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Low Interest Credit Cards

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Binder Clip WalletWhile I’ve never carried a balance on my credit card before, making sure the card offered a low interest rate was always important to me. While I never intend to carry a credit card balance, I’m also a realist. I recognize that sometimes you can’t control what you can or cannot do. Things get out of your control and during those times it’s important to make sure that you’re prepared. Should you ever need to carry a credit card balance, it’s important to make sure that the cards you choose offer a lower interest rate. When I analyze credit cards, I usually look at the rewards program first, then any special offers, followed by the interest rate.

I separate the list into two camps – those who are currently battling debt and those who are like me, looking with a more preventative eye. I’ve listed those cards that are strongest for credit card debt warriors first. All the cards are suitable for those in debt, but the Citi Platinum Select and PenFed Visa Promise cards are likely best. The Discover® More and Chase Freedom, the third and fourth card listed, are better for those without debt since they offer rewards but slightly less attractive APRs for existing debt.

Citi Platinum Select Mastercard

Citi® Platinum Select® MasterCard®If I needed a balance transfer and had to choose one card, the Citi Platinum Select Mastercard would be my first pick. They recently unveiled a new program where they would offer 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases. If you look around online, the longest anyone else offers a 0% anything is twelve months.

There is no annual fee and the Citi Platinum Select does not have a rewards program.

PenFed Visa Promise

PenFed Visa PromiseThe Pentagon Federal Credit Union is a credit union that has gotten a lot of publicity because of the great products they offer. Their PenFed Visa Promise card certainly falls into that category when it comes to a low interest credit card because there is an low introductory interest rate.

  • Absolutely no fees!
  • 7.49% introductory purchase APR for first 36 months! After that, the APR will vary with the Prime Rate, and is currently 9.99% APR.
  • No-fee cash advances carry a 17.99% APR
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees!
  • Some restrictions apply.
  • You must be a Pentagon Federal Credit Union member to apply. Not a member? It’s easy to join. Click here to learn more.

    Apply Now!

The only downside of this card is that there are no rewards. If you are currently battling with debt, this is an attractive low interest rate card.

Chase Freedom® Visa – $50 Bonus Cash Back

The Chase Freedom® Visa has, what I consider, the big three features of the “perfect” credit card and why it rounds off our section for the preventative crowd:

  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers – a variable APR as low as 9.99% -22.99% after your 0% ends
  • 0% Intro APR for 6 months on purchases – a variable APR as low as 9.99% -22.99% after your 0% ends
  • $50 Bonus Cash Back after your first purchase
  • 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 spent on Gas, Hotel and Airline purchases from 7/1/11 – 9/30/11
  • You’ll enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like grocery stores, dining, department stores and even home improvement stores. It’s free and easy to activate your bonus each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% Cash Back on all other purchases without limits on what you can earn
    Up to an additional 10% Cash Back when you shop online at select merchants through Chase
  • Cash back rewards never expire.
  • No Annual Fee

(Photo: mangpages)

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13 Responses to “Low Interest Credit Cards”

  1. billsnider says:

    There is one other angle to this.

    I, like you never carry a balance.

    Except for this one time……

    I wrote a check and forgot to transfer funds to my checking account. I was not only hit with bounce check fees, but I got hit with interest for not paying my balance on time.

    Ouch!

    That was when the interest rate mattered.

    Bill Snider

  2. cubiclegeoff says:

    I never think about interest rates, but I know at least one of my cards has a fairly low rate (in comparison), so if I need to use that, I can.

  3. rbatt says:

    I just got a letter from Chase saying they are changing the reward structure on the the Freedom Card. Jim, maybe you can do a review of this for a future article. They seem to be getting rid of some of the best features on that card. No more $50 bonus when you get to $200 cash back.

    • Jim says:

      I heard of changes a while back, I would’ve guessed the reward structure to be changed by now. When did you receive the letter?

      • zapeta says:

        I got a letter from them a couple months ago. I used to get 3% in the 3 categories I spent the most in and the $250 check for $200 in rewards. With the rotating categories, paltry 1% back and no option for a bonus, I’ve stopped using the card.

      • cubiclegeoff says:

        They started sending these letters out months ago and for many people, the program changed. I never got the letter, so maybe they’re starting to change the program for the rest of the group.

      • rbatt says:

        I just got the letter last week letting me know the new structure will be in place in a month or so.

      • I got the letter some time ago as well. I do miss the $250 checks, but they still are offering the 5% and occasional promotions like Lowes gift cards at 20% off.

    • Shirley says:

      I received a letter about a month ago saying that my Chase CC was being changed to a Chase Freedom CC. The cards came yesterday with an amazing amount of info that I haven’t gotten through yet.

  4. Chuck says:

    I used the Capital One “card lab” to get a card that has no rewards, no perks, no promotional offers, but a rate of prime plus 1.9. (Currently 5.15%)

    Of course after they approved the card, they gave me a measly $1000 credit limit. But if I need to borrow a thousand bucks, I go to them first. :)

  5. eric says:

    Those balance transfer fees are incredibly annoying aren’t they?

  6. elloo says:

    I got the letter from Chase last week. They’re going to convert any cash back balances to points (1 point=$1) as of 6/2/10. No more $50 bonus on $200, which was the best feature. If you’re a Chase checking customer, they’re going to bump your points 10% per use. I’ll wait and see if this works out, otherwise, I’ll ditch it. Any word if Discover is going to change their program as well?

  7. jsbrendog says:

    chase freedom is the best. i love it.


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