Editor's Choice: Best low interest credit cards 2011

By UK CreditCards.com

If you're planning to shift your credit card debt to another card, you may be tempted by a 0% balance transfer deal that offers zero interest for several months. However, if you plan to keep your new card for a long period of time -- or if you don't think you will be able to pay off your old balance quickly -- a low interest credit card may be a better choice.

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Interest-free balance transfer cards only last for an introductory period, and once those balance transfer offers are up, the APR often climbs to as high as 17.5% or more. Low interest credit cards, in contrast, rarely offer interest-free periods; but they do offer a low rate of interest for a long period of time.

Typically, low interest credit cards feature interest rates as low as 7% APR. Compare that to standard interest rates, which are currently around 17.5%. 

If you're currently in the market for a new card, here are our picks for some of the best low interest cards on the market.

1. BarclayCard Platinum Simplicity Credit Card
Featuring a 7.9% APR on balance transfers and purchases, the BarclayCard Platinum Simplicity card has one of the lowest APRs available. The BarclayCard also does not impose a balance transfer fee and, as a result, can save you a significant amount if you are planning on transferring a large balance. Most comparable balance transfer cards impose a balance transfer fee of 3% or higher.

In order to apply for the card, you can not already hold a different BarclayCard and you must earn over £20,000 per year.

Pro: No balance transfer handling fees.
Con: Unsuitable for current BarclayCard customers.
Best for: Cardholders who want to keep their card for the long haul.

2. Sainsbury's Low Rate Credit Card
The Sainsbury's Low Rate Credit Card offers a great low rate of 6.9% representative APR on all balance transfers and purchases. There are also no balance transfer fees to consider which will benefit those with high balances.

The card requires an excellent credit history, so if there is the slightest of smudges on your report, you might be offered much higher interest rates -- which can run as high as 12.9% variable.

Pro: Low APR for people with impeccable credit ratings.
Con: Does not earn Nectar points.
Best for: Cardholders with high balances -- and excellent credit.

3. Capital One Click Credit Card
The Capital One Click card offers a relatively low APR of 9.9% on purchases, which is not as low as some that are available on the market, but still beats the industry standard. Unfortunately, the same interest rate does not apply for balance transfers. That said, there is no balance transfer handling fee.

The Capital One card has been designed specifically for people shopping online and offers loads of great discounts at certain retailers. In addition, the card offers enhanced security for shopping online and comes with both purchase protection insurance and identity theft protection.

Pro: Exclusive discounts when shopping online.
Con: Low interest rate does not apply to balance transfers.
Best for: Online shopaholics.

4. Saga Platinum Credit Card
The Saga Platinum card offers consumers set the best of both worlds: The card offers 0% interest on balance transfers and purchases for the first nine months and then a low APR of just 11.9% after the introductory period.

Pro: A 0% interest introductory period -- and a low interest rate thereafter.
Con: The card features a 3 percent balance transfer fee.
Best for: Consumers with hefty balances -- and good credit.

See related: Editor's Choice: 4 fun credit card rewards; Editor's Choice: The best air miles credit cards

Published: 25 October 2011