If your plans include making a major purchase and you know you'll need a year or longer to pay for it, and you have good to excellent credit, a low ongoing APR credit card may be the card for you. You can also look for low interest balance transfer offers because those offers sometimes include interest rates as low as zero percent for nine months or longer. A low ongoing interest rate can help you, too, if you are trying to eliminate credit card debt but can't pay off your balance in full during an introductory rate.
Qualifying for a low interest credit card
Typically, you'll need good or excellent credit to qualify for a low interest credit card offer. Before you can decide which low APR credit card is best for you, you'll need to decide how you intend to use your new credit card. Will you be charging more purchases on the credit card? If so, you need to know the interest rate for purchases during the introductory rate and the interest rate after the introductory period ends.
Also, make sure you know the rules about purchases. If you make a purchase during the introductory period, does that mean you won't pay any interest on that purchase just during the introductory period or until you pay off that particular charge in full? This could make a difference of hundreds of dollars depending on the amount you intend to spend.
Balance transfer credit cards
An alternative to a card with a low ongoing APR, if you intend to pay off your balance within a year or two, is a balance transfer credit card. Balance transfers offer zero percent APR for a certain period of time, typically from at least six months up to about 15 months. If you are looking for a new credit card so that you can repay the balances on older credit cards, use a calculator to estimate how much you can pay each month and how quickly you can pay off the full amount. Don't forget to add to the balance the fee you are usually charged for transferring a balance.
If you can't pay the balance in full while the interest rate is zero, then you'll need to compare the ongoing interest rate on each credit card to see which one gives you the best deal.
Credit card fees and terms
If your primary focus is the interest rate, you should of course pay attention to the interest rates most of all. Most credit card interest rates are variable and will fluctuate a little. Don't forget to check the annual fee and any rewards programs, too.
The best low ongoing APR credit cards would ideally have low (or no) annual fees. Once you have found one or two credit cards with great long-term low interest rates you may want to do one more comparison to see which ones offer rewards programs, too. A little cash back or some points towards your next vacation can't hurt, but just make sure you are earning these points on necessary purchases and not simply running up a credit card bill that you will have trouble repaying.
So, if you have decided a low interest credit card is what you need, look over the best credit card offers on this page to find the one that's right for you.