Best Credit Card Interest Rates for September 2022

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Interest rates are going up, which is good news for savers, but not so much for those who carry a balance on a credit card. To save some money, it may be worth looking around for a new credit card with a lower interest rate.

Here’s what you need to know about the best credit card interest rates right now.

Why Do Credit Cards Have Different Interest Rates?

The interest rate you’re charged on your credit card is variable, meaning it changes when interest rates rise in general. Interest rates are not all the same — they can vary from one card issuer to another and also from one customer to another.

When you use your credit card to pay for a purchase, the credit card issuer is effectively lending you the money to make that purchase. If you pay for the purchase before the due date on your credit card bill, you won’t pay any interest — assuming you don’t already have a balance on your credit card. But if you don’t pay all of what you owe by the time the bill is due, you’ll pay interest on the balance. The interest is added to your credit card balance, so after the first month, you’re also paying interest on the interest.

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Here’s how it works. Interest on credit cards is expressed as an annual percentage rate, or APR. Since you get a bill every month, you will get charged 1/12th of that annual rate each month. So, if you owe $1,000 on your credit card, and your interest rate is 24.00% APR, you’ll be billed $20 for interest, or 1/12th of the annual interest of $240. Now your balance is $1,020, and next month’s interest will be applied to that amount, resulting in an interest charge of $20.40.

When you apply for a credit card, the card issuer will determine your interest rate based on how creditworthy you are. If you have a high credit score, pay all your bills on time, and don’t have a lot of outstanding balances, you may get the best interest rate offered. If you have missed a few payments, and have a lower credit score, your rate may be higher. If you read the fine print, you’ll usually see the range of credit scores — for example, 17.49% – 29.99% APR. The rate is usually variable, so when overall interest rates rise, you may see your credit card interest rate go up, too.

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Here are the best low-interest-rate credit cards, and who they are best for.

Best Overall

First Tech Choice Rewards World Mastercard

This card has the lowest APR, and even the high end of the APR range is not much higher than the best APR on some other cards. It also has all the other features most cardholders are looking for.

  • 0% APR for 12 billing cycles.
  • 10.50% – 18.00% APR after introductory period.
  • Earn 20,000 bonus rewards points when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days you have the card.
  • Earn 2 rewards points for every $1 spent on everyday purchases like groceries, gas, medical and more, and 1 point for every $1 spent on everything else.
  • No annual fee.

Best for 0% Intro APR

Some credit card issuers will offer a special introductory rate to entice you to apply for their card. This rate may be as low as 0% APR and may apply for the first year or so you have the card. After that, they begin charging their regular rate. These are the best credit card interest rates on cards that have a 0% introductory rate:

  • 0% APR for the first 21 billing cycles for purchases and balance transfers.
  • APR after the introductory period.
  • No annual fee.
  • BankAmericard has no current rewards program.
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  • 0% APR for the first 18 months on purchases and balance transfers. If you make all your payments on time during that time, you’ll get another three months of 0% APR, for a total of 21 months.
  • APR after the introductory period.
  • Wells Fargo Reflect Card has no annual fee.

Capital One Quicksilver Card

  • 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.
  • APR after the introductory period.
  • Capital One Quicksilver offers a $200 bonus when you spend $500 in purchases in the first three months.
  • 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
  • No annual fee.

  • 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.
  • APR after the introductory period.
  • $200 bonus when you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months of having the Chase Freedom Flex card, plus 5% cash back on gas — up to $6,000 in purchases — in the first year.
  • No annual fee.

  • 0% APR for 12 months on purchases, and for 21 months on balance transfers completed within the first four months of account opening.
  • APR after the introductory period.
  • Citi Diamond Preferred Card has no annual fee.

Best for Cash Back

Cash back on credit card purchases has become commonplace, but not all cash-back cards are the same. There’s a lot of variation in the amount of cash back you can get, the types of purchases that are eligible and whether there are limits. Then, there’s the interest rate to consider.

Here are the best low-interest cash-back credit cards.

Discover it Cash Back Card

  • APR.
  • Double cash back the first year. The Discover it card will issue this bonus at the end of the year.
  • No annual fee.

  • $200 bonus after you spend $500 in purchases in the first three months.
  • 5% cash back on gas purchases — up to $6,000 in purchases per year, and on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. 3% cash back on dining at restaurants and drugstore purchases and 1.5% cash back on everything else.
  • APR.
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited has no annual fee.

Best for Building or Repairing Credit

If you have bad credit or no credit at all, it can be difficult to get a credit card, regardless of the interest rate.

Here are two low-rate options for those who need to build — or rebuild — their credit.

Petal 2 Cash Back No Fees Card

  • APR.
  • 1% cash back, increasing to 1.5% after you make 12 payments on time.
  • Petal 2 has no annual fee — in fact, no fees of any kind.

OpenSky Secured Visa Card

  • With OpenSky, you’ll need to put down a deposit equal to the credit line.
  • 18.99% variable APR.
  • $35 annual fee.

Best for Balance Transfers

If you have high-interest-rate credit cards and you carry a balance, you could be paying a lot of money in interest every month. By finding a lower interest card, preferably one with an introductory rate that’s 0%, you can transfer those high-rate balances and save yourself some money. The trick is to pay off the balances before the introductory rate expires, and don’t rack them up again.

Here are the best credit cards for balance transfers.

Union Bank Platinum Visa

  • 0% APR for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • No balance transfer fee for transfers in the first 60 days. After that, the balance transfer fee is 3%.
  • 10.74% – 22.24% variable APR after the introductory period.
  • No annual fee.

  • 0% APR interest for the first 18 months on balance transfers. During this period, the balance transfer fee is 3%, and it goes up to 5% after the introductory period ends. Balance transfers must be made within 4 months of opening the account. This rate does not apply to purchases — only to balance transfers.
  • APR on purchases, and on balance transfers after the introductory period.
  • Citi Double Cash offers $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months you have the card.
  • Get 2% cash back — 1% when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay for that purchase.

Final Take

Having a credit card with a low interest rate can be a big boost to your budget but paying off your cards is the best strategy of all. If you can’t do that right away, transferring those balances from a high-interest card to a lower one can be a great first step.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Sept. 1, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

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About the Author

Karen Doyle is a personal finance writer with over 20 years’ experience writing about investments, money management and financial planning. Her work has appeared on numerous news and finance websites including GOBankingRates, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, USA Today, CNBC, Equifax.com, and more.
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