If you’re looking for a credit card to keep for emergencies and want to keep your costs down, opting for credit cards with low interest rates is likely to be a good choice. Here’s how to compare the best low APR credit cards and get the best deal possible
Low rate credit card deals can be a cheap and flexible alternative to a personal loan, especially if you want to avoid the hassle of switching credit cards on a regular basis.
Essentially low rate credit card deals offer a significantly lower standard interest rate when compared to other types of credit card. This rate will often apply for as long as you hold the card, and often to both new purchases and balance transfers.
Consequently if you're looking for a card to use in an emergency they can be a good option to using existing credit cards that charge a high interest rate, just in case you don't manage to clear the balance before your statement date.
The standard interest rates charged by low interest credit cards do vary substantially so you need to take the time to look for the best low APR cards on offer as if you do need to carry a balance over and end up paying interest, even a small variation in the APR can make a big difference to the total cost.
When looking for the best low interest rate credit cards your main concern should be finding those that apply the lowest available standard interest rate and it's generally a case of 'the lower, the better'.
You will also need to check whether this interest rate is applied to both purchases and balance transfers, and whether it applies for the duration you have the low APR credit cards or only for a certain number of months.
If you plan on moving a balance from an existing card then you will also need to factor in cost of any balance transfer fee into your decision; while some of the best low APR credit cards will allow transfers without a fee these are becoming less readily available. Of course, you will also need to check whether getting a 0% balance transfer credit card would be a better option.
Similarly, if you plan on using the card to spread the cost of purchases over a number of months then a 0% purchase credit card may be a more suitable alternative.
If you simply plan to use the card for day to day spending and clear the balance when you get your statement, you may find that a cashback credit card or rewards credit card is a better option as you'll be getting something back as you spend.
You can compare the best credit card rates using our low cost credit cards comparison table that gives you all the information you need to find the most suitable credit card for your circumstances.