The 6 Top Credit Cards for 0% APR on Purchases
Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, these offers have expired and are no longer available.
Updated March 20, 2008.
If you manage your money well and can afford to do so, there’s nothing wrong with using 0% offers to make larger purchases. Taking this approach gives you two advantages: you can leave more of your money in savings earning interest and use inflation to your advantage. (Your $100 final payment has less purchasing power than the $100 of your first payment, so even if your absolute dollars stay constant during repayment, you are paying with less real value as time goes on.)
Of course, if you do not make a payment on time then you will owe previous interest accrued at the default rate. The issuers may even try to trick you into missing payments by delaying statements. You must be on the ball to make use of these deals.
Good 0% APR offers are getting harder to find thanks to the credit card companies tightening their belts, coinciding with the recent decreases in Fed rates. Here are some of the best offers available as of December 18, 2007.
Chase TravelPlus Visa
0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months
17.49% variable APR (standard)
This card, in addition to the introductory APR offer, provides 2 miles for every $1 spent on travel-related purchases and 1 mile for every $1 on other categories. There is a $29 annual fee for the rewards program, however.
American Express Platinum Business FreedomPass Card
0% APR on purchases for 12 months
This card offers no annual fee and a standard APR of 11.74% on purchases. The current 0% offer makes this card worthwhile. You will receive 5,000 bonus points after your first purchase, which once accumulated can be traded in for savings on any flight, hotel, car rental or cruise, with no restrictions or blackout dates.
American Express Blue Cash for Business Card
0% APR on purchases for 6 months
The Blue Cash for Business Card is the one I recently opened to pay for my business expenses, but I opened the card before this 0% APR special offer was available. There is no annual fee and you can earn up to a 5% rebate. The full rebate is a little difficult to achieve thanks to minimum spending requirements and is limited to vendors within AmEx’s OPEN Savings partners.
American Express Platinum Business Card
0% APR on purchases for 12 months
This no-fee credit card allows you to earn 1 point for every dollar spent with no upper limit. Those points are redeemable for airfare as well as many other expenses, all through the American Express Membership Rewards program. The standard APR is 10.74%, but with an introductory rate of 0% APR for a year, you won’t be paying interest for a while.
SimplyCash® Plus Business Card from American Express
0% APR on purchases for 9 months
The SimplyCash® Plus Business Card from American Express is similar to the Platinum Business Card. Both cards offer a zero percent introductory APR on purchases but, rather than points, for a limited time, earn a one-time $250 statement credit after spending $5,000 or more in qualifying purchases on your card within the first six months of card membership. Your application must be received by August 3, 2016, in order to be eligible for this offer.
Plus, in addition to the 0% offer and the competitive standard APR, this card offers:
• 5% cash back on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores
• 3% cash back on the category of your choice from a list of eight select categories
• 1% cash back on other purchases
• The 5% and 3% apply to the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1% thereafter.
• Cash back received is automatically credited to your statement
(Terms and limitations apply.)
Advanta Platinum BusinessCard
0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months
This is a basic credit card that doesn’t offer much in the way of rewards. There is no annual fee, however, and you may be able to make good use of the 0% balance transfer offer. Watch out for the balance transfer fee of 3% with a maximum of $50. That maximum could make larger balance transfers worthwhile.
As always, if you choose to use credit, do so responsibly. Obviously with 0% offers, you don’t want to pay your entire balance off until the last possible moment, but you must play by the credit card company’s rules and don’t fall into any of the traps.