The devil is in the details, which may ultimately determine who is right. Pay off your debts during the promotional period, however, and it’s likely going to be a draw.
Obviously, it’s hard to beat a 0% deal, but if you are getting that rate on a balance transfer or using a courtesy check issued by your card vendor, there can be fees attached. A 2% balance-transfer fee is roughly the same as paying two points on your money; know your costs, because it’s not “free” if you’re paying fees.
Also be aware of what happens to your rate when the teaser period ends, because it might not be such a sweet deal if you carry and debt past the promo period.
“Same as cash” deals are all about paying off the debt on time; make that schedule and you’ll pay no interest or fees, thus “the same as cash.” Fail to pay the entire debt and you’re likely to owe all of the interest that would have accrued during the promotional period.
Thus, a same-as-cash deal only is the best choice if paid off in full and on time. Failing that, the zero-interest deal is better because you’ll only owe interest based on what’s owed once the promo time ends.
From Joe in Toledo, Ohio: I had an old credit card that I didn’t use. Kept it for emergencies. The bank wrote to say it was closed. Should I get a new card? What does this do for my credit score?