5 Credit Cards With Low Interest Rates

Photo (cc) by kenteegardin

I review dozens of credit card offers each week to find the best deals. I don’t work for any credit card company, and I’m not trying to sell you anything. But I do want you to learn something: how to effectively use credit cards. Check out my credit card page.

The first rule of credit cards: Never carry a balance, never incur interest charges. Of course, that’s not always realistic. In fact, surveys – like this one from Consumer Reports in December – show that more than a third of all cardholders carry a balance from month to month.

Just like any other type of loan, if you borrow from your credit cards, even occasionally, you should always look for the lowest interest rate.

How to find a card with the lowest interest rate

To find the lowest rate – or annual percentage rate, also known as APR – you must first understand how credit card interest rates are determined. Nearly every card has a variable interest rate that’s tied to the prime rate. Since October 2008, the prime rate has been 3.25 percent, although it’s been as high as 8.25 percent as recently as mid-2006.

Therefore, the lowest rate you find today can go up tomorrow if the prime rate does.

Another important factor: Banks offer a range of rates for each card, with new applicants being assigned a rate based on their individual credit score. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of transparency in this process. But as a general rule, the lower the range of rates being offered, the lower the rate you can expect to receive. For example, you’ll normally do better with a card with rates ranging from 10 to 15 percent than one with rates ranging from 12 to 17 percent.

The top 5 cards with the lowest interest rate

1. Simmons First Visa Platinum. Arkansas bank Simmons First offers an industry-leading rate of prime plus 4 percent on its Visa Platinum card. Better yet, it offers this top rate to everyone approved for this card. And there’s no annual fee. Obviously, however, only applicants with high credit scores will be approved.

2. IberiaBank Visa Classic. This Louisiana bank is tied with Simmons First for the lowest rate offered: prime plus 4 percent. Unfortunately, less-qualified applicants will receive higher rates equal to prime plus 7 percent or even 10 percent. Iberia also offers a promotional balance transfer APR of 1.99 percent for six months, with a 2 percent balance transfer fee. Other IberiaBank cards, such as its Visa Select, offer a competitive yet slightly higher rate, but with no promotional balance transfer offer. There’s no annual fee for any of these cards.

3. PendFed Promise. PenFed isn’t a bank – it’s the Pentagon Federal Credit Union. Membership is open to employees, retirees, family, and household membership from a broad list of military and government organizations. Alternatively, anyone can join with a small, one-time donation to a military support charity. Joining is worth it, as their Promise card offers one of the best deals going. This card comes with a three-year promotional APR that’s fixed at 7.49 percent, followed by a standard variable APR equal to prime plus 6.74 percent. On top of that, the “promise” part of this card is no fee for balance transfers, foreign transactions, cash advances, late payments, or annual fees.

4. US Bank Visa Platinum. By offering a standard APR as low as prime plus 6.74 percent, US Bank comes in ahead of all the major national banks with its Visa Platinum card. At the same time, less-qualified applicants will receive rates as high as prime plus 20.74 percent. All approved applicants will receive a zero-percent promotional balance transfer offer for 12 months, but with a 4 percent balance transfer fee. There’s no annual fee.

5. Wells Fargo Platinum. This well-known name in banking offers its Platinum Visa card with a standard APR as low as prime plus 6.9 percent, but only for the most qualified applicants. Those with lower credit scores can expect to receive a rate as high as prime plus 21.74 percent. This card does feature a zero-percent promotional finance rate on both purchases and balance transfers for six months, but there’s a 3 percent balance transfer fee. There’s no annual fee.

Shopping for the lowest credit card interest rate isn’t easy, but your efforts will pay off. By finding the card with the best combination of low interest rates, promotional financing, and low fees, you can be assured that when you do have to pay credit card interest, you’re paying as little as possible.

Of course, the best way to save money on credit cards is to hike your credit score, which means you’ll get better offers from credit card issuers. For that, check out 3 Tips to Raise Your Credit Score – Fast.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
5 Ways Your Phone Can Slash Grocery Costs
5 Ways Your Phone Can Slash Grocery Costs

These free apps and websites can help you get cash back on groceries, shop more efficiently or squeeze the most from the ingredients you have on hand.

8 Things I Always Buy at Target
8 Things I Always Buy at Target

I grew up shopping at the original Target store and am a lifelong fan. Here are my favorite purchases.

20 Generic Brands That Amazon Created
20 Generic Brands That Amazon Created

Amazon’s growing collection of private brands offers everything from toilet paper and coffee to motor oil and clothing.

The 5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
The 5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

Beware These 5 Common Work-From-Home Scams
Beware These 5 Common Work-From-Home Scams

You can spot scammers and con artists with a little know-how.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare
14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare

These services could save you money and help prevent costly health problems.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

10 Things You Should Never Do With Bleach
10 Things You Should Never Do With Bleach

Does the pandemic have you reaching for bleach more than ever before? Learn the ins and outs of using this powerful disinfectant.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.