Spread the cost of Bank Holiday DIY

Published:
08 March 2012
Topic:
News,Money,Credit Cards

The Easter holidays are approaching and for some the long weekend is also a long overdue chance to put up those bookshelves, repaint the bedroom or spruce up the garden. And if you are planning on doing some DIY over the holidays, now is the time to start thinking about how you're going to pay for it.

There's been a steady decline in do-it-yourself spending since its peak of £14.66billion in 2004, but UK residents still spend around £9.5billion per year on DIY, which equates to an average of £352 per household.

If you're looking to brighten up your home this Easter then there's a good chance you may have to use a credit card to cover the cost, so here we take a look at some of the best credit cards that offer 0% interest on purchases.

And we'll also take a look at how you can actually make money by spending on cashback and reward cards - but remember that, to do this, you'll have to clear your outstanding balance at the end of each month.

0% purchase credit cards

Credit cards with 0% interest on new purchases are a great way to spread the cost of a big purchase over a long period of time. Furthermore, not only will you be able to spread the cost but, if you pay the balance off in full before the end of the introductory period, you won't have to pay a penny in interest.

The Marks & Spencer credit card offers 0% interest on new purchases for 15 months after which it jumps to a reasonable representative APR of 15.9% (variable). The card also offers a further incentive of one point for every £1 spent in M&S and one point for every £2 spent elsewhere. Once you accrue 100 points you'll get a £1 voucher to spend in any M&S store.

Tesco is offering shoppers a similar incentive via its Tesco Clubcard credit card. This also gives 15 months of interest-free spending and earns Clubcard points every time you spend on it.

After the introductory period the representative APR jumps to 16.9% (variable).

The Halifax All in One card also offers 15 months at 0% interest on new purchases and then rises to 17.9% representative APR (variable) thereafter. However, this card has no loyalty points scheme.

Balance transfer credit cards

If you have another credit card with an outstanding balance, it may be worthwhile paying for your DIY fix on that and then transferring the balance onto a card that offers 0% on balance transfers.

The longest balance transfer periods currently available are on the Barclaycard Platinum Credit Card with Extended Balance Transfer and the Halifax Balance Transfer Credit Card. Both of these cards offer 0% on balance transfers for 22 months, after which time the representative APR jumps to 17.9% (variable).

If you pay off the balance within the transfer period, you'll avoid paying interest.

Cashback credit cards

If you are savvy enough with your spending it is actually possible to make money from the credit card companies.

In addition to reward points, a number of lenders are now offering cold, hard cash back when you spend on their card. And, provided you pay back the balance in full (and it is vital that you do so), you could actually earn as you spend.

The Santander 123 credit card is one of the market leading cashback credit cards as it offers up to 3% cashback on fuel spending, 2% cashback on department store spending and 1% cashback on supermarket spending.

Any cashback you earn is capped at £300 per month, but if you use it to buy the petrol to drive to and from the hardware store and then use it to buy everything you need for your weekend of DIY you could still be quids in.

The major downside to this card is that it comes with an annual fee of £24 and an APR of 18.9% on purchases. However, when you factor in the £24 fee and spread it over the course of a year, the representative APR on a £1,200 spend would be a whopping 22.8% (variable).

The American Express Platinum Cashback credit card may be another good option as this offers the highest ongoing and uncapped cashback rate. This card allows you to earn 5% cash-back on the first £2,000 spent within the first three months of having the card.

However, this does come with a £25 annual fee and although the standard APR is just 14%, if you spend £1,200 and factor in the yearly charge, the representative APR will be 19.9% (variable).

It is important to remember that, to make any money from a cashback credit card, you must ensure that you pay off the balance in full at the end of each month as the interest you will pay is way above any money you could make back.

Credit cards offer added customer protection

Another good reason to pay with your plastic is that it actually affords you an added level of protection for items that are faulty, arrive damaged or do not arrive at all.

This is because Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act holds the card issuer jointly liable with the merchant and so if you are unhappy, you can make a claim against your credit card company for items valued between £100 and £30,000.

For items that cost more than £30,000 but no more than £60,260, you will be covered for the same eventualities by the Consumer Credit Directive.

Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.  We're free, independent and compare all UK credit cards, as well as offering exclusive deals you can't get anywhere else. Contact MoneySupermarket.com at Moneysupermarket House, St David's Park, Ewloe, Flintshire, CH5 3UZ. © Moneysupermarket.com Ltd 2011.

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Les Roberts

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