The longest 0% APR credit cards are Citi Diamond Preferred and Citi Simplicity, which are 21 months and 18 months, respectively of no interest. A year and a half of 0% interest can be really helpful if you need to make a big purchase but can’t pay it all off right away. You can avoid interest entirely if you pay in full by the time the intro rate ends. And if you can’t manage that, you’ll at least have a smaller balance when interest kicks in.
It’s important to note that some store cards may offer 0% interest for longer than 21 months, but they use deferred interest. That is, you earn interest on your balance during the 0% period but don’t have to pay that interest if and only if you bring your balance to $0 before the 0% period ends. The JCPenney Card is one example, offering 48 months of deferred interest. But those cards are best avoided because there’s a chance you’ll get blindsided by interest charges. So they’re not really eligible to be in the running for longest 0% APR.
Here are the longest 0% APR credit cards:
- Citi Diamond Preferred: 0% for 21 months on balance transfers and 12 months on purchases. No annual fee. Requires good credit. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that the variable APR will be 14.24% – 24.24%, based on your creditworthiness
- Citi Simplicity: 0% for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers. No annual fee and no late fees. Requires good credit. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. There is a balance transfer fee of $5 or 5% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater.
- HSBC Gold Mastercard: 0% for 18 months on purchases and 0% for 18 months on balance transfers. No annual fee. Requires good credit. After that, a competitive variable APR of 12.24%, 16.24% or 20.24%†,1, will apply.
- Wells Fargo Platinum Visa: 0% for 15 months on purchases and 0% for 15 months on balance transfers. No annual fee. Requires good credit. After that your APR will be 16.40% to 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the U.S. Prime Rate.
None of these cards offer rewards, but they’re meant for financing rather than regular spending. And you can use a different card for purchases you’ll pay in full each month. All of these cards also require good credit (so you should shoot for 700+ before you apply).