These are the Best 0% Intro APR Cards for Balance Transfers and PurchasesCredit cards can offer some great rewards, but the value of those benefits can get eaten up if you don’t have a card with an APR that works for you. Since most credit cards are basically revolving unsecured loans, they often charge high interest rates on balances, which can quickly swell your debt to unmanageable levels if you don’t use the card responsibly. Luckily, many credit card issuers have offers that let you reduce or even avoid interest payments under certain circumstances, and using those offers to your advantage can turn your credit card from a liability into a powerful shopping tool. Below, we’ve matched two common financial scenarios to the most helpful intro APR offers, along with some of the top credit cards that provide those offers.

You’re carrying a big balance

For dealing with a big balance on which you’re already paying a high interest rate, one of the easiest ways to reduce your payments and the interest you’re paying is with a balance transfer to the right card. Cards with extended 0% intro APR balance transfer periods will give you time to work on paying off your debt without accruing more interest, helping you save money. The most important parts of a balance transfer card are the length of the intro APR period and the size of the balance transfer fees (use our free Balance Transfer Calculator to see how those fees affect any savings you might earn), but you may also want to look out for cards that give free FICO scores to help you monitor your credit as you’re paying down your debt. Note that before you apply for a balance transfer card, you should make sure that you can pay off the transferred balance before the intro APR period expires. Otherwise, you’ll start owing interest on whatever debt you have left, which could increase your payment quite a bit.

Here are some great balance transfer cards to consider:

BankAmericard Credit Card

These are the Best 0% Intro APR Cards for Balance Transfers and PurchasesThe BankAmericard Credit Card offers a nice 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases and any balance transfer made within the first 60 days of opening your account, but what makes this card really spectacular is that it features a $0 balance transfer fee for transfers made in the same 60-day period (after that, the fee is 3% or $10, whichever is greater) and no annual fee. That means, if you have a high balance on another card, you can transfer that balance onto the BankAmericard Credit Card and enjoy its 15 months of 0% intro APR without paying a balance transfer fee. You’ll also get a FICO TransUnion credit score for free every month, as well as access to an online education center that teaches you about credit. In the event that you make a late payment, there is no penalty APR — note that a late payment may jeopardize your 0% intro APR. The BankAmericard Credit Card requires good to excellent credit (usually considered a credit score of 700 or higher) to qualify.

Chase Slate

These are the Best 0% Intro APR Cards for Balance Transfers and PurchasesChase Slate’s offerings are quite similar to the BankAmericard Credit Card’s, sporting 15 months of 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers, a $0 balance transfer fee for transfers made in the first 60 days of account opening (after that, the fee is 5% or $5, whichever is greater) and no annual fee. It also gives users a complimentary monthly Experian FICO score, along with a dashboard that breaks down your score for you, and doesn’t charge a penalty APR. A couple unique features are fraud alerts for unusual activity and purchase protection, which covers purchases against damage and theft for 120 days with a $500 maximum claim. Chase Slate also requires good to excellent credit (usually considered a credit score of 700 or higher) to qualify.

HSBC Gold Mastercard

These are the Best 0% Intro APR Cards for Balance Transfers and PurchasesTransfer your balance to the HSBC Gold Mastercard and you’ll enjoy a year and a half of zero interest with one of the best APR intro periods of all the cards we’ve reviewed. Its 18-month 0% intro APR applies to both purchases and balance transfers, though its balance transfer fee is either 4% or $10 (whichever is greater), which is a little higher than average. Still, if you need the extra time to pay down or off your balance, it’s probably still worthwhile. This card also works as an everyday shopping card, as it comes with a variety of consumer protection features, including purchase protection for goods worth up to $1,000 for 90 days, warranty extension and price protection, which gives you 60 days after you buy something to find the same thing advertised at a lower price, and refunds you the difference in cost if you do. Additionally, if you slip up and make a late payment, HSBC will waive one late fee per 12 months, and won’t charge a penalty APR. If you use this card internationally, there are no foreign transaction fees, and there is no annual fee. The HSBC Gold Mastercard requires good to excellent credit (usually considered a credit score of 700 or higher) to qualify.

You’re planning on a large purchase

Got your eyes on a big ticket item? The best APR is no APR, so the first thing you should look for in a credit card to help you with that buy is a long 0% APR intro period on purchases. During the intro period, every payment you make will go toward paying off the principal of your purchase, so you don’t have to worry about interest for a year or more, depending on the card you select. On top of that, a number of the best low APR credit cards also offer cash back rewards and intro bonuses that can make your purchase a little sweeter. For people who would prefer something straightforward, the balance transfer cards we noted above also provide 0% intro APR for purchases, but if you’re interested in maximizing your benefits with cash back rewards, these cards have some of the best APR offers for big purchases:

Chase Freedom Unlimited

These are the Best 0% Intro APR Cards for Balance Transfers and PurchasesChase Freedom Unlimited has a great 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (with a balance transfer fee of 5% or $5, whichever is greater) and two cash back intro bonuses: a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of card ownership, which should be easy if you’re using this card to buy a big item, and an additional $25 bonus after you add your first authorized user to this card and make your first purchase within the first 3 months. It also works as a solid rewards card, with no annual fee and the ability to earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. You can redeem your rewards at any time and in any amount through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal, and if you have other Chase cards that use the Ultimate Rewards program, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can combine their rewards points to redeem them all at once. Chase Freedom Unlimited requires good to excellent credit (usually considered a credit score of 700 or higher) to qualify.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card

These are the Best 0% Intro APR Cards for Balance Transfers and PurchasesThe Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card is a good purchase card with no annual fee, and it has some unique perks that make it particularly appealing to anyone with a mobile phone. While its 12-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (with an intro balance transfer fee of 3% for first 12 months, then it’s 5%) isn’t the longest, it has a hefty $200 intro bonus to help you with your purchase after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. Also, like Chase Freedom Unlimited, this card earns an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. What makes the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card especially suited for anyone with a mobile phone is that it offers $600 of cell phone protection with a $25 deductible that will cover your phone for damage or theft when you use your Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card to pay your monthly phone bill, though note that the protection has a maximum of two claims per 12 months. Additionally, it earns 1.8% cash back when using Android Pay and Apple Pay mobile wallets within the first 12 months, letting you earn more rewards when you use your phone for transactions. The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card requires good to excellent credit (usually considered a credit score of 700 or higher) to qualify.

Discover it – Cashback Match

These are the Best 0% Intro APR Cards for Balance Transfers and PurchasesFor large purchases, the Discover it – Cashback Match card is a bit more situational than Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card because it earns cash back in rotating categories, but it gives you the chance to reap major rewards, especially during your first year as a cardholder. In addition to a 14-month 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers (with a balance transfer fee of 3%), the Discover it – Cashback Match card offers a significant 5% cash back on categories that rotate every quarter (up to a quarterly maximum — currently $1,500 — then it’s 1% back) and 1% cash back on every other purchase. All you have to do is activate your rewards every quarter, and you can set up automatic reminder emails to make sure you don’t forget. This year’s categories include gas stations and wholesale clubs from January to March, grocery stores from April to June, restaurants from July to September as well as Amazon.com and wholesale clubs from October to December. Even better, Discover will match all of the cash back you’ve earned after your first year of card ownership, which is like getting 10% cash back in the rotating categories and 2% cash back for everything else for your first year. If your big item lines up with one of this card’s categories, that’s a huge amount of rewards! Extra benefits include a free TransUnion FICO score with your monthly statement, no penalty APR and no late fee for your first late payment, as well as extra security features such as free identity theft protection alerts and Discover Freeze it, which allows you to quickly freeze your account from a smartphone or computer if you lose your card, and easily unfreeze it if you find it again. This card has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. The Discover it – Cashback Match card requires average to excellent credit (usually considered a credit score of 670 or higher) to qualify.

It may be easy to ignore, but an APR that fits your needs can make the difference between a bad card and an excellent card. Visit our reviews of the best low APR credit cards to learn more about the cards detailed in this post and see how they compare to other top names on the market. To stay up-to-date on the best APR offers, follow our credit cards blog.

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