First, tensile creep curve and creep propagation tests are conducted for austenitic stainless steel 0Cr18Ni9, i.e. 304 stainless steel at 550°C. The corresponding time hardening creep law is given for stresses ranging from 240 to 320 Mpa and the creep crack propagation length under a tension load of 10kN is measured by using QUESTAR long focus microscope system. Second, with the commercial finite element (FE) code ANSYS, the critical crack tip opening displacement (CTOD) is considered as crack propagation criterion to simulate the creep crack growth in the standard compact tension (CT) specimen. The FE predictions of the creep crack length in the primary and secondary stages are found to agree reasonably with the experimental results. The maximum computational error between the predictions and the experiment results is within 10%. Hence, the critical CTOD is a feasible criterion for crack growth simulations at elevated temperatures.