Is it possible for me to keep my credit card APR at 0% permanently?

Right now I’m using the Chase Freedom card, and the terms say that it has a 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases. After the intro period, a variable APR of 15.74% – 24.49% is applied. The same sort of thing applies to balance transfers as well.

I just started using the card last month and I’ve since been paying off the balance in full and I plan to continue doing this. When the intro period expires is it possible to negotiate with the bank to keep these APRs at 0% if I can prove that I’ve been a responsible cardholder for the previous 15 months?

5 thoughts on “Is it possible for me to keep my credit card APR at 0% permanently?


    For just one credit card

    No. There is no incentive for the card issuer to permanently loan you money for free (Even though they make a small amount of money with every transaction).

    For several credit cards over time

    Yes, there are many credit cards that offer introductory 0% APR, often lasting for a year, some even two years. In theory, you could keep applying for new cards with these terms, and continually transfer the balance to the new card (Though you would probably incur a fee for doing so).

  2. Harper

    Banks do not profit by your fiscal prudence

    Banks are in it to make money. But they’re expected to provide a social good which powers our economy: secure money storage (bank accounts) and cashless transactions (credit/debit cards). And the government does not subsidize this.

    In fact, banks are being squeezed. Prudent customers dislike paying the proper cost of their account’s maintenance (say, a $50/year fee for a credit card, or $9/month for a checking account) – they want it free. Meanwhile government is pretty aggressive about preventing “fine print” trickery that would let them recover costs other ways.

    However there isn’t much sympathy for consumers who make trivial mistakes – whether they be technical (overdraft, late fee) or money-management mistakes (like doing balance transfers or getting fooled by promotional interest rates). So that’s where banks are able to make their money: when people are imprudent.

    The upshot is that it’s hard for a bank to make money on a prudent careful customer; those end up getting “subsidized” by the less-careful customers who pay fees and buy high-margin products like balance transfers. And this has created a perverse incentive: banks make more money when they actively encourage customers to be imprudent.

    Here, the 0% interest is to make you cocky about running up a balance, or doing balance transfers at a barely-mentioned fee of 3-5%. They know most Americans don’t have $500 in the bank and you won’t be able to promptly pay it off right before the 0% rate ends. (or you’ll forget). And this works – that’s why they do it.

    Nobody offers 0% interest otherwise – they’d lose if they did

    By law, you already get 0% interest on purchases when you pay the card in full every month. So if that’s your goal, you already have it.

    In theory, the banks collect about 1.5% from every transaction you do, and certainly in your mind’s eye, you’d think that would be enough to get by without charging interest. That doesn’t work, though. The problem is, such a no-interest card would attract people who carry large balances. That would have two negative impacts: First the bank would have to spend money reborrowing, and second, the bank would have huge exposure to credit card defaults.

    The thing to remember is the banks are not nice guys and are not here to serve you. They’re here to use you to make money, and they’re not beneath encouraging you to do things that are actually bad for you. Caveat Emptor.

  3. Superbest

    No. The intro rate is a gambit by the bank – they accept losing money in the short term but expect to gain money in the long term when your intro is over and you (hopefully) start paying interest. There’s not much in it for them if you never get around to paying interest.

    Same can be said for people who close the card after their intro period, but that’s different – the bank is correctly expecting that most people won’t bother.

  4. CQM

    Banks don’t care that you are responsible cardholder. They care to make money.

    Interest rates are basically 0% by government policy and the banks charge their responsible cardholders 20% interest rates. Think about that for one second, and realize they really do not care about your ability to avoid paying interest, they only need you to ‘slip up’ one month during your entire lifetime to make a profit from you. It is in their interest for you to get into a spending habit, from 0% promo rates, so that eventually a frivolous purchase or life changing event causes a balance to stay on the card for over one month.

  5. quid

    If you pay your statement balance in full before the due date you will never pay a cent in interest no matter what your interest rate is.* In fact, I don’t even know what my interest rates are.

    Credit card companies offer this sort of thing in the hopes you will spend more than you can afford to pay completely in those first 15 months.

    * Unless you use a cash advance, with those you will accrue interest immediately upon receiving the cash sometimes with an additional fee on top.

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