The 0% APR Experiment: How to Beat the Credit Card Companies at Their Own Game

Suppose I told you I was willing to loan you money, interest-free, for six months. If you could pay it back within a year, you’d have a free loan.

Money for nothing?

Money for nothing?

Now imagine there are a dozen people just like me, all ready to give you the same offer. If you could roll your debt from one person to the next, taking advantage of each year-long, interest-free loan, you could pay off your debt without ever having to pay a dime in interest.

Sound too good to be true? It’s called 0% APR introductory offers, and I grilled three credit card companies on how to use these 0% APR balance transfer offers to beat them at their own game: paying down your credit card debt, without paying interest. Here’s how to do it, step by step.

Round 1: American Express Blue Sky Card

My first call was to American Express, for their Blue Sky card, which offers a six-month 0% APR for new cardmembers. I quickly learned that all 0% APR offers are not created equal: American Express only offers a 0% APR on new purchases, not balance transfers.

I spoke with a nice young woman named Cherise. I needed a cover story, so I told her I was $10,000 in debt from a bad investment in a cheese farm, and I wanted to pay it off interest-free. She offered me the Hilton HHonors American Express instead, which has their lowest APR of 2.9% for the first six months, with no annual fee.

“Hilton HHonors,” I said. “Is that named after Paris Hilton?”


“But it is named after the Hilton hotel chain?”


“Which is named after the Hilton family?”

A pause. “Yes.”

“So, technically, it’s named after Paris Hilton.”

From her silence, I guessed this was a yes.

Paris Hilton

Ironically, Paris only pays in cash.

I also thought it was weird that it was called the Hilton HHonors, since Paris Hilton is not that hhonorable. But I wasn’t interested in winning the argument, I was interested in beating the credit card companies. So I thanked Cherise, and hung up. American Express had no 0% APR offers I would be interested in.

On my next call, though, I hit paydirt.

Please continue to Round 2: It Really Does Pay To Discover!

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Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or any other credit card company or issuer. The opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any credit card company or issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any credit card company or issuer. Credit Card Chaser may be compensated through various affiliate programs with advertisers. As always, Credit Card Chaser is an independent website commmitted to helping people research credit card offers and find the best credit card!