These are the best 0% purchase credit cards - according to a finance expert

The best way to use a 0% purchase credit card is to have a repayment plan in mind before making the purchase (Photo: Shutterstock)

by Derin Clark

With all areas of the UK slowly making their way out of lockdown, many people are now looking ahead and tentatively making plans for the rest of the year.

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Whether you are hoping to book a holiday this summer, looking to make home improvements, or simply want to enjoy life a little more when lockdown ends, using a 0% purchase credit card could be the best way to spread the cost of your planned spending.

What is a 0% purchase credit card?

A 0% purchase credit card is a credit card that offers a pre-set period of time in which purchases can be made on the card and no interest is charged. On some 0% purchase credit cards the interest-free period can last for almost two years, making these cards a great option when making a large purchase, for example booking a holiday or buying a new sofa, as it gives you time in which to repay the debt without incurring interest charges. Bear in mind that you will still need to make at least the minimum repayment of the amount borrowed each month.

The best way to use a 0% purchase credit card is to have a repayment plan in mind before making the purchase to give you enough time to repay the debt before the interest-free period ends. As with all credit cards, you should be careful with the amount you spend on these cards as credit card debt can quickly spiral out of control.

As well as this, it is often a good idea to ensure that you have repaid outstanding debt before applying for a new 0% purchase credit card. Alternatively, some 0% purchase credit cards allow you to transfer the balance of existing credit card debt to the card, which not only provides you with an interest-free period in which to repay new purchases made but also time to repay existing credit card debt.

If you are thinking of doing a balance transfer onto a 0% purchase credit card you should be aware that you may be charged a small fee to do this, which should be included into your repayment calculations.

You should also keep in mind that once the interest-free period ends, you will then be charged interest on the remaining outstanding balance.

The interest charged on credit cards is usually referred to as APR (annual percentage rate) and the APR you are offered depends on your credit score, so it may be different from the APR advertised. To get an idea of whether you will be offered the advertised APR, or be accepted for the credit card, it is often a good idea to check your credit score before making the application, which you can do online for free.

To help you find the right 0% purchase credit card, below we’ve highlighted some of the best deals available in the Moneyfacts.co.uk 0% purchase credit card charts.

The longest interest-free term available

Five 0% purchase credit cards have the longest interest-free term currently available of 20 months, these cards are Barclaycard’s Platinum All-Rounder Visa, Virgin Money’s 20 Month All Round Credit Card Mastercard, TSB’s Platinum Purchase Card Mastercard, MBNA Limited’s 0% Transfer and Purchase Credit Card Mastercard, and Sainsbury’s Bank’s Dual Offer Credit Card Mastercard.

All these cards also offer an interest-free period of 20 months on balance transfers, apart from Barclaycard which offers a slightly lower interest-free term on balance transfers of 18 months.

The best rewards available

If you are looking to earn rewards when you use your credit card you may be better off choosing a 0% purchase credit card that allows you to earn reward points as you spend.

Some of the best 0% purchase credit cards that offer rewards are Sainsbury’s Bank Dual Offer Credit Card Mastercard, M&S Bank’s Shopping Plus Mastercard and Tesco Bank’s Clubcard Credit Card Purchases Mastercard. The Sainsbury’s Bank card has an interest-free period of 20 months, while the cards from M&S Bank and Tesco Bank have interest-free terms of 18 months.

All these cards allow you to earn points when you use the cards but the points must be used in their respective stores.

To compare all the credit card deals currently available visit the credit card chart on Moneyfacts.co.uk

The information on these deals was correct on 19 March 2021