You can avoid paying interest on your purchases for up to 30 months with cards from MBNA and others, many of which also work for balance transfers.
If you want to pay for a big purchase and spread the cost over a period of time, a 0% purchase credit card can be a good option – providing you keep on top of your repayments. These cards give you an interest-free period to pay off your debt.
Unfortunately, the length of interest-free terms continues to dip: just one provider now offers a 30-month card.
That's MBNA, whose All Round 30/30 Credit Card offers 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 30 months (although balance transfers incur a 2.72% initial fee).
Bear in mind that it is possible to get dedicated balance transfer cards with longer interest-free periods on balances, with lower or even no fees.
If you're not eligible for MBNA's card, there are five cards with 28-month terms: here are the best.
Longest 0% purchase credit cards
Here are the longest 0% periods on offer today for purchases.
The pros of a 0% purchase card
The beauty of a 0% purchases credit card is, so long as you pay it off within the interest-free period, every penny goes to paying off your debt.
So, if you know you've got a big purchase ahead of you, going for a 0% credit card is a sensible course of action.
The downsides of a 0% purchase card
There are some hurdles to consider though. What if you don’t manage to clear your balance before the 0% period finishes and you still have thousands of pounds sat on the card?
You have a couple of options. The first is to do nothing – leave your debt where it is, continue making your monthly payments, and your debt will eventually disappear. That said, you will end up spending a decent chunk of cash on interest.
Or you can move the remaining debt to a balance transfer card, which will also offer a period of 0% interest on your debt.
For more on balance transfer cards, check out: The best balance transfer credit cards.
And then there’s the fact that in order to get your hands on a 0% card you’ll need to have a good credit record. Credit card providers don’t make a habit of handing out these cards to any old borrower – ironically the borrowers who would most benefit from a bit of breathing space in paying off their debts are the ones who find it most difficult to get their hands on 0% cards.
Alternatively, you may find that your credit rating is good enough to get a 0% on purchases card, but not good enough to get the very best 0% balance transfer cards.
Improve your chances of getting a 0% card
Therefore, the best way to get a 0% card is to ensure your credit rating is as spotless as possible.
There are a number of simple things you can do that help all of which are detailed in How to build an excellent credit history. And remember that you can check out your credit record with our credit report centre.
This article is regularly updated with the latest best buys
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