Purchase credit cards provide consumers with a 0% interest period on their purchases. By spreading out the cost of purchases over the no-interest intro period, cardholders can take their time to pay back purchases without racking up any interest charges. We took a look at some of the 0% interest credit cards in the market below.
- 0% Interest Purchase Credit Cards
- Summary of 0% Interest Purchase Credit Cards
- 0% Interest Purchase Card Explained
- How To Choose a 0% Interest Purchase Credit Card for You
0% Interest Purchase Credit Cards
In our analysis, we considered the length of the 0% purchase period (i.e., how many months interest is waived on new purchases) as well as other features like rewards. Many purchases cards offer a balance transfer function as well, for an all-around card for interest relief on both existing debt and future purchases.
However, balance transfer fees are generally higher on "all-around" cards. Generally speaking, cards with longer 0% purchase periods also charge higher balance transfer fees. Lower fees on balance transfers of the same duration can often be found on cards offering shorter 0% purchase periods. Before deciding which card is best for you, carefully consider which features you truly need so that you're not paying for 0% periods you don't need.
Long Duration 0% Interest Period: Halifax Credit Card Purchase Offer (0% for up to 30 Months)
The Halifax Purchases Credit Card gives cardholders a 9 or 30-month promotional period on purchases. Those with weaker credit files may only receive 9 months of 0% interest. Halifax does offer an eligibility checker to see your odds of being accepted.
- 0% on purchases for 9 or 30 months
- Eligibility checker
- 18.9% APR (or 21.9% or 25.9%, variable)
- 0% on balance transfers for up to 6 months (first 90 days)
- 3% balance transfer fee
Long Duration 0% Interest Period: Virgin Money 28 Month Purchase Credit Card (0% for 28 Months)
The Virgin Money 28 Month Purchase card charges no interest on purchases for a 28-month promotional period. This card also offers balance transfers: 0% for 18 months with a fee of 1.99%, for transfers made in the first 60 days. Virgin's Card Checker tool is a quick way to see your odds of being accepted before you submit an application. Card Checker uses a soft credit search, which won't adversely affect your credit rating.
If you're accepted you will receive the full 28-month promotional period.
- 0% on purchases for 28 months
- 0% on balance transfers for 18 months
- 2% balance transfer fee
- Balance transfer offer for transfers in first 60 days
- APR 19.9%, variable
Purchases and Balance Transfer: Barclaycard Platinum Purchases Card (0% for 26 Months)
The Barclaycard Platinum Purchases Card is gives cardholders a 26-month promotional period of no-interest on purchases. As an all-around card, it offers a 26-month 0% interest period on balance transfers as well, with a 1.99% balance transfer fee, for transfers made in the first 60 days. Barclaycard offers a free pre-eligibility check which indicates how likely you are to be accepted before starting the application process.
|The Barclaycard Platinum Purchases card is suitable for those who...|
|Are aged 21 or over||Haven't had any IVAs, CCJs, or declared bankruptcy in the past six years|
|Always make payments on time||Have at least four years' experience of managing credit|
|Have had a permanent UK address for at least three months||Have a personal income of more than £20,000 per annum|
|Can afford repayments on any outstanding credit commitments|
- 0% on purchases for 26 months
- 0% on balance transfers for 26 months
- 1.99% balance transfer fee
- 19.9% variable APR
Purchases and Balance Transfer: Halifax Credit Card (0% for 29 Months)
The Halifax Credit Card provides a number of different purchase and balance transfer options: this one provides 29 months of 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers. The balance transfer offer applies to transfers within the first 90 days. The balance transfer fee during this 90-day period is 2.5% (later reverting to 3%). Anyone with a Halifax card already can apply for a second Halifax Credit Card, subject to the following conditions regarding the Lloyds Banking Group (which also includes Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Bank):
|You can apply for a second Halifax card if...|
|Your existing card with Lloyds Banking Group isn't a Student Card|
|You aren't applying within 60 days of having opened your first credit card with the Lloyds Banking Group|
|You will have at most two credit cards with Halifax, and at most five with Lloyds Banking Group|
- 0% on purchases for 29 months
- 0% on balance transfers for 29 months
- Initial 2.5% balance transfer fee (then 3%)
- Balance transfer offers apply to transfers in the first 90 days
- 18.9% APR (or 21.9% or 25.9%, variable)
Purchases and Balance Transfer: Virgin Money All Around (0% for 25 Months)
Virgin Money's All Around credit card offers a 25-month 0% period on purchases and charges a 2.7% fee on 25-month balance transfers. Before applying, try the Virgin Money Card Checker tool, which uses a soft credit check to give you your odds of being accepted before you submit an application. Using the Card Checker eligibility tool won't adversely affect your credit rating.
If Virgin Money accepts your application you will receive the full 25-month 0% promotional period.
- 0% on purchases for 25 months
- 0% on balance transfers for 25 months (2.7% fee)
- 0% on money transfers for 25 months (2.7% fee)
- Transfer offer for transfers in first 60 days
- 18.9% variable APR
Purchases and Rewards: Tesco Bank Purchases Card (0% for 17, 23 or 29 Months)
The Tesco Bank Purchases card is another purchases card option. Depending on your individual situation, you will receive 17, 23 or 29 months of 0% interest on purchases. You will continue to earn Tesco Clubcard points even during your 0% interest period, so long as you keep up with your minimum monthly payments. Cardholders will earn rewards rates around 0.25% on Tesco spend and 0.125% outside Tesco.
- 0% on purchases for 17, 23 or 29 months
- 0% on balance transfers for 3 months
- 2.9% balance transfer fee
- Earn 1 Clubcard point for every £4 spent at Tesco
- Earn 1 Clubcard point for every £8 spend elsewhere
- 18.9% variable APR
Long Duration 0% Interest Period: Sainsbury's Purchase Credit Card (0% for 31 Months)
The Sainsbury's Purchase Credit Card is currently offering a 31-month promotional period on purchases. Cardholders can earn a 1% rewards rate on their Sainsbury's shopping and fuel. You will earn Nectar points on other spending, estimated at a 0.1% rewards rate. The balance transfer fee is 3% for 3 months of 0% interest. More information on balance transfer cards can be found here.
If you are accepted you will receive the full 31-months 0% promotional period.
- 0% interest on purchases for 31 months
- Earn 2 Nectar points for every £1 spent at Sainsbury’s
- Earn 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent outside Sainsbury’s
- 0% interest on balance transfers for 3 months (3% balance transfer fee, min £3)
- 18.95% APR (or 21.95% or 28.95%, variable)
Summary of 0% Purchase Credit Cards
|For...||Card||0% for...||Purchase APR (variable) after 0% Period Ends|
|Long Duration||Halifax Credit Card||9 or 30 months||18.9% or 27.9%|
|Long Duration & Rewards||Sainsbury's Purchase||31 months||18.95%, 21.95% or 28.95%|
|Long Duration||Virgin Money||28 months||19.9%|
|Balance Transfer and Purchases||Barclaycard Platinum Purchases||26 months||19.9%|
|Balance Transfer and Purchases||Halifax Credit Card||18 or 29 months||18.9% or 27.9%|
|Balance Transfer and Purchases||Virgin Money All Around||25 months||18.9%|
|Rewards||Tesco 29 Month||17, 23 or 29 months||18.9% to 23.9%|
0% Interest Purchase Card Explained
A 0% interest purchase card can be useful to spread out the cost of upcoming purchases, without the added cost of interest payments. 0% purchase cards all offer an intro period in which no interest is charged. This period can range from just a few months up to 28 to 30 months on the longest-duration 0% purchase cards. Once the 0% intro period is over, your account will be charged interest on any remaining balances, at your ongoing purchase rate. This purchase APR is typically above 18.9%.
Many purchase cards also offer 0% interest on balances transferred during the first 60 or 90 days, depending on the card. That means you can transfer any existing debt from a high-interest card to a 0% interest card. There is a fee each time you transfer a balance, so be sure to compare fees if you're interested in a balance transfer. Balance transfer fees will be higher on cards with a long 0% purchases feature.
Be very careful to always pay at least your minimum monthly payment on time and stay within your credit limit. Missing a payment or exceeding the credit limit will bring your 0% promotional period to a premature end, with the interest rate reverting to your stated purchases (or balance transfer) rate. Instead of paying 0% you'll be paying 18.9%, or more.
No interest doesn't mean no payments. You will still need to make monthly payments on a 0% interest purchases card. The minimum monthly payment will vary by card - each issuer has their own terms - but usually the minimum monthly payment will be something like 1% to 2% of the balance, plus any default charges or fees. Often there is a minimum imposed on this calculation, perhaps £5 or £25. A higher minimum can be a good thing as you'll pay down your balance sooner.
Remember to keep track of any new balance that accumulate on a 0% purchases card. Ideally you should pay off your whole balance during the 0% interest period. Any balances left at the end of this period will start accumulating interest charges every month at the stated purchases rate, which is likely to be 18.9% or higher. (While some people assume they can move any outstanding purchases to a 0% balance transfer card, this strategy may have negative implications on your credit score. Additionally, you're just prolonging the time until you're debt free.)
How Much Can I Save with a Purchases Card?
Imagine you have a big upcoming purchase of £1,000 that you will charge to a credit card and slowly pay off over two years. By putting that purchase on a regular credit card, you will incur monthly interest charges that are a direct function of the interest rate on your card. Let's say the interest rate on your existing card is 18.9%, for example, and you can manage to pay the credit card company £50 a month (more than a minimum payment would be). By the end of two years your original £1,000 purchase would be paid off, but you would have paid £188 in interest charges along the way.
The savings you can make on a purchases card are even more pronounced the higher the interest rate on your current credit card, as you can see in the chart below.
How To Choose a 0% Interest Purchase Credit Card for You
Picking a purchases card for your needs will depend on a few factors. First, consider how long you want interest waived for. The long-duration purchase card offers will give between 25 and 30 months with no interest charges. If you also need a balance transfer in order to manage your existing debts, then look for a purchases card with a suitable balance transfer offer (i.e., a low transfer fee and a 0% period of an appropriate length for you to pay down the balance). Do be aware that balance transfer fees are higher on cards that give you a long 0% period on both purchases and balance transfers. If you have a weaker credit history and aren't sure of your odds of being accepted to a card, you may want to complete a card's pre-application eligibility check.
Which Purchase Credit Cards Offer a Pre-Application Eligibility Check?
Pre-application eligibility checks can help you avoid an unnecessary hard search on your credit record. These pre-application checks are carried out using a "soft" credit check, which won't leave a mark on your credit file and can be useful to find out your odds of acceptance before you submit an application. If you decide to submit an application, the card company will perform a hard search, which will leave a mark on your credit record. Hard checks are fine so long as you are accepted for the card you're applying for!
|0% Purchases Card||Pre-Application Eligibility Checker?|
|Virgin Money||Yes ("Card Checker")|
|Barclaycard Platinum Purchases||Yes ("Eligibility Checker")|
|Halifax Credit Card||Yes|
|Tesco 28 Month||No|