0% Purchase Cards can help reduce the impact of big purchases on your day-to-day finances. Get the best deal now by comparing cards offering 0% purchases featured below.
Credit cards have always been useful for purchasing 'big ticket' items, because they’re widely accepted and offer increased purchase protection, when spending over £100.
However, although useful, the high-interest rates traditionally charged on credit card debt meant they were unattractive for longer-term borrowing (anything over one month). This changed with the development of 0% purchase cards.
0% purchase cards enable people to avoid interest charges on new debt for a fixed period. So, used well, credit cards can now be one of the cheapest ways to borrow.
In a nutshell, the 0% purchase credit card with the longest introductory purchase period is the best.
Unlike balance transfer cards, which offer different combinations of 0% durations and transfer fees (meaning users need to select the optimum combination to ensure they get the best deal), comparing 0% purchase cards is very straightforward.
Of course, there are other fees and charges to consider, but if you use your card wisely, these can be easily avoided.
0% purchase credit cards are available from a number of UK card issuers, and for a range of different credit scores.
Naturally, the 0% purchase cards available to those with bad credit scores offer shorter introductory purchase periods than those for people with a good/excellent credit history, but they are available nonetheless.
Of course, availability does not mean acceptance. Each card issuer will assess each application on its merit when deciding whether to offer you credit, using their particular eligibility criteria.
The exact eligibility requirements for each credit card are unique, but many card issuers provide guidance to help prevent unsuccessful applications, and some requirements are common to all.
Common eligibility requirements include your credit status…
...your financial circumstances
...and your personal circumstances.
Getting your name on the electoral roll (regardless of whether or not you vote) will help you install confidence in your residential permanency
As with most credit cards, applying for a 0% purchase card is a relatively painless process. Online application forms can be completed within a matter of minutes (assuming you have the necessary details to hand) and once the application form has been submitted, most card issuers will return a decision within 60 seconds.
To do this, card issuers use algorithms to automate decision making, using application form data and credit reference agency information. Automation ensures the majority of customers are instantly informed whether or not their application has been accepted. However, manual intervention is still necessary for some applicants. When this occurs, the applicant is informed that they have been referred for further processing.
Although some purchase cards also offer additional benefits (like loyalty scheme points on shopping) the main benefit of 0% purchase cards is the interest-free shopping they offer. So, how do you ensure you do not lose your 0% period, run up unsustainable debt, or forfeit the purchase protection your card should offer you?
Yes, in most instances you can use Direct Debits. You’ll need to decide how much to repay – the full balance, the minimum repayment, or a fixed amount. To ensure you repay in full, a fixed amount (that is higher than the minimum repayment) is usually the best method to ensure your card debt is cleared before your introductory period expires.
Assuming your credit score is reasonable, you may be able to transfer your balance to a balance transfer credit card. These cards offer 0% on balances transferred from existing cards. You’re unlikely to be able to transfer to your existing card provider, but a number of credit card issuers offer these products, so you should find something suitable to your needs. If you need to do this, apply in good time, so you can make your transfer before any interest charges apply.
Many UK credit card issuers adjust the specific deal they offer to applicants using ‘Risk Based Pricing’. This means that people considered to be of higher risk of default are offered different/less competitive rates. Risk based pricing is completely legal (issuers only need to offer the advertised rates to 51% of applicants) and means they are able to promote their most favourable terms. It also enables them to offer credit to people they might otherwise decline.
Balance transfer and purchase cards combine the main benefit of balance transfer cards with the main benefit of 0% purchase cards. Customers with existing debt are able to continue to pay down their existing balance, whilst retaining the flexibility to make new purchases at a preferential rate.
Although customers of 0% transfer and purchase cards often forfeit a number of months at 0%, when compared to the leading 0% balance transfer deals, these cards offer a degree of flexibility that neither product can offer in isolation.
Yes, but you shouldn’t. Cash transactions on 0% purchase cards incur high fees and interest immediately. If you need to make a purchase that requires cash (eg. private car sale), you should look at alternative products, perhaps a traditional loan or a money transfer credit card.
Money transfer cards enable you to transfer part of your card balance directly into your bank account for a fee. This money can then be withdrawn to use as you decide.
Yes. Your options will be more limited than people with good/excellent credit and you’re unlikely to get a long 0% purchase duration, but there are products available that are designed for your situation. Of course, if you have bad credit, it is even more important that you follow our guidance for getting the most from your purchase card, as a misused card could make your situation even worse.
It’s not a trick, so don’t worry. However, it does amplify why you need to clear your balance before your promotional rate ends. Assuming you meet the requirements of your credit agreement, you’ll get the 0% rate you have been offered. However, if you final to meet your commitments, or your deal expires, you’ll revert to the standard purchase rate for your balance – which means you will be charged a high interest rate.