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Interest Free Credit Cards

SUPER SAVE WITH A 0% INTEREST CREDIT CARD

See interest free credit cards you're likely to get without harming your credit score

Compare 0% interest credit cards from over 20 providers

Shopping around for a good deal is always important, especially when it comes to your credit cards. That’s why we help you compare deals from over 20 different providers across the whole of the market – so you can be confident you’re getting the right deal for you.

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How do 0% credit cards work?

An interest-free credit card lets you make payments or transfer debts without paying interest, for periods of between a few months and a few years. They’re also a great way to spread out the cost of a large purchase – without being stung on the repayments.

If you’re looking to make a purchase, or reduce the costs of credit card debts, a 0% credit card may be the right option for you.

What types of interest-free credit cards are there?

There are quite a few credit cards which offer 0% interest on their services, but there are three main types of interest-free card you can expect to find:

  • 0% interest purchase cards

    These cards are simple: you use them to
    make a large purchase, which you can repay
    without interest for up to around two years

  • 0% balance transfer cards

    These are designed to let you consolidate
    existing credit card debts onto them for a
    small fee, with a 0% period of between about
    nine and 28 months

  • 0% money transfer cards

    With these, you transfer a sum of money into
    a bank account to cover an overdraft or
    another debt. There’s a fee, but no interest for
    up to 28 months 

Advantages and disadvantages of 0% interest credit cards

Here’s what to consider when taking out a 0% credit card:

  • Advantages

    • 0% interest on purchases and sometimes on balance transfers, for an introductory period
    • If you buy something pricey you’ll have some time to pay it off with no interest charges
    • Transfer debt from other high-interest credit cards 
  • Disadvantages

    • Once the 0% offer ends your credit card will revert to a much higher APR
    • Check balance transfers are included in the 0% offer - some only offer 0% on purchases
    • With 0% introductory offers for balance transfers there is likely to be a transfer fee

Am I eligible for an interest free credit card?

To be eligible for an interest free credit card you’ll need to be at least 18 years old, live at a UK address, in most cases be employed and have a credit history.

If you’ve had money troubles in the past, you may have a bad credit rating which can affect your chances of getting a good 0% credit card deal. But some lenders will offer interest free credit cards for a few months. This could help you rebuild credit and straighten out any outstanding debt if you have a bad credit history

A higher credit score means you’ll have a stronger chance of being accepted for a wider range of interest free credit cards. Why not keep track of your credit score for free with Credit Monitor? We’ll give you regular updates and personalised tips to help improve your credit score. 

Know where you stand with a pre-approved credit card

Applying for a credit card can sometimes feel daunting, because it’s not always clear what deal you’ll get, or if you’ll be accepted. But when you’re pre-approved for a credit card you can relax, because you know the deal you see is the deal you’ll get. You’ll know where you stand, with the facts at your fingertips to help you make the right choice for you.

  • Apply with confidence

    When you’re pre-approved, the interest rate, interest-free period and fee (if there is one) are all confirmed – the only thing not guaranteed is your credit limit.

  • Tailored to you

    You’ll see your unique, personalised chance of being approved for all credit cards, so you can easily compare all your options at a glance.

  • You’re in safe hands

    Knowing all this upfront puts you in the driving seat. You’re less likely to be turned down when you apply, so your credit score is protected.

How to choose the best 0% credit card

There are different 0% interest credit cards for different purposes. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right 0% credit card for you:

  • Decide the right type of card for your needs

    There are different 0% interest credit cards for different purposes. You might want to move a debt balance from an existing credit card with a high interest rate. Or you could be looking to make a big purchase and need interest free borrowing for a time to help bring down costs.

  • Consider the longest 0% period

    The longer your deal is interest free, the more money you’ll save in interest repayments on your card debt. Do bear in mind there may be transfer fees (usually 2 to 3%), and a longer 0% period may come with a bigger transfer fee. Also, if you have a poor credit history, credit card providers may offer you a shorter 0% period than initially advertised. 

  • APR after 0% period ends

    It’s important that you note what the APR will be once your 0% interest period ends. Once the interest free window finishes, the interest you pay will rise by a significant amount, most likely above regular market rates. So, make sure you finish making your repayments before the interest free period is over. 

  • Any other benefits or incentives

    Some interest free credit cards come with rewards on your spending such as cashback. This means  you may get a percentage of money back for an amount you spend on the card, for example. Some cards may come with other loyalty features like air miles and vouchers. Just remember these incentives shouldn’t encourage you to overspend and should be viewed as a bonus feature of some types of cards.

How to compare 0% interest credit cards with MoneySuperMarket

Comparing credit cards couldn’t be easier with MoneySuperMarket. Our Eligibility Checker tool will show you the cards you’re most likely to be approved for – so you can protect your credit score.

  • Tell us about yourself

    We'll ask you a handful of simple questions about you and your financial circumstances, and what you need from a credit card

  • We browse the market

    We'll  sift through dozens of credit cards offers from across the market, and show you the cards we think will suit you best

  • Pick the card you want

    You'll be shown a range of credit cards, which you'll be able to sort according to APR, features and your chances of being approved

While the card will last until its expiry date, the 0%-interest period will last for as long as you have agreed. For purchases it can be as low as three months, but for balance transfers it’s usually between about nine months and 28 months. After that, your interest rate will shoot up.

Credit card providers usually advertise ‘representative’ deals on their cards – ie what the majority of people will be offered. If your credit rating is strong, you’ll more than likely get the headline deal, but if you have slightly worse credit, you might be offered slightly worse terms.

You have to make an agreed minimum repayment on your credit card debt every month. If you miss a repayment on your credit card balance, or if you underpay, you’ll probably have to pay a penalty fee. What’s more, if you have any type of promotional offer with your card, such as an interest-free deal, this may be cancelled, and a missed payment may have a negative effect on your credit score.

 

APR stands for annual percentage rate and it represents how much it’ll cost to borrow money on a particular credit card. It’s calculated by taking into account your interest rate and any additional fees and charges.

However, you might see the term ‘representative APR’ on adverts for credit cards – this means that the interest rate quoted only has to be offered to at least 51% of successful applicants, so it may not be the actual rate you get when you apply.

 

Most providers will let you transfer balances between £100 and £10,000 to a new card – at most, around 90% of your current credit limit.

Every 0% interest credit card has a time limit on the interest-free period which is offered. While some 0% interest periods can last several years, in the end they run out.

Once the interest-free period comes to an end, the provider will start charging a sizable APR on any balance that remains on the card, potentially wiping out the savings you've previously made. That's why it's always best to pay off your balance before your interest-free window closes.

It’s best to pay off your entire credit card balance every month if you can afford to – this way you won’t pay interest and you can avoid building up debt. If you can’t afford to pay off the full balance, you must pay off at least the minimum monthly payment – ideally more.

Avoid missing credit card payments – credit card providers will often charge a penalty if you miss a payment and you also risk harming your credit score.

Setting up a direct debit could be a good way to ensure you pay off at least the minimum amount of your credit balance each month.

Each time you make an application for a credit card, it leaves a record – known as a ‘hard search’ - on your credit report. Too many applications can make lenders think you are in desperate need for credit and your application may be rejected.

Some credit cards have extra benefits that reward you when you use them a certain way. While some of them can be tempting, it’s better to get a credit card that will give you rewards for the way you spend already. For example, an airmiles credit card is only going to be useful if you’re a regular flyer, but if you’re a regular shopper at a particular high street store, there might be a credit card that gives you cashback for shopping there.

If you’re planning to use your credit card overseas, check whether or not you’ll be charged for doing so. Many credit cards charge fees for foreign transactions, so it can be a good idea to look for a card that won’t charge you for using it abroad.

Some credit cards will charge a fee if you use them to take cash out of a cash machine, and on top of that you’ll be charged interest from the moment you receive your money. Avoid using your credit card for cash withdrawals unless it’s an emergency.

Credit card fraud, like any fraud, is serious – you should always take care when using your credit card and be careful where you keep it. Never tell anyone your PIN and regularly check your statements every month – or if your credit card has an app, check that regularly - to make sure there are no surprises.

APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate and it represents how much it’ll cost to borrow money on a particular credit card. It’s calculated by taking into account:

  • Your interest rate
  • Additional fees and charges.

However, you might see the term ‘representative APR’ on adverts for credit cards – this means that the interest rate quoted only has to be offered to at least 51% of successful applicants, so it may not be the actual rate you get when you apply.

Credit card providers can change interest rates at any time, so it’s always a good idea to stay on top of your credit balance. If you have a 0% offer on your credit card, this will only be for a set number of months so you should make sure you clear your balance before it ends, or transfer your remaining balance to another 0% card.

You can apply for credit cards online, either using MoneySuperMarket or going directly to the provider, or by calling them up or through the post. You can also stop by your bank or building society branch and apply in person.

First consider what you want to use the credit card for – cards come with different features that are useful for different purposes.

If you have a large purchase coming up, you might want to spread the cost with a 0% purchase card, if you fly a lot you might want an airmiles card, and if you want to transfer a balance to avoid interest payments, a balance transfer card could be ideal.

By comparing on MoneySuperMarket, you’ll be able to see a list of credit cards, so you can browse at will and choose which one suits you best.

You’ll get a cooling off period of two weeks from when you receive your card, and you’ll have 30 days to pay off your balance. You can cancel by contacting your provider, either by post, phone, online, or in-branch.

However, if you want to cancel your credit card after the cooling off period, your account balance generally must be zero.

Your credit score is a number that represents your creditworthiness to credit lenders, based on an analysis of your credit history (your history of borrowing and paying back credit).

The higher your score, the more likely you are to be accepted for future credit applications. If your score is low, there are ways to improve it. MoneySuperMarket’s Credit Monitor lets you check your credit score for free and gives you tips on how to improve it.

A soft credit search is a way of finding out which credit cards you’re most likely to be accepted for without your credit score being affected. This is usually done via a website such as MoneySuperMarket.

A hard search on your credit report is a mark left by a lender who has assessed your credit rating after you have applied for a credit card. Too many hard searches (often through multiple applications) may make lenders think you are desperate for credit so it’s best to limit your applications for credit in a short space of time.

If you have a bad credit rating or you don’t have a credit history because you’ve never borrowed before, you might not qualify for the very best credit card deals. However, some credit cards are designed specifically for those who need to build up their credit score. Just be aware they often come with low credit limits and high interest rates.

However, if you use this type of card sensibly and always pay off your balance in full, you can improve your credit score so you’ll eventually be eligible for better credit cards.

If you miss a repayment on your credit card balance, you likely have to pay a penalty fee. What’s more, if you have any type of promotional offer with your card, such as an interest-free deal, this may be cancelled, and a missed payment may have a negative effect on your credit score.

If you get rejected for a credit card, this will leave a mark on your credit report and could lead to further rejections in the future. It’s a good idea to use MoneySuperMarket’s Eligibility Checker to see how likely you are to be accepted for a card before applying to get it, and it won’t affect your credit score.

You might be able to get more credit from your provider if you prove yourself to be a responsible borrower by repaying on time and never missing payments. Once you’ve established a good credit history, you might be successful when asking for a higher credit limit.

Unlike many loans and mortgages, you generally won’t be charged for making early repayments on your credit card – which means it’s a good way to get ahead of your balance.

You can’t get joint credit cards in the same way as bank accounts and mortgages, but you can add additional users to your own credit cards. However, you should remember that it’s still the primary cardholder’s responsibility to pay off the balance.

The Consumer Credit Act was established in 1974, and under Section 75 the credit card lender is jointly responsible with the retailer or supplier for any goods or services you purchase with your credit card.

This means if those products are faulty, or if there was any contract breach or misrepresentation on the retailer’s part, you can claim from your credit card company as well as the retailer.

However, you can’t recover money from both sides, so it’s useful for when the retailer has gone bust or they won’t respond to your communication. You should be aware the purchase value must be more than £100 and not more than £30,000 for you to be able to claim.

You can cancel your credit card by contacting your lender, by phone, email, online, post, or in person if they have a local branch.

If you’re applying for a credit card, you might be able to find a better deal if you look through offers from different providers before taking one out. With MoneySuperMarket you’ll be able to search through multiple credit cards and compare them by a range of factors, including their interest rates and any benefits and rewards they come with.

All you need to do is answer a few questions about yourself and your financial situation, and our Eligibility Checker will show your chances of being accepted for different credit cards. This won’t affect your credit score, so you can run a check without any worries.

Once you know which card you want, you can normally apply by phone, online, or in person if the provider has a high street branch. However, when you do apply, the provider will usually run a hard credit check – which will show up on your credit report – to confirm whether they’ll give you the card. If you’re accepted they’ll tell you your credit limit and interest rate, and soon you’ll be ready to start using your credit card.

 

MoneySuperMarket gives you lots of clever ways to save a lot, by doing very little.

  • Take control of your credit score by checking and improving it for free with Credit Monitor
  • Never overpay again with Energy Monitor, our energy monitoring service
  • Over 50 ways to Get Money Calm

So how do we make our money? In a nutshell, when you use us to buy a product, we get a reward from the company you’re buying from.

But you might have other questions. Do we provide access to all the companies operating in a given market? Do we have commercial relationships or ownership ties that might make us feature one company above another?

We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.