Low-interest credit cards

Looking for a cheaper way to borrow? A low-rate card might be right for you. Read our guide to find out how to get a credit card with low interest and what to consider before applying.

What is a low-rate credit card?

A low-rate credit card can be a cheaper way to borrow money. Card lenders charge interest for letting you borrow. Interest is worked out as a percentage of the amount you owe — and this percentage is called the interest rate. The lower the rate, the less interest you’ll pay on the amount you borrow.

Some lenders charge fees as well as interest. So it can be helpful to look at the annual percentage rate (APR) to compare the overall cost of credit cards. The APR is the total cost of your borrowing for a year. It includes any fees you have to pay plus the interest you’ll be charged for the loan.

Why not compare low APR cards with Experian? Comparing is free, takes less than two minutes and won’t affect your credit score.

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Which is the best low-interest credit card?

Are you currently paying a high interest rate on your existing credit card? You may be able to save money by moving the balance (the amount you owe) to a low-interest balance transfer credit card. There’s usually a transfer fee for doing this.

Want to spend money on your new card? You may not get the low rate when you make purchases on a balance transfer card. Consider a low- interest purchase card instead.

If you’re Looking for the lowest rate possible, consider a card with a 0% introductory period. We’ve explained these below.

Can I get 0% interest on credit cards?

Yes, it’s possible. Sadly though, your 0% rate won’t last forever. Interest-free credit cards only offer a 0% rate for a set period of time. This is typically between two months and a few years.

When your 0% period ends, you’ll be put on the lender’s standard interest rate, which is usually a lot higher. So it’s wise to pay off your card or switch cards before this happens, if you can. Just remember, there’s no guarantee you’ll be accepted for another 0% card.

How can I get a low-interest credit card?

Comparing credit cards to see what’s out there is a good way to start. But it’s important to know that the interest rate you see might not be the one you get. This is because lenders only need to give their advertised APR to 51% of people who apply — meaning they may offer a higher rate to everyone else.

Here are some tips to improve your chances of getting a low-interest credit card:

  • Work out what you can afford – lenders are more likely to approve you if you can show there’s room in your budget for repayments.

  • Improve your credit score – your score is a reflection of how lenders see you. A higher score means they’re more likely to approve you, and at better rates. Even little things can lift your score. Try registering to vote or sharing information about everyday payments with Experian Boost.

  • Find offers you’re more likely to get – Experian calculates your eligibility based on your unique data when you search cards with us. Don’t worry, checking your chances of approval won’t affect your credit score.

  • Look for pre-approved offers – if you see a pre-approved card when you search with Experian, that means the rate you see is the rate you should get if you apply.

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Can I get a low-interest credit card with bad credit?

It’s not likely, unfortunately. Lenders tend to save their best deals for people with higher credit scores. You may find it easier to get approved for credit cards for bad credit as these are designed for people with low scores. They typically have higher rates and lower credit limits as a result.

Getting a credit builder card can kill two birds with one stone. It lets you borrow flexibly, while also improving your score if you pay off the full balance on time each month.

Does a 0% credit card hurt my credit score?

Your credit score will dip when you apply for a credit card, but it should recover if you take care of it. Carrying a balance on your 0% credit card can also lower your score. It helps to use as little of your available credit as possible and pay off your card quickly.

Missing payments and going over your credit limit will also damage your credit rating. On the other hand, paying off your 0% card in full and on time each month should improve your score over time.

What are some alternatives to a low-interest credit card?

We’ve mentioned several types of credit card so far — some with low rates and some that are more expensive. But you can also consider:

  • Personal loans – loans are less flexible but more predictable than cards. You’ll make fixed monthly payments for an agreed length of time. A low-interest loan is one alternative to a low-interest card. A debt consolidation loan can be an alternative to a balance transfer card.

  • Arranged overdrafts – this is a form of credit from your bank. It lets you take out more money than you have in your bank account. Like credit cards, an overdraft has a flexible payment schedule, and you’ll pay interest or fees until you’ve paid it off. You may be able to get a 0% period on your overdraft, especially if you’re a student.

What should I consider before getting a low-interest card?

Before you apply for a low-interest credit card, make sure you have a plan to repay what you borrow. Also, be clear on how to use your card responsibly to protect your finances and credit score.

Finally, shop around for the best deal. It takes less than two minutes to search for low-interest credit cards with Experian. We also calculate your chances of approval so you can apply with confidence.

And don’t worry — searching cards with us won’t cost a penny or affect your score.

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