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Purchase credit cards

Are you considering a large purchase? Do you use your credit card regularly for buying goods and services? If so, you could avoid interest on your credit card purchases by comparing the best 0% deals at MoneySuperMarket.

A purchase credit card could provide a useful solution - allowing you to buy now and pay later - if you are planning a significant purchase, such as a dream holiday or an upgrade on the family car.

What is a 0% purchase credit card?

A 0% purchase credit card allows you to buy expensive items upfront, while paying off the amount you’ve spent over a set and stated period without any interest. With some credit cards offering 0% on purchases for up to two years or even longer, you can essentially borrow money for free as long as you clear the balance before the interest-free period ends. 

This means, although you have to pay back whatever you have spent while using the credit card, you won’t pay any extra in the form of interest charges.

Used properly, a purchase credit card is the cheapest way to borrow, allowing you to spread the cost of big ticket items over long periods, at no extra cost. The key lies in paying back what you owe before interest charges become applicable.

What are the advantages of a 0% purchase card?

Manageable monthly payments: A purchase credit card allows you to pay off expensive items over time, which can be a great option if you can’t afford the cost upfront or find it more viable to pay off your purchases over a longer period. 

Protection on your purchases: Unlike cash or debit card purchases, when you pay using your credit card you have a level of protection should your purchases (costing at least £100) be faulty or not arrive on time. Under consumer protection rules, you are able to claim back up to £30,000 (£60,260 in some cases) if your purchases aren’t as advertised or don’t arrive. For example, if the airline you booked your flights with went bust, you’d be able to get your money back – even if you put just the deposit on the card.

Are there any disadvantages with a 0% purchase card?


Pay on time or pay interest on your balance:
 If you don’t clear your balance in full by the end of each month, or, if you have a 0% purchase card, by the time the interest-free period ends, you’ll be charged interest. The typical annual percentage rate (APR) on purchase credit cards is around 18%, so it can be a very expensive way to borrow if you let a balance languish on a card.

You’ll need a good credit score for the most competitive cards:  The most attractive purchase credit cards, such as those offering the longest interest-free periods, are reserved for people with the best credit scores. Those with low credit scores or limited credit histories will struggle to be approved from some cards.

MoneySuperMarket’s Smart Search tool will give you an indication of whether you are likely to be accepted when applying for a credit card. It won’t leave a mark on your credit history and ranks the cards you are most likely to be accepted for. Smart Search won’t provide you with a guarantee that you’ll be accepted when you apply. 

READ: What is my credit score?

Are there any alternatives?

Yes – if you’re planning a bit of a spending spree but you have the cash to afford it, you might as well use a cashback credit card and earn some money back for your purchases, before paying off the balance in full by the end of the month.

If you’re unlikely to be able to pay off anything but the minimum balance each month, however, you might be better off with a personal loan.

Personal loan rates are generally lower than typical credit card rates, and fixed payments over a set term can make it easier to manage your borrowing.

You can compare purchase credit cards for free here at MoneySuperMarket, along with cashback credit cards, personal loans and more.

We're free and independent, as well as offering exclusive deals you can't get anywhere else.

Moneysupermarket is a credit broker – this means we’ll show you products offered by lenders. We never take a fee from customers for this broking service. Instead we are usually paid a fee by the lenders – though the size of that payment doesn’t affect how we show products to customers.