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Best Low Interest Credit Cards for April 2020

| Money Rates Columnist.
min read

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As the country enters a period of economic uncertainty, it becomes more important to be a good steward of your resources.

Switching to a low-interest credit card is an excellent way to do that.

Especially if you intend to carry a substantial balance over a long period of time, a low-interest card can:

  • easily save you hundreds of dollars or more each year in interest payments
  • help you get a handle on your monthly budget
  • support your efforts to build credit responsibly.

To help you pick and make the most out of your new low-interest card, we put together a list of what we feel are the best available in the credit card marketplace.

Examine the strengths and weaknesses of each card and decide which is the best fit for your lifestyle and spending habits.

Best Low-Interest Credit Cards of April 2020

Wells Fargo Platinum card

Why We Like It: The Wells Fargo Platinum card is a basic, "meat-and-potatoes" type of card that doesn't try too much. The card is best used as a balance transfer card if you're looking to pay down your debt and trim your monthly expenses.

The Wells Fargo Platinum card has a strong introductory offer, featuring an interest rate of 0% APR for the first 18 months on both purchases and balance transfers. There is a balance transfer fee of 3% for 120 days, then 5%. But even taking into account that fee, a 0% APR for 18 months could easily save you hundreds of dollars. And with an annual fee of $0, you are kind of starting in the black.

Wells Fargo Platinum card

Wells Fargo Platinum card

Bonus: N/A

Rewards: N/A

Intro APR: 0% Intro APR

Intro Period: 18 months

Regular APR: 15.49%-24.99% Variable

Balance Transfer Fee: 3% for 120 days, then 5%

Annual Fee: $0

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good


Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Why We Like It: The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card has an exceptional introductory offer:

You enjoy 0% APR for the first 18 months on purchases and 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers after account approval. (Transfers must be made in the first 4 months, and it should be noted that the balance transfer fee is 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.) But this can add up to huge savings. 

After the introductory offer, the standard APR goes to 14.74% - 24.74% Variable, depending on credit worthiness.

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card also has an annual fee of $0, a nice combination with a low interest rate.

Another nice feature of the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is that you get to choose which day of the month your payment will be due on. This is valuable when it comes to your monthly budget.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Citi<sup>®</sup> Diamond Preferred<sup>®</sup> Card

Bonus: N/A

Rewards: N/A

Intro APR: 0% for a period of 18 months on purchases

Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 18 months on balance transfers

Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum

Regular APR: 14.74% - 24.74% Variable

Annual Fee: $0

Credit Needed: Excellent


Citi Rewards+ Card

Why We Like It: There is quite a bit to like about the Citi Rewards+ Card, starting with a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and a 0% for 15 months on balance transfers. If you carry a sizable balance, this can result in big savings. After that, the regular APR is an attractive 13.49% - 23.49% (Variable).

Rewards are rounded up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase. For instance, a purchase of $31 at a restaurant would earn you 40 points, instead of 31. Points can be redeemed for gift cards at thankyou.com, as well as travel vouchers, cash or statement credits. As an added feature, you get 10% of your points back on the first 100,000 points you redeem each year.

Two more tasty features about Citi Rewards+ Card are a $0 annual fee and an easily attainable sign-up bonus worth $150 in gift cards (details below). Add it all up and Citi Rewards Plus can have a rather positive impact on your bottom line.

Citi Rewards+ Card

Citi Rewards+<sup>℠</sup> Card

Bonus: Citi Rewards offers a sign-up bonus that is generous, considering how easy it is to achieve. You will earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in qualifying purchases in the first 3 months after your account opening. Those points can be redeemed for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com

Rewards: 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter

Intro APR: 0% for a period of 15 months on purchases

Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months on balance transfers

Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

Regular APR: 13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)

Annual Fee: $0

Credit Needed: Excellent


Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Why We Like It: The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express brings quite a bit to the table, including a regular APR of 12.99% - 23.99% Variable.

But before you get to the regular rate, you can enjoy the introductory APR of 0% on purchases for 12 months and N/A for N/A. If you are carrying a high balance on your current high-interest credit card, this could save you hundreds of dollars in interest payments.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express does carry an annual fee of $95. But don't let it scare you away. That is easily offset by the easily attainable sign-up bonus that can net you a cool $250 statement credit (details below).

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express also has an attractive cash back rewards offer. You get 6% at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). You also earn 3% at U.S. gas stations purchases and transit expenses and 1% cash back on other purchases.

Do you buy groceries? Do you commute to work? The cash back with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express will add up in a hurry.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Bonus: Spend $1,000 in the first 3 months after opening your account and you earn a $250 statement credit.

Rewards: An eye-popping 6% at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 3% at U.S. gas stations, and 1% cash back on other purchases.

Intro APR: 0% on purchases for 12 months

Balance Transfer Intro APR: N/A for N/A

Regular APR: 12.99% - 23.99% Variable

Annual Fee: $95

Credit Needed: Good/Excellent


Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Why We Like It: With excellent credit, you have a chance to enjoy one of the lowest interest rates of this bunch, which can make a big difference in your monthly budget.

But before that, you can immerse yourself in the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express introductory offer of 0% on purchases for 15 months and N/A for N/A after your account is opened. If you intend to make some high end purchases or are looking to transfer a big balance, you could easily save hundreds of dollars or more in interest charges over the course of those N/A

The sign-up bonus of $150 isn't as attractive as the $250 offered by the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express but it is offset by the fact that the annual fee is $0.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Bonus: You earn a $150 statement credit as soon as you spend at least $1000 in the first three months after your account is opened.

Rewards: The cash back rewards program is structured simply. You earn 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). You earn 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and 1% cash back on other purchases.

Intro APR: 0% on purchases for 15 months

Balance Transfer APR: N/A for N/A

Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Regular APR: 12.99% - 23.99% Variable

Annual Fee: $0

Credit Needed: Good/Excellent


Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

Why We Like It: The Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer is an excellent choice with an introductory rate of 0% for 18 months on balance transfers, one of the longest balance transfer periods in the industry.

The fact that the card has no introductory rate for purchases and no sign-up bonus might be off-putting for some consumers, but the regular APR of 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable) is highly competitive.

The cash back rewards program offered by Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer is one of the more creative in the industry. You earn a flat 2% cash back on all purchases - 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay. To earn the cash back, you simply need to make at least the minimum monthly payment, on time.

Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

Citi<sup>®</sup> Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

Bonus: N/A

Rewards: The cash back rewards are essentially 2% cash back on all purchases. You get 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.

Intro APR: N/A

Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 18 months on balance transfers

Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

Regular APR: 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)

Annual Fee: $0

Credit Needed: Excellent


Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Why We Like It: If forgiveness is good for the soul, then it's absolutely fantastic for credit card users.

If you are late with a payment, Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever won't hit you with a late fee or penalty APR. This can be especially valuable if you find yourself dealing with an unexpected financial crisis.

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever doesn't have a rewards program, but it does have an excellent introductory offer:

You can take advantage of the introductory APR of 0% on purchases for 12 months and 0% on balance transfers for 21 months from the opening of your account. Balance transfers must take place within the first 4 months and there is a balance transfer fee of 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Citi Simplicity<sup>®</sup> Card - No Late Fees Ever

Bonus: N/A

Rewards: N/A

Intro APR: 0% on purchases for 12 months

Balance Transfer Intro APR: 0% on balance transfers for 21 months

Balance Transfer Fee: 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

Regular APR: 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)

Annual Fee: $0

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good


U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Why We Like It: If you are someone who enjoys accumulating rewards and is willing to take the time needed to maximize those rewards, the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card would be a good addition to your wallet.

You can earn a healthy 5% cash back in two categories of your choice (up to $2000 in purchases each quarter), 2% cash back on one "everyday" category of your choice (i.e. gas stations, grocery stores) and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

The basic APR of is 13.99% - 23.99%* Variable isn't the lowest in the industry, but its competitive.

There is no introductory rate for purchases but you get a 0%* intro on BTs for 12 months on balance transfers, which can add up to big savings.

The annual fee of $0* and the $150 cash back sign-up bonus, which can be earned with just $500 in purchases over the first 3 months you have your card, can't be overlooked.

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Bonus: You can earn a $150 cash back bonus if you spend $500 in first 90 days after you open your account.

Rewards: 1-5%

Intro APR: N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR: 0%* intro on BTs for 12 billing cycles on Balance Transfers*

Balance Transfer Fee: 3%

Regular APR: 13.99% - 23.99%* Variable

Annual Fee: $0*

Credit Needed: Good,Excellent


Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card

Why We Like It: This is a card that makes its priorities very clear: It's all about the cash back with the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card. There are multiple ways to earn cash back with the card and you can pocket a tidy sum by taking full advantage.

The sign-up bonus offer makes it easy to earn $150 with purchases of just $500 over the first 3 months you have the card.

Through the cash back rewards program, you can earn Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. 1.8% cash rewards on qualified digital wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Google Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening.

Even as you are earning cash back, you can also save large amounts of interest by taking advantage of the 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers over the first 15 months after your account is opened.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card

Bonus: You earn a $150 cash back bonus if you spend $500 in first 3 months after your account is opened.

Rewards: You earn Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. 1.8% cash rewards on qualified digital wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Google Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening.

Intro APR: 0% Intro APR

Intro Period: 15 months

Regular APR: 13.99%-25.99% Variable

Balance Transfer Fee: 3% for 120 days, then 5%

Annual Fee: $0

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good


The Key to Understanding Low-Interest Credit Cards

The key to understanding low-interest credit cards is to recognize they are a wealth-building tool, not an excuse to spend excessively.

When you use a low-interest credit card to transfer a hefty balance from a high-interest card or you use it to purchase a big-ticket item such as a major appliance, you are saving money - real money - on your monthly payments. Used correctly, these cards can help you pay off purchases more quickly. And if you can pay off a purchase in three months instead of five, you have saved even more money in interest.

If your low-interest card also has an introductory 0% interest rate on balance transfers and/or purchases you could save hundreds of dollars in interest over the introductory period.

When to use a low-interest credit card

While a low-interest credit card has benefits on any type of purchase, you can really take full advantage of them when making high-end purchases (furniture, appliances, etc.) or when you are transferring a hefty balance from another high-interest card. A low-interest card can help free you up to pay off the principal much faster.

Low-interest credit cards vs. personal loans

Both personal loans and low-interest credit cards require good to excellent credit and both can be used effectively to consolidate debt.

As a rule, personal loans are better as a means of financing big-ticket items that have to be paid off over a long period of time. This might include such things as multiple rooms of furniture.

Low-interest credit cards are well-suited to somewhat smaller purchases that you plan to pay off in a shorter period of time. Low-interest credit cards have the added benefit of introductory interest rate offers, generally 0% over a period of time, often 12-24 months.

Low-interest credit cards vs. balance transfer credit cards

Low-interest credit cards and balance transfer credit cards sometimes overlap. But many times cards that offer exceptionally low interest rates don't offer attractive balance transfer incentives. And cards with enticing 0% balance transfer introductory offers often have high interest rates that kick in and catch you off guard when the introductory period ends. The key is to examine all features of a card and weigh those features against your particular spending habits, lifestyle and priorities.


Credit Score You Need for a Low-Interest Credit Card

With most low-interest credit cards, you need good to excellent credit. This means your credit score needs to be somewhere in the 690-850 range.


Methodology

We examined nine credit cards from a variety of providers. We took a look at a number of factors beyond just the base interest rate, including rewards, introductory rates, sign-up bonuses, perks and annual fees. We also examined customer reviews of each card, taking into consideration anecdotal information they shared.

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