Compare 0% Purchase Credit Cards

Are you looking to take out a new credit card for a large purchase? Would you like to benefit from paying no interest rates? A 0% purchase credit card could be the ideal solution for you.

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Coronavirus Update: Credit card providers may have temporarily stopped offering credit cards to customers due to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This may result in a limited choice available to you.

Last updated October 2020

What are 0% purchase credit cards?

A 0% purchase credit card is a credit card with an interest-free introductory period. This allows you to make purchases on your credit card without interest fees for a set period of time.

They are ideal if you have been planning to make a big purchase as you can spread the cost out across the interest-free period.

How do 0% purchase credit cards work?

When you first sign up for a 0% purchase credit card, you are given an interest-free period which can be anything from 12 months to 24 months. No interest will be charged within this period providing you can meet the minimum monthly repayments.

If you do not make those minimum payments, you may lose your interest-free period, and interest will be charged each month.

Advantages of a purchase credit card

A 0% purchase credit card is a great way to avoid interest rates on your credit card purchases. Here are the main advantages of a 0% purchase credit card.

  • No interest fees on purchases - 0% purchase credit cards will charge you no interest fees on whatever you spend on your credit card within the introductory period. However, you will need to make at least the minimum payments each month. The best practice is to set up a direct debit from your current account to transfer whatever the minimum is each month automatically, so you don’t forget.
  • You can spread the cost of expensive items - If you have a large purchase you wish to make such as a piece of furniture or technology, a new 0% interest card is ideal. Purchasing soon after you open your new 0% credit card means you have an interest free period of up to two years. You can spread the cost of that payment across 24 months which makes it much more manageable.
  • Purchase protection - When you use your credit card to purchase something, you can access purchase protection for items over £100. If your item is faulty, not delivered or the business goes bankrupt, your purchase is protected by Section 75.

Disadvantages of a purchase credit card

Getting a 0% purchase credit card can make purchases much more affordable and manageable but are there any downsides? Below are some of the downsides to be aware of with 0% credit cards.

  • Your introductory period will end - The first thing to remember is that your interest-free period will end. You will need to make sure you clear your existing debt when it does to avoid interest-fees. It’s also wise to make a note of the date it runs out, so you don’t forget.
  • No 0% interest on cash withdrawals - The main limitation on 0% purchase credit cards is that it won’t apply to cash withdrawals. Withdrawing cash from your credit card will still be an expensive method of borrowing money because there will be interest fees and withdrawal fees attached.
  • If you miss repayments, you will lose your interest-free period - If you forget to make the minimum payment each month, you will lose your interest-free benefit. If this happens, you could potentially be left with a credit card with high-interest rates and lots of outstanding debt left.

Purchase credit card FAQs

We have listed out some frequently asked purchase credit card questions.

This may vary between credit card providers, but most cards will offer up to a 24-month interest-free period. That means if you make a purchase in the first month, you can split that repayment by 24 and pay it off over two years without incurring interest.

Yes. Credit card providers will look at your credit history before approving you for any kind of finance or credit card. This information will also help them to determine what credit limit to offer you and what interest rates to apply (after your interest-free period runs out).

Check your credit score for free at Credit Karma.

If you miss any minimum repayments, you will likely lose your interest-free period. It’s easy enough to forget to make the minimum payment if you do it manually, so the best thing to do is set up a monthly direct debit to cover it. As the minimum monthly repayment can vary, most banks will let you set up a “minimum monthly payment” option to pay off your credit card.

This will depend on the lender’s decision and their criteria. Don’t just assume you won’t be able to get one if you have a poor credit history. If you have poor credit, you may still be able to get a 0% purchase credit card, but you will likely have a smaller credit limit and higher interest rates once the introductory period is over. A 0% interest card is actually a good way to help build your credit history up. But you will need to ensure you can make the minimum payments each month (or ideally more).

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