Save money on balance transfers and retail purchases with MoneySupermarket's comparison of the best credit cards with low interest rates for the life of the card. These cards also come with great benefits including travel discounts, no balance transfer fees and contactless payment technology.
With so many credit cards offering interest free periods on purchases and balance transfers, you could be forgiven for wondering why anyone would opt for a low rate credit card at all.
And although some of those 0% offers may seem too good to pass up – some don’t charge interest for two years – they’re not always the answer for everyone.
For instance, if you have a large balance to transfer and you are unlikely to have paid it off before the interest free period ends, you could get stung as the rate will leap to an annual percentage rate (APR) of around 18%.
And while you could always switch to another 0% credit card, you may not want to risk being rejected; which would not only leave you with a large balance and interest rate, but could potentially have a negative effect on your credit score and make it even more difficult to get access to credit in the future.
If this is the case then you may be better off applying for a low rate credit card, which has just one standard rate that is usually markedly lower than those offered on standard credit cards.
What types of low rate credit cards are available?
There are several types of low rate credit card currently on the market, so it’s essential that you pick the right one to suit your needs.
If you have a balance to transfer across from your old card, pick a card that comes with no balance transfer fee; if, on the other hand, you are a frequent traveller, then it could be worth applying for a card that offers discounts on travel and insurance.
You’ll also want to make sure you get the lowest interest rate possible. Representative APRs on low rate cards can be anything from around 6.9% to as much 16.9% (variable) which will really hit you in the pocket if you have a large balance to pay off.
And while some cards offer the low rate for the lifetime of the card, some will only offer it for a certain period of time, so be sure to check the terms and conditions fully before applying.
What are the advantages of using low rate credit cards?
The main advantage of a low rate credit card is that, as you’d expect, the annual interest rate is lower than those on standard credit cards and on 0% credit cards, once the interest-free period has ended.
Interest rates on low rate credit cards generally start at around the 7% mark, compared to around 18% on standard cards, and there are usually no annual fees that can also push up the APR.
This low rate usually lasts for the lifetime of the card, which means so no nasty rate rises. This makes low rate credit cards an ideal budgeting tool as you can work out exactly how long it will take you to pay off your debt with a fixed monthly payment.
And although they don’t come with any special offers as far as interest-free periods are concerned, it’s worth looking out for cards come that without a balance transfer fee, or offer rewards or discounts on other services, such as travel or insurance.
Why use MoneySupermarket to compare low rate cards?
With a number of low rate credit cards available – and the fact that the low rate may not always be as low as you’d expect – it makes sense to shop around for the card that best fits your needs. Comparing the best deals available can help you make savings overall.
And by using the MoneySupermarket’s comparison tools, you can instantly compare low rate credit cards or even take a look at some of the other options available such as low rate personal loans or other types of credit card.
We're free and independent, as well as offering exclusive deals you can't get anywhere else.
Moneysupermarket is a credit broker – this means we’ll show you products offered by lenders. We never take a fee from customers for this broking service. Instead we are usually paid a fee by the lenders – though the size of that payment doesn’t affect how we show products to customers.