About interest free credit cards
A 0% interest purchase credit card won’t charge you interest on new purchases you make for a set period of time.
The top of table deals offer 0% for more than two years, which great way to spread the cost of large purchases, such as a new sofa or TV, over the course of a year.
The cards above are ordered by duration of 0% purchase offer.
What are 0% purchase credit cards?
Interest free, or 0%, purchase credit cards don’t charge interest on goods and services bought with the credit card.
However, these credit cards are only interest free for a fixed period of time, and you will still need to meet your minimum monthly repayments to keep the 0% interest offer in place.
How do 0% purchase credit cards work?
A 0% purchase card has set period where no interest charged on the balance built up on the card with new purchases. This period usually begins from the moment you receive the card.
The length of the 0% period is typically measured in months, even for the cards that charge no interest for more than two years.
What can you use a 0% purchase card for?
A 0% purchase credit card is designed to be used to make new purchases, as the interest free offer only applies to new spending on the card.
You can use it for other purposes, but often a relatively high rate of interest will apply for all other uses.
So, it’s wise to not use a 0% purchase card for:
- Balance transfers
- Money transfers
- Cash withdrawals (it’s unwise to do this with any credit card, as high rates of interest and other fees will be levied)
- “Spending” that is considered a cash withdrawal (ie buying travel money or betting tokens)
One of the best uses of a 0% purchase card is spreading the cost of large purchases - such as a car insurance policy, furniture, a car, or electrical goods.
You can use the credit card to make the purchase, then divide the balance held on the card by the number of months remaining on the 0% period, set up a direct debit paying this amount each month, and you can effectively borrow for free.
Be careful to not get carried away with the 0% interest credit and repeated spend on it, 0% purchase cards tend to revert to high rates of interest after the 0% deal comes to an end.
What’s the best 0% purchase credit card?
The longer the 0% period the longer you have to spread the repaying your balance. We rank our table by 0% offer lengths, so you could consider the card with the longest 0% interest period to be the best.
However, there’s no such thing as an absolute best 0% interest purchase card, you need to think about what would make a credit card best for your needs.
If you want fee-free overseas purchases, cashback or specific reward points, then you should carefully search out those cards rather than going for the card with the longest 0% offer.
What purchase protection do you get with a credit card?
When you use a credit card to buy something, both the card provider and supplier you’re buying from are responsible for your purchase.
This means that if the item is faulty, not as described, or isn’t delivered, you can claim your money back from either the provider or the supplier.
It’s called Section 75 and is part of the 1974 Consumer Credit Act. It applies if the cash price of a single item you pay for, or make part-payment for, is between £100 and £30,000.
Section 75 can be useful if, say, the supplier goes bust, and it applies in the UK or abroad.
0% purchase credit cards - what to look out for
Because the 0% deal usually starts on the date the card is issued, it may not coincide with your usual repayment date.
Take note of the date the 0% deal runs out to avoid incurring interest in the final month and always set up a direct debit for at least the minimum payment - if you miss a payment, you could lose the whole 0% deal.
Should I take out a purchase credit card?
You should only consider getting a purchase credit card and spending heavily on it if you know you can clear the debt before the 0% interest deal ends - the interest rate will jump up once this ends.
If you feel you won’t be able to pay off the debt within a year, you should consider getting a low APR credit card instead to prevent paying over the odds in interest.
What are 'top deals' and 'featured cards'
One way to sort our table is by ‘top deals’, whereby we highlight cards that are market leaders on uSwitch for particular features.
For example, of all the credit cards offering 0% on both balance transfers and purchases, we may highlight the one with the longest combined offering that we currently list uSwitch in that class.
We compare credit over 100 credit cards from all of the major banks and credit card providers.
However, we do not compare all the credit cards that are available in the UK.
This is because some credit card providers have offers that are only available exclusively through their own website or branch, or through other comparison websites - in the same way some credit cards are exclusively available through uSwitch.
There are also many credit cards that are only available to people in member organisations and clubs.
We sometimes receive payment from card providers to display their cards in prominent locations.
These are adverts and are designed to be distinct and separate from the other cards on our comparison tables. We hope this makes it clear which cards are top-of-table deals and which cards are paid for promotions.