How to Consolidate Zero Interest Credit Cards

Updated on April 9, 2024

In the middle of 2019, about 374 million credit card accounts have been opened in the U.S. Many people need credit cards for various reasons, but one of the downfalls of getting a credit card is the interest rate. Did you know you could get a zero-interest credit card, though? A 0% APR card can be a great way to solve some of your issues with debt or purchase something expensive.

What exactly does zero interest mean, though, and how can you use these zero interest credit cards? You will find out below.

What Does Zero Interest Mean?

Finding credit cards that don’t charge you any interest can be a real blessing. Considering how big some interest rates can get, you would be really happy to see interest rates that don’t force you to break the bank. But what exactly does “zero interest” mean when we’re talking about zero interest credit cards?

Well, zero interest is referring to the fact that you will not have to deal with any interest while you’re making payments for your loan. Basically, it means that you will not have to pay interest based on the promotional purchase you’ve done during the promotional period. As such, for a certain period of time, you will have to pay 0% interest. Once the promotional period is over, if you still have an unpaid balance, then you will start paying interest depending on the amount you have left. However, you need to make your payments on time, because this promotion may require this.

Understand What Limited Time Offer Means

There are two different types of offers that people tend to confuse. These are the zero interest offer and the deferred, or limited time offer. Zero interest offers will not add any interest to your payments unless you are left with some unpaid money at the end of the offer. Even then, the interest is only calculated starting from that point and depending on the balance you have left.

On the other hand, limited-time offers are not charging you any interest if paid in full in the determined amount of time. This is why it’s important to pay attention to the wording. More often than not, you will notice an “if” added there, which makes the difference.

Limited time offers will not charge you any interest if you manage to fully pay the amount you owe before the deadline. If you don’t succeed, and you are left with money to pay, you will be charged with interest starting from the date of the purchase and it will be added to the remaining balance.

Can a Person Have More than One Zero Interest Credit Card?

Even if you may be thinking that you cannot get more than one zero interest credit card, you might be wrong. There isn’t really a set limit to how many credit cards a person can get, as long as they’re able to deal with the payments. Even if they are zero interest credit cards, you will still be able to make multiple ones if needed.

Of course, you have to consider the fact that it will be the lender that has limits for each individual when it comes to how much credit they offer.

There is such a thing as too many credit cards, though, and if you cannot keep track of your accounts, then it means you have way too many. In this case, it’s essential to organize your funds and be able to deal with them.

Tips for Using Your Zero Interest Credit Cards

If you’ve decided that a zero interest credit card is just what you need, then you can apply for one. But before you do so, you need to plan on using it properly. Here are some tips to make sure you make the best out of your zero interest credit card usage.

Don’t Max Them Out

You may be thinking that this card doesn’t really affect your credit score, but you are wrong. It will still have an impact on your score. Basically, it will affect your credit utilization percentage, which shows how much of the credit you are using at any time. This has an influence on your credit score, so it shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Maybe you needed the card for a large purchase, in which case, you don’t need a new loan any time soon, especially since you’ll pay this one over time. As such, the impact it has on your credit score will probably not be that bad. Make sure to pay off the amount of the card and bring down that balance.

Pay It off Before the 0% Interest Period Ends

You can’t afford to not pay off the whole loan before the 0% interest period ends, because at the end of the day, your goal is to not pay any interest. Exceeding that period means you will have to pay interest either way.

No matter the time limit for the credit card, you have to pay it off in that time frame to save cash. The APR will immediately boost if you don’t meet your deadline, so make sure that doesn’t happen.

How to Pay Off Your Zero Interest Credit Card Before the Promo Ends

You may be thinking that it’s not that easy to pay off your 0% interest credit card before the end of the promo. However, it actually is, as long as you are focused and dedicated. Here is how to do it.

Pay It Off Outright If You Can

If you think you have the ability to save some money and pay it off outright, then go for it. It’s always better to make sure you can actually pay the credit card balance and be done with it, than wake up one day realizing your card’s APR took a sudden boost. That being said, if you think you can get the money before the time is over, don’t hesitate to do so.

Consolidate Debt to Reduce Interest and Lower Rates

Debt consolidation allows you to take a loan with a much lower interest rate in order to deal with your other existing debt, which can be more expensive. With debt consolidation, you can combine to 0% interest credit cards and get a much better rate, thus having a huge advantage. It will all be cheaper and you will not have to be scared of your debt anymore, so you can use this to pay off your credit card balance.

Conclusion

A zero interest credit card can be a great way to get funding for a special need – such as a big purchase or getting rid of debt – and paying 0% interest for a certain amount of time. These credit cards will not require any amount of interest from you unless you have some remaining balance at the end of the deadline. This is why you need to repay it before that period is over. Now that you know how 0% interest credit cards work, you can get one yourself if needed. Stilt can help you out if you have more questions about this topic.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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