The best 0% purchase credit cards

You can avoid paying interest on your purchases for up to 30 months with new cards from Virgin Money 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.

The length of interest-free terms has dipped recently, but there are five providers currently offering 30-month cards.

The newest entry is Virgin Money's 30 Month All Round Credit Card.

Not only does the card offer 30 months of interest-free spending, all customers who get approved will actually get the full 30 months. 

You'll need to have a spotless credit history, however.

Virgin Money's card also offers 30 months interest-free on balance transfers, albeit with a 2.9% 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.

The card also includes cashback offers with retailers and discounts across the Virgin group. 

Longest 0% purchase credit cards

Here are the longest 0% periods on offer today for purchases.

Credit card

0% period

Representative APR

Virgin Money 30 Month All Round Credit Card

30 months 18.9%

Halifax Purchase Credit Card

30 months

18.9%

MBNA All Round Credit Card

30 months 19.9%

nuba All Round Credit Card MasterCard

30 months 19.9%

Santander All in One Credit Card

30 months 21.7%

Lloyds Bank Platinum 29-Month Purchase and Balance Transfer Credit Card

29 months 18.9%

Bank of Scotland 29-Month Purchase and Balance Transfer Credit Card

29 months 18.9%

Halifax 29-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

29 months 18.9%

Tesco Purchases Credit Card

28 months

18.9%

Sainsbury’s Bank Purchase Credit Card

28 months 18.9%

Sainsbury's Bank Dual Offer Credit Card

27 months 18.9%

Compare 0% purchase credit cards

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.

Compare 0% purchase credit cards

This article is regularly updated with the latest best buys

More on credit cards:

The best reward credit cards

The best cashback credit cards

 

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