Credit cards have become a popular and convenient way to make purchases, both online and offline. With a credit card, you can buy now and pay later, and sometimes enjoy rewards, cashback, or discounts on your purchases. However, using a credit card also comes with risks, such as high interest rates, fees, penalties, and debt. In this article, we will focus on how to avoid credit card interest for 3 months by using a credit card with a 0% APR (annual percentage rate) for the first 90 days after issuance.
Contents hide2 Types of 90-day interest-free credit cards3 How to apply for a 90-day interest-free credit card4 How to use a 90-day interest-free credit card6 Alternatives to 90-day interest-free credit cards
Key points from “How to Avoid Credit Card Interest for 3 Months: 10 Best 0% APR Credit Cards”
- There are different types of credit cards with a 90-day interest-free period, including balance transfer cards, rewards cards, and cashback cards.
- To apply for a 90-day interest-free credit card, you need to check your credit score, compare offers, fill out an application, and submit the required documents.
- Alternatives to 90-day interest-free credit cards include personal loans, home equity loans, and peer-to-peer lending platforms.
Types of 90-day interest-free credit cards
There are different types of credit cards that offer a 90-day interest-free period, depending on your needs and preferences. Here are some examples:
A. Balance transfer cards
A balance transfer credit card allows you to transfer your existing credit card debt to a new card with a lower or 0% APR for a certain period of time, usually 6 to 21 months. This can help you save money on interest and pay off your debt faster. However, balance transfer cards may also charge a balance transfer fee, typically 3% to 5% of the amount transferred, and require a good credit score to qualify.
Some of the popular balance transfer cards with a 0% APR for 90 days are:
- The Smart Credit Card from Standard Chartered India, which offers an extended interest-free credit period for the first 90 days post credit card issuance by paying only the minimum amount due.
- The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express offers 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and no balance transfer fee for the first 60 days.
- The Chase Slate Credit Card from Chase offers 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months and no balance transfer fee for the first 60 days.
B. Rewards cards
A rewards credit card allows you to earn points, miles, or cashback on your purchases, which you can redeem for travel, merchandise, gift cards, or statement credits. Some rewards cards may also offer a 0% APR for a limited time, such as 6 to 18 months, on purchases or balance transfers. However, rewards cards may also charge an annual fee, a foreign transaction fee, or higher interest rates after the intro period ends.
Some of the popular rewards cards with a 0% APR for 90 days are:
- The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express offers 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and a $100 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in the first 6 months.
- The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card from Capital One offers 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and unlimited 1.5% cashback on all purchases.
- The Citi Double Cash Card from Citi offers 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months and up to 2% cashback on all purchases (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay).
C. Cashback cards
A cashback credit card allows you to earn a percentage of your purchases back as cash, which you can either redeem or use to pay off your balance. Some cashback cards may also offer a 0% APR for a limited time, such as 6 to 18 months, on purchases or balance transfers. However, cashback cards may also have a cap on the cashback you can earn, or require you to activate the bonus categories each quarter.
Some of the popular cashback cards with a 0% APR for 90 days are:
- The Discover it Cash Back Card from Discover offers 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months, and up to 5% cashback on rotating categories, and 1% cashback on all other purchases.
- The Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card from Chase offers 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and unlimited 1.5% cashback on all purchases.
- The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card from Wells Fargo offers 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and unlimited 1.5% cashback on all purchases, and a $150 cash rewards bonus after you spend $500 in the first 3 months.
How to apply for a 90-day interest-free credit card
Before you apply for a credit card with a 90-day interest-free period, here are some steps to follow:
A. Checking your credit score
Your credit score is a three-digit number that represents your creditworthiness based on your credit history, payments, balances, and other factors. A good credit score can help you qualify for a credit card with better terms, including a lower interest rate, higher credit limit, and more rewards. You can check your credit score for free from various websites, such as Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, or myFICO.
B. Comparing offers
Once you know your credit score, you can start comparing offers from different credit card issuers, such as banks, credit unions, or online lenders. Look for the cards that offer a 0% APR for the longest period of time, the lowest fees, and the best rewards or cashback. You can use online tools or websites, such as NerdWallet, CreditCards.com, or Bankrate, to compare credit cards side by side and read reviews from other users.
C. Filling out an application online or in-person
After you have chosen the credit card that suits your needs, you can apply for it online or in-person by providing your personal information, such as your name, address, phone number, email, and social security number. You may also need to provide your employment status, income, expenses, and other financial information to prove that you can repay the debt. Make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card carefully before you submit your application.
D. Submitting the required documents
Once you have applied for the credit card, the issuer may ask you to submit some documents to verify your identity, income, and other details. These documents may include your driver’s license, passport, pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, or other proofs of income and residency. Make sure you provide accurate and up-to-date information to avoid any delays or rejections.
E. Tips for increasing your chances of approval
To increase your chances of getting approved for a credit card with a 90-day interest-free period, you can follow these tips:
- Maintain a good credit score by paying your bills on time, keeping your balances low, and avoiding too many credit inquiries or new accounts.
- Have a stable income and employment history that shows you can afford the debt.
- Apply for the credit card that matches your credit profile and income level, and avoid applying for too many cards at once.
- Consider getting a co-signer or an authorized user who has a better credit score or income than you do.
- Contact the credit card issuer if you have any questions or concerns about your application or approval status.
How to use a 90-day interest-free credit card
Once you have received your credit card with a 90-day interest-free period, here are some tips on how to use it wisely:
A. Setting a budget
Before you start using your credit card, it’s important to set a budget that fits your income, expenses, and goals. You can use a budgeting app or spreadsheet to track your monthly income, fixed expenses, variable expenses, and savings. Make sure you allocate a certain amount of money for your credit card payments, and avoid overspending or impulse purchases.
B. Tracking your spending
To avoid surprises or errors on your credit card statement, it’s important to track your spending regularly. You can use a mobile app or online account to monitor your transactions, check your balance, and set up alerts for payment due dates, fraud alerts, or low balances. Make sure you reconcile your credit card statement with your budget and receipts, and report any unauthorized or suspicious transactions to the issuer immediately.
C. Paying on time
One of the most important rules of using a credit card is to pay your balance on time and in full, if possible. This not only helps you avoid interest charges and fees, but also improves your credit score and shows your responsibility as a borrower. You can set up automatic payments or reminders to ensure that you don’t miss any payments, and pay more than the minimum amount due if you can afford it.
D. Avoiding fees and penalties
Credit cards may charge various fees and penalties if you don’t use them correctly, such as late payment fees, over-limit fees, cash advance fees, balance transfer fees, or foreign transaction fees. To avoid these fees and penalties, make sure you read the terms and conditions of your card carefully, and follow the rules and limits set by the issuer. For example, don’t use your credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM or spend more than your credit limit.
E. Maximizing rewards or cashback offers
If your credit card offers rewards or cashback on your purchases, you can maximize your benefits by using your card strategically. For example, you can use your cashback card for everyday expenses, such as groceries, gas, or dining out, and earn more cashback by using it for online shopping or travel. You can also redeem your rewards for statement credits, gift cards, or travel, and avoid letting them expire or lose their value.
F. Dangers of overspending, carrying a balance, or missing payments
While using a credit card with a 90-day interest-free period may seem like a good deal, it also comes with risks if you don’t use it wisely. For example, if you overspend or carry a balance after the intro period ends, you may incur high interest charges that can snowball into debt. Similarly, if you miss a payment or make a late payment, you may damage your credit score, incur late fees or penalties, and lose your interest-free period. Therefore, it’s important to use your credit card responsibly, within your means, and with a clear plan to pay off the debt.
Personal Case Study: Maximizing Rewards with a 90-day Interest-free Credit Card
As a frequent traveler, I was always on the lookout for ways to save money and earn rewards. When I came across a credit card that offered a 90-day interest-free period along with generous travel rewards, I knew it was the perfect fit for me.
I applied for the card and was thrilled when I was approved. The first thing I did was set a budget for my monthly expenses and made sure to track my spending closely. This allowed me to stay within my means and avoid carrying a balance beyond the interest-free period.
One of the key benefits of this particular credit card was the opportunity to earn travel rewards. For every dollar I spent, I earned points that could be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, and other travel-related expenses. I made sure to maximize these rewards by using my credit card for all my travel bookings and everyday purchases.
To avoid fees and penalties, I made it a priority to pay my credit card bill on time every month. I set up automatic payments to ensure that I never missed a due date. By doing so, I not only avoided unnecessary charges but also maintained a good credit score.
Throughout the 90-day interest-free period, I managed to earn a significant number of travel rewards without paying a dime in interest. This allowed me to take a dream vacation without worrying about the financial burden. It was a truly rewarding experience that I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy without the benefits of a 90-day interest-free credit card.
By sharing my personal case study, I hope to inspire others to explore the possibilities of using a credit card with a 90-day interest-free period. With careful budgeting, responsible credit card usage, and a focus on maximizing rewards, it is possible to make the most of this unique credit card feature while avoiding unnecessary interest charges.
Alternatives to 90-day interest-free credit cards
If you don’t qualify for a credit card with a 90-day interest-free period, or you prefer a different type of financing, there are other options to consider. Here are some examples:
A. Personal loans
A personal loan is a type of unsecured loan that you can use for various purposes, such as debt consolidation, home improvement, or education. Personal loans may offer lower interest rates than credit cards, and a fixed repayment term, which can help you budget and plan your payments. However, personal loans may also require a good credit score, a stable income, and a longer application process than credit cards.
B. Home equity loans
A home equity loan is a type of secured loan that uses your home equity as collateral, and allows you to borrow a lump sum of money at a fixed interest rate and term. Home equity loans may offer lower interest rates than credit cards or personal loans, and tax-deductible interest payments, if you use the loan for home improvements. However, home equity loans may also put your home at risk if you default on the loan, and require a good credit score and equity in your home.
C. Peer-to-peer lending platforms
A peer-to-peer lending platform is a type of online marketplace that connects borrowers and investors, and allows you to borrow money from individuals, rather than banks or credit unions. Peer-to-peer loans may offer lower interest rates than credit cards or personal loans, and more flexible repayment terms. However, peer-to-peer loans may also require a good credit score, a stable income, and a higher risk of fraud or default.
D. Pros and cons of each option
Each of these options has its own pros and cons, depending on your situation and goals. Before you choose an alternative to a credit card with a 90-day interest-free period, make sure you research and compare the terms and fees of each option, and seek advice from a financial advisor or credit counselor if necessary.
In summary, a credit card with a 90-day interest-free period can be a useful tool to avoid paying interest on your purchases or balance transfers for a short period of time. However, it’s important to choose the right type of credit card, apply for it wisely, use it responsibly, and have a plan to pay off the debt before the intro period ends. If you don’t qualify for a credit card with a 90-day interest-free period, or you prefer a different type of financing, there are other options to consider, such as personal loans, home equity loans, or peer-to-peer lending platforms. Always remember to use credit responsibly and seek professional advice if you have any doubts or questions.
Additional resources for readers
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: a government agency that helps consumers make informed financial decisions and avoid fraud or abuse.
- National Foundation for Credit Counseling: a nonprofit organization that provides financial education, counseling, and debt management services to consumers.
- MyMoney.Gov: a government website that provides resources and tools for managing personal finances, including credit cards, loans, and investments.
Q1: What does “credit card 90 days interest free” mean for a credit card? A1: “Credit card 90 days interest free” means that for the first 90 days after making a purchase using the credit card, you won’t be charged any interest on the outstanding balance. It’s like getting a short-term loan without incurring interest during this period.
Q2: Do all credit cards offer “credit card 90 days interest free”? A2: No, not all credit cards offer this feature. You’ll need to check the terms and conditions of each credit card to see if they provide “credit card 90 days interest free.” It’s typically offered by some introductory or promotional credit card offers.
Q3: How can I make the most of “credit card 90 days interest free”? A3: To maximize the benefits, use the card for purchases that you can pay off within the “credit card 90 days interest free” period to avoid interest charges. Make sure to budget and plan your payments accordingly.
Q4: What happens if I don’t pay off my balance within “credit card 90 days interest free”? A4: If you don’t pay off the balance within the “credit card 90 days interest free” period, the remaining balance will start accruing interest at the card’s regular interest rate. Be sure to understand the card’s terms and conditions to avoid unexpected charges.
Q5: Are there any fees associated with “credit card 90 days interest free”? A5: While the interest may be deferred for 90 days, some credit cards may still have annual fees or other charges. Review the card’s terms and fees to understand the full cost of ownership.
Q6: Can I transfer balances from other credit cards to “credit card 90 days interest free”? A6: It depends on the specific card issuer. Some may allow balance transfers, while others may not. If balance transfers are allowed, there might be a fee associated with them.
Q7: Is a “credit card 90 days interest free” a good option for emergencies? A7: It can be a helpful option for short-term financial needs, but it’s essential to have a repayment plan in place to avoid high-interest charges after the “credit card 90 days interest free” period. For long-term financial stability, consider building an emergency fund.
Q8: How do I apply for a “credit card 90 days interest free”? A8: You can apply for such credit cards through the issuer’s website or by visiting a local branch if available. Make sure to compare different credit card offers to find the one that best suits your financial needs and goals.
Q9: Are there any eligibility criteria for getting a “credit card 90 days interest free”? A9: Yes, eligibility criteria vary by issuer and card type. Common factors include your credit score, income, and credit history. Check with the card issuer for specific requirements.
Q10: Can the “credit card 90 days interest free” period be extended or renewed? A10: Generally, the “credit card 90 days interest free” period is a one-time offer for new cardholders. It typically cannot be extended or renewed. After the initial period, the card will function like a regular credit card with its standard interest rates.