credit card aprUpdated: Oct. 11, 2018

Does your current credit card charge you high interest rates, making it hard to pay down your balance? Or maybe your interest rates shot up after the 0% intro APR period expired or when you paid a few late payments, and now you’re stuck barely making a dent in paying down your debt because the interest is so high. While there are some factors that determine your APR that you can’t control, like the current rate established by the Fed, there are some things that are in your control, as well as things you can do to see if your APR can be lowered. Keep reading to learn more about how to lower your credit card APR, and if you can’t, what your other options are.

Contact your credit card issuer

If your APR is higher than anticipated — or higher than what you’d like to be paying — you can always contact your issuer and ask about lowering it. Although there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a new or lower APR, it doesn’t hurt to ask. We should also note that you’ll want to make sure you have a strong argument for why you deserve a lower APR. For example, if you’ve been paying your bill on time for years and you’ve been a loyal customer, you can share that with the issuer. On the other hand, if you’ve been late within the past 6 months or so, the issuer is more likely to turn you down. Additionally, if you’re having trouble paying your bill on time each month, you can also ask about moving your monthly due date to help better align it with when you receive your paycheck.

Know your rights

If you’re facing higher APR because you were late on a payment in the past, but have since made 6 consecutive on time payments, your issuer must restore whatever your previous APR was, according to the Credit CARD Act, which was put in place to help protect consumers from predatory credit card issuers. This law also prevents issuers from applying a new or increased APR to previous balances, something that Citi realized it failed to do and, as a result, is currently issuing refunds to 1.75 million of its U.S. accounts over.

Consider a balance transfer card

If neither of these options helps you or applies to your situation, it may be time to consider a balance transfer card. By transferring your current, high-interest balance to one that offers a long 0% intro APR period, you’ll have plenty time to pay off or down you balance(s) interest free. What’s more, some of these cards even have no balance transfer fees on top of the 0% intro APR! Keep reading to see which cards offer the longest 0% intro APR periods.

Best cards with long 0% intro APRs

Citi Simplicity Card – No Late Fees Ever

credit card aprOffering the longest 0% intro APR we’ve seen is the Citi Simplicity Card – No Late Fees Ever (a NextAdvisor advertiser). This card offers a whopping 21-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers made in the first 4 months of account opening. Although you get this almost 2-year 0% intro APR, you should know that the balance transfer fee sits on the higher end of the spectrum (5% of the transferred balance with a $5 minimum), which is something you should consider. Additionally, the Citi Simplicity Card offers a 12-month 0% intro APR on purchases and has no annual fee. It also provides cardholders with access to FICO scores for free, and allows cardholders to choose their own payment due date.

Discover it Balance Transfer

credit card aprThe Discover it Balance Transfer card is a no-annual-fee card that offers a year and a half of no interest on balance transfers, plus some pretty stellar cash back rewards. Cardholders will enjoy 18 months of 0% intro APR on balance transfers (with a 3% balance transfer fee) and a 6-month 0% intro APR on purchases (after the 0% intro APRs expire, the standard go-to rate applies). On top of that, you’ll earn some impressive cash back rewards, including 5% cash back on purchases in select, rotating categories each quarter (up to the quarterly maximum, currently $1,500, then it’s 1%) as well as unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. It’s important to note that you must sign up for these categories each quarter to get the 5% back, but Discover will remind you when it’s time to do so. As if that isn’t enough, Discover will match all of the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year as a cardholder. For example, if you earn $500 cash back in your first year, Discover will match that to give you a total of $1,000 back! Rewards can be redeemed for cash, gift cards, charitable donations and statement credit. Discover cardholders also get a number of perks, including free identity theft protection, the ability to pick their card design and more.

Want to learn more about these cards? Visit our reviews of the best balance transfer credit cards to see how they compare to the top cards on the market. Also, use our free Balance Transfer Calculator to find out which card is best for your preferred monthly payment, total transferred balance and credit rating.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.