficial for someone who doesn’t plan on paying their credit card bill in full every month. They are ideal for a person who normally carries their balance over to the next month or for an even longer amount of time. It’s easy for interest to pile up when you don’t pay your credit card bill in full every month, but low interest credit cards can reduce the burden and keep your debt from building up too quickly.
Low APR cards are also well-suited for people who plan on making a larger purchase that they don’t intend on paying off in one month, such as an expensive household appliance on a credit card. Even if a consumer doesn’t carry their balance over every single month, low interest credit cards can be very useful from time to time.
What type of credit is typically required to be approved for a low interest card?
To be approved for a low interest credit card, you typically need to have a “good” or “excellent” credit score. A credit score of 700 to 749 is considered “good,” while a score above 750 is considered “excellent.” Generally if your score is above 749 you’ll be eligible for the best, lowest interest rates of all.
There are still plenty of decent low interest credit cards available for people with good credit. If your credit score is below 700, you probably won’t be eligible for the best low interest credit cards. However there are low interest credit cards available to people with a credit score of 670 or higher. They don’t have as good of an interest rate as the cards for people with excellent credit, but they still have the advantage of lower interest than many other cards.
If your credit score is below 670, consider building up your credit by paying off a higher interest credit card on time every month before you apply for a low interest credit card. Before credit companies offer you a low interest rate, they want to see that you’re in the habit of paying your bills on time every month and not accumulating large amounts of debt with no intention of paying it off.
Do the lowest interest credit cards typically have annual fees?
There are many low interest credit cards without annual fees. Generally you can find a credit card with a low interest rate without taking on the burden of an annual fee.
There are some low interest credit cards that do require annual fees, but these cards typically offer other features such as an enhanced reward system. If you’re looking for a simple, straightforward, low interest credit card without added extras, it shouldn’t be difficult to find one without annual fees.
For the average consumer, it’s probably a good idea to avoid annual fees and stick with a regular low interest credit card. They typically aren’t beneficial unless you plan on spending a lot of money on a credit card and seeking extravagant rewards.
Do low interest credit cards allow for balance transfers?
Yes, many credit cards with a low APR allow for balance transfers. When doing a balance transfer your goal is to transfer your balance from a card with high interest to a card with lower interest. Therefore, companies that offer lower interest credit cards fully expect that people will want to conduct balance transfers to take advantage of their low APR.
Many low interest cards may even offer special deals such as 0% APR on balance transfers for an introductory period. They may also offer to waive the balance transfer fee. With many low interest rate cards, balance transfers are not only allowed but encouraged.
What is the average interest rate on a credit card?
The average interest rate on credit cards is always changing in the United States. This is due to credit card companies offering new cards, discontinuing old ones and altering their rates. As of May 2017 the average APR across the United States was 15.07%. This is taking all different categories of credit cards into account.
When broken down by category the APR rates can be higher or lower than the national average. For example, the average APR for low interest credit cards as of May 2017 was 10.37%. For Cash Back credit cards it was 14.98%, and for credit cards intended for people with bad credit the average APR was 22.73%.
These statistics are always changing due to the nature of the market. They normally change at a slow pace throughout the year, but can go through rapid periods of change depending on many external factors.
How does annual percentage rate work on a lowest rate credit card?
Credit card APR is your interest rate represented as a number. This number is used to calculate how much interest you will pay each month. A lower APR means that you will pay less interest, while a high APR means that you could end up paying a lot of interest.
APR is based on the Prime Rate of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Your credit APR often coincides with the Prime Rate, and changes in the Prime Rate often signify that changes in APR will be happening soon.
Some credit cards use a daily rate to calculate APR, while others use a monthly rate. It depends entirely on the card. To calculate the daily periodic rate, or DPR, a credit card company will divide your APR by the 365 days of the year. To find your monthly interest rate they will multiply your DPR by the number of days in your billing period. Then they multiply this number by the amount of your balance eligible for interest. The final number is the percentage of interest that will be charged to you.
If you carry your credit card balance to the next month, your APR will determine how much interest you pay. It’s possible to avoid paying interest based off your APR by paying your bill immediately and not allowing interest to accrue. This is because the credit card company gives you a grace period where no interest is charged.
It’s important to keep in mind that many credit cards have several different ways that APR is calculated. The most common form of APR is Purchase APR. This is the number most people think of when they think about the APR of a credit card. Purchase APR is applied to every purchase on a credit card after the grace period ends.
There is also Balance Transfer APR, which is important for people who have transferred their balance from one card to another. There is Penalty APR, which is often extremely high. In fact many credit card companies charge the highest possible rate for Penalty APR, which is 29.9%. Lastly, there is Cash Advance APR. This applies when someone uses their credit card to get money from an ATM or other ways. Cash Advance APR has no grace period.
What is a good interest rate on a credit card?
While searching for a good interest rate on a credit card, it’s important to be realistic about what types of cards you’ll be accepted for with your credit score. A good interest rate for someone with average credit could end up being very different from a good interest rate for someone with excellent credit. Therefore there’s no single answer for what constitutes a good interest rate.
For someone with an excellent credit score of 750 or higher, anywhere between 10% and 15% APR is a good interest rate. There are plenty of cards on the market that offer interest rates in this range for people with excellent credit. Some cards even have APR rates as low as 8%, but these are very difficult to be accepted for and are generally reserved for people with the best credit.
For someone with a good credit score of 700 to 749, anywhere around 15% is generally considered a good interest rate. It’s possible to qualify for cards with even lower interest rates if your credit score is in this range, but it might take some careful research. There’s also the possibility of being rejected if your credit score isn’t high enough for the best cards, so be careful what cards you choose to apply for.
Someone with a credit score between 670 and 700 may be able to get accepted for cards with interest rates between 15% and 20%, but it depends entirely on the credit card company and which cards they’re applying for.
People with credit scores below 670 are going to have fewer options. They could end up paying much higher interest, but no higher than 29.9%. Generally they should aim for credit cards that offer around 20% APR, but they may end up having to settle for higher rates until they can improve their credit scores.
Again, there’s no easy answer to what constitutes a good interest rate on a credit card. Each person should do careful research to make sure they’re selecting the best card for their individual situation.
How can you save money with a credit card with a low APR?
If you carry a balance from month to month on your credit card, you could save a substantial amount of money with a low APR card over time. Let’s look at an example. If you spend $1,000 a month on your credit card and currently have an interest rate of 25%, you could be paying upwards of $250 a month on interest if you don’t pay your credit card off during the grace period. This number only goes up with time. However, if you switch to a lower interest credit card with an interest rate of 15% a month, your interest rate could drop to $150 a month. That’s $100 saved each month on interest alone. Over the course of a year this could amount to over $1,000 if you carry your balance for the entire year.
It’s very easy to see how a lot of money can be saved by choosing a credit card with low APR after looking at an example like this. Over time interest can build up, and for some people, it even becomes unmanageable. A low APR card is a good solution to the problem of high interest.
When presented with a 0% interest credit card offer, what should you consider?
When presented with a 0% interest credit offer, there are some things you should consider before jumping in. For one thing, 0% interest offers rarely last forever. It’s common for credit card companies to offer these as an introductory period, but 0% interest offers that last longer than a year are scarce. After the offer runs out you’re going to have to pay regular interest again.
Although it may be appealing to quickly accept a low interest credit card offer, this isn’t always the best course of action. It’s important to consider how long the 0% interest offer lasts. These types of offers commonly last anywhere between 6 months to a year. It may be wise to shop around for a card with a longer 0% interest offer if the one you’ve received doesn’t last as long as you’d like.
Next, it’s important to look at the card’s APR after the 0% offer expires. Maybe the card in question offers you a period of no interest, but if you have to pay 25% interest when the offer ends, it’s not going to be a great choice. Ideally you should look for a credit card with a long 0% APR offer as well as a low interest rate after the offer expires.
Which is better, a low APR credit card or one that offers rewards?
This is entirely up to you and your individual spending preferences. Some people enjoy taking advantage of rewards programs. They like knowing they get something back from every purchase and they enjoy seeing the rewards build up with each statement. However, low interest is just as valuable as a good rewards program for other people.
For people that always pay their credit card off during the grace period, a rewards program might be more of an advantage than low interest rates. If you always pay your credit card off before it accrues any interest, the APR might not be that important to you. It could be more beneficial to choose a credit card with a generous rewards program. Rewards will accumulate on your credit card account whether or not you pay your credit card off during the grace period, but interest will not accumulate.
For someone that normally lets their balance carry over and allows interest to build up, a low interest credit card is probably more of an advantage. The money saved on credit card bills throughout the year is more than the amount that would ever be accumulated through rewards. Even with the best cash back credit cards the rewards rate is only between 1% and 2%, while the interest rate is normally around 10% or 15%.
Therefore, there’s no solid answer for whether cash back credit cards or rewards credit cards are better. Each person should analyze their own financial situation and determine this for themselves.
My credit score isn’t very good. Will I still be eligible for a low interest rate credit card?
Low interest credit cards are often reserved for people with higher credit scores. It’s unlikely you’ll be accepted for a decent low interest credit card with bad credit. Generally if your credit score is below 700, it’s difficult to get accepted for the best low interest credit cards.
If it’s your goal to obtain a card with low APR, it’s a good idea to build your credit up for a while first by making timely payments on credit cards with higher interest rates. As long as you pay your bill in full every month you won’t accrue interest. Your credit score will gradually increase using this technique, and you’ll soon be eligible for the best low interest credit cards.
What happens if I’m late on a payment for my low interest card?
You should never miss a credit card payment unless extraordinary circumstances prevent you from paying. If you’re late on your payment you could face many inconveniences. Credit card companies will often charge you a late fee which can be anywhere from $25 to $50. If you continue to miss your payments you will be charged additional late fees and risk lowering your credit score.
Another reason to avoid being late on payments is that you may lose your special offers if you don’t pay your bill on time. For example, if you have a 0% APR offer for six months, the offer may be cut short if you’re late on a payment and you’ll lose the opportunity to save a substantial amount of money.
Additionally, some credit card companies even charge you interest at a higher rate on top of late payments if you don’t pay your bill on time.
I always pay my credit card bill during the grace period and never pay interest. Could I still benefit from a card with a lower interest rate?
Low interest credit cards can end up saving you a large amount of money on interest over the span of months or years. However, if you intend to pay off your credit card bill during the grace period every month, interest rate doesn’t matter so much. If you never accrue any interest anyway, a low APR might not seem like it has much of an impact.
Although you might not encounter them very often, there are situations where a low interest rate could benefit you even if you normally pay your bill on time. For example, you may have a very busy month and forget to pay your bill before the grace period ends. In this situation it can be very beneficial to have a credit card with low interest. Depending on how high your balance is, a low interest credit card could save you a substantial amount in interest.
Additionally, you may decide to make a larger purchase on your credit card such as buying a new TV. You may decide you don’t want to pay your balance in full during the grace period because it would be too much of a financial burden. A low interest credit card would be very advantageous in this situation as well.
Can I take out Cash Advances with a low APR card?
Yes, most low interest credit cards allow you to take out cash advances. However, you may be charged at a Cash Advance APR, which is normally higher than the normal Purchase APR. For example, if you pay 14% APR on normal purchases, you could end up paying 21% APR on your Cash Advance transaction. Additionally, Cash Advances start to accrue interest immediately instead of giving you a grace period like normal purchases.
Even if your credit card is low interest for normal purchases, it may not have low interest for Cash Advances. Therefore it’s best to use Cash Advances sparingly and only do them if you have no other options.
Will I lower my credit score by applying for a low interest credit card?
Applying for any credit card causes a credit inquiry to appear on your credit report, which may lower your score by a few points. Thankfully the damage is usually short term and minimal. By making sure you pay your credit card bill on time every month, you can build good credit and steadily raise your score over time. Therefore, in most cases it’s not necessary to worry over the minimal point loss that comes from applying for a credit card.
Can my friend or family member share my credit card?
Only an authorized user may use your credit card to make purchases. If you intend on letting another person use your card, you must add them as an authorized user. You can do this through your credit card company’s website or by calling them and asking for a form to fill out and mail in. Sometimes they will even send you an extra credit card which is attached to your account but has their name on it.
If I always pay my credit card bill before the grace period ends can I avoid interest entirely?
Yes, it’s possible to avoid ever paying any interest if you make sure to pay your credit card bill before the grace period ends. You won’t be charged any interest and your balance will start fresh every month if you choose to do this. If paying your credit card bill during the grace period is an option for you, you should strongly consider it because it’s an excellent way to avoid interest.
Are there any disadvantages to low interest credit cards?
Many low interest credit cards don’t offer rewards programs that are comparable to some higher interest cards. If rewards are important to you, then a low interest credit card might not be the best choice. Some of the best low interest credit cards still offer a rewards program, but they normally won’t allow you to earn rewards as quickly as you could with other credit cards.
Also, low interest credit cards can have harsher penalties for missed payments than some of their higher interest alternatives. This shouldn’t be an issue if you always pay your credit card on time, but in an emergency situation this might end up costing you.
Additionally, some people develop a feeling of security with low interest credit cards and begin to feel comfortable carrying a balance month to month. For someone who never carried a balance before this can be a poor financial decision. The low interest rates might make it seem harmless to let your balance carry over to the next month, and this can lead to bad habits for people who always paid their credit card bill promptly in the past.
Can I get a sign-on bonus with the lowest interest rate credit card offers?
It’s possible to find some of the lowest APR credit cards that offer sign-on bonuses. However, these perks are harder to find with lower interest cards and the bonus might award you a lower amount of money. In general, these cards offer fewer perks than cards in other categories.
Can I use my credit card outside of the country?
It’s best to contact your credit card provider with this question, because each company will have different rules regarding foreign transactions. You may be charged hefty fees for using your credit card outside the country depending on your credit card company.
If you plan to use your low interest credit card overseas on a regular basis, it’s possible to find a card that won’t charge you additional fees. Many credit card companies allow you to use your card overseas with no foreign transaction fees and are willing to instantly convert your payments to foreign currency with overseas transactions. For someone who travels a lot or plans to spend a significant amount of time outside the company, these kinds of cards are a must.
Can I get a low interest card if I have no credit history?
You may have a difficult time being accepted for a low interest credit card if you have no credit history. Many credit card companies want to see that you pay your bill on time and that you know how to manage your debt before they trust you with a low interest credit card.
If you’re interested in having a low interest credit card but you have no credit history, you should still apply for the lowest interest credit cards you can find. If you’re unable to get accepted for your low interest credit card of choice, consider settling for a card with higher interest until you can build credit for a while.
If you are a young person still living with your parent or guardian, another option is to see if they will add you to their credit card as an authorized user. This gives you the opportunity to build credit while using an account attached to your parent or guardian's name. It’s important to always be responsible when someone trusts you enough to add you as an authorized user.
Is it possible to get my interest lowered even more on a low APR credit card?
It’s possible to get your interest lowered even more if you’ve already been approved for a low interest credit card. If you always pay your bill on time and are a loyal credit card user, your credit card company may approve a lower interest rate for you. To see if they can work something out it’s best to call them and speak to someone in the customer service department. They may be able to see if you qualify for a lower interest rate over the phone.
Because of the potential to save a substantial amount of money long term, if you have a good credit score and always pay your bill on time, it’s worth contacting your credit card company to see if you can get your interest lowered.
What should I do if my credit card is lost or stolen?
If your credit card is lost or stolen, contact your credit card company immediately. They will be able to cancel your card and issue you a new one. Your new credit card will have a different number and security code to avoid fraud.
Your credit card company will not hold you responsible for any fraudulent purchases that were conducted while your credit card was lost or stolen. If these purchases show up on your statement, simply contact your credit card company and they will be removed.