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Purchase credit cards

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

Purchase credit cards

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

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. 

How do purchase credit cards work?

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.

It’s best to pay off everything you owe during this 0% interest period, as once this is finished you’ll usually be put on to your lender’s standard variable rate – which is often quite high.

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 your card – but you will be charged a rate of interest stated in the terms and conditions.

purchase credit cards

What are the pros and cons of a purchase credit card?

Before you apply for a 0% interest purchase credit card, consider the following:

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    • Being able to spread the cost of expensive items over a longer time period
    • Not paying any interest as long as you clear the debt in full during the 0% period
    • Protected payments between £100 and £30,000 thanks to Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act
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    • The introductory period will eventually end, so be sure to clear your debt before this to avoid paying interest
    • You could lose your fixed interest rate if you miss too many repayments
    • You won’t get 0% interest on cash withdrawals and you may not get it for spending abroad 

How do I compare purchase credit cards?

When you’re searching for a purchase credit card, you should consider the following:

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Your interest rate

How long you'll be paying no interest, and what rate you'll pay when this finishes

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Managing your account:

How you can manage your balance and payments - for example, via an app or high-street branch

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Fees you might pay

Whether there are any fees or charges for late payments or exceeding your credit limit

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Rewards and incentives

Whether the card offers any rewards, such as loyalty scheme points or cashback 

What other credit cards come with 0% interest?

Some providers also offer balance transfer credit cards with interest-free periods. These lets you shift credit card debt from your existing card to a new one without paying interest. This period could last for up to three years – after which, if you still had debt remaining, you would swap to another new balance transfer card.

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See the cards you're most likely to get

Our clever Eligibility Checker shows you the credit cards you're most likely to be accepted for, so you can protect your credit rating by only applying for the cards that are right for you.

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Accurate results

We use a range of factors to rate how likely you are to be approved for each card out of 10. 

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Apply with confidence

You’ll be shown you your eligibility before you apply, so you can be confident you won’t be turned down.

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You’ll see which cards you’re guaranteed to get so you won’t have any nasty surprises down the line.

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.

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.