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Purchase credit cards

Find a 0% interest purchase card that's right for you

  • Compare over 20 providers
  • Protect your credit score
  • It's fast, free and easy to use

Compare credit cards from over 20 providers

Shopping around is always important, especially when it comes to credit cards. We help you compare deals from leading providers across the market so you can be confident to pick the best deal for your needs.

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What is a purchase credit card?

A purchase credit card is designed for shopping – it lets you make purchases and spread the cost over a period of time. Some cards offer interest-free periods for new purchases for a fixed time, such as three months, six months or even one year.

Transactions that don’t count as a purchase include cash withdrawals, balances transferred from an online store account or transactions made abroad. You can still do these things with a purchase credit card – but you will be charged a rate of interest stated in the terms and conditions.

 

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How do 0% purchase credit cards work?

Purchase credit cards work like other credit cards but don't charge interest for an agreed period, making it a cheap way to borrow money for a large purchase without accruing interest. But as with every line of credit there are a few things you should watch out for. Here’s how they work:

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Make that big purchase

When you open a new 0% purchase credit card you’ll usually have a few months to buy something interest free. After that, you’ll be charged interest on what you buy 

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Zero interest for a fixed period

Once you’ve made your purchase the card provider won’t apply interest for a fixed period of time. This could last for a few months up to almost two years

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Pay it off in good time

You should do your best to pay off your balance within the 0% interest period – if you leave it too late your interest rate will shoot up and you could end up worse off

The longest 0% purchase credit cards

The interest-free period on market-leading 0% purchase cards tends to be at least a year and a half – and often quite a bit longer. But these are ‘representative’ deals, meaning they only have to be offered to at least 51% of applicants. The actual interest-free period you’ll get depends on your credit score.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 purchase credit card

With so many different 0% purchase credit cards on the market it can be difficult to find the one that suits you best. Think about the following factors when you’re on the hunt for a new purchase card:

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    The interest-free period

    The length of your 0% interest period is key. The more time you have to pay off your balance, the larger the purchase you can make

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    What the APR rises to

    Once the interest-free period comes to an end the APR (annual interest rate) on a purchase credit card can become quite high, so be sure you can afford it

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    Are you eligible?

    As with all credit cards, the terms you get will depend on your credit score. The better your credit history, the more you can borrow

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    Fees and penalties

    Some credit cards charge for late repayments or exceeding your credit limit and others have usage fees. Check this before you agree

Can I get a 0% purchase credit card with bad credit?

Your credit score is the single most important factor when it comes to getting a better deal on any credit card. It means if you’ve had problems with debt in the past, such as missed repayments, you may find it harder to get a 0% purchase credit card with ideal terms.

If you have a fair credit score you may find that you’re eligible for purchase credit cards with lower limits or shorter interest-free windows. However, you may not be eligible for any 0% interest card if your score is too low.

Luckily you can build up your credit score with a credit card for bad credit. These cards are designed to help people with patchy credit histories who want to improve their credit score. 

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How to compare credit cards with MoneySupermarket

If you feel that a 0% purchase credit card could be right for you, the next step is to use the MoneySuperMarket Eligibility Checker to see what cards are available – and which are most likely to approve you

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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

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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

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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

APR stands for annual percentage rate, and it represents the total cost of the loan – including the interest you’ll pay as well as any additional fees and charges.

0% interest purchase credit cards are only available to people over 18 years old, with a UK bank account, permanent UK address and a regular income. 

If you miss a repayment on your 0% interest purchase credit card, you’ll likely lose your 0% interest rate – which means you’ll be put on your lender’s standard variable instead, which is usually much higher. You may also have to pay a fee or charge, depending on your lender.

If you want to increase your credit limit you can contact your lender and ask them to raise it, but you should only do this once you’ve used your card for a while and demonstrated that you can borrow and repay money sensibly.

Your lender may offer a credit limit increase if you’ve been with them for a long period of time, but you don’t always have to accept – you can ask them for a smaller increase, or reject it altogether.

Once you apply for a credit card, acceptance is usually automatic and quite quick, though you may be flagged for an enhanced approval, which can take a few extra days.

Once you’re accepted and agree on the contract it usually takes up to seven working days for your new credit card to arrive.

Every credit card comes with a minimum payment that you have to make on the balance each month. What that minimum is depends on the card issuer. Some lenders will insist on a small percentage of the total fee, while others will have a flat fee.

Can't find what you're looking for? Try looking at our news, views and in-depth credit cards guides

Credit card guides - Credit card news - See all guides

Credit card companies

American Express - Aqua - Asda - Bank of Scotland - Barclaycard - Capital One - Fluid - Halifax - HSBC - John Lewis - Lloyds Bank - M&S - MasterCard - MBNA - Nationwide - Ocean Finance - Post Office - Sainsbury's - Santander - Tandem - Tesco - TSB - Vanquis - Virgin - Visa - 118 118 Money

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.