What is a purchase credit card?

Find out everything you need to know about purchase credit cards.

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A 0% interest purchase credit card lets you spend without accruing any interest for a set period of time. It can be a useful way to buy something expensive upfront, while using the promotional period to repay the balance in manageable monthly repayments.

What are the advantages of a purchase credit card?

Purchase credit cards are a bit like borrowing money for free, as long as you make sure that you keep up your monthly repayments, and pay off the whole balance before the end of the 0% interest-free period. Here are a few of the main benefits associated with a purchase credit card:

  • Added rewards on offer: Some lenders offer rewards like  loyalty points, cashback and promotional vouchers as part of their deal.
  • Staggered repayments: If you opt for a purchase card with a long 0% interest period, you can gradually pay off the cost of your purchase in an affordable and cost effective way.
  • Protection on your purchases: Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, credit card providers must provide protection for purchases between the cost to £100 and £30,000. You can read more about credit card protection here.

What to watch out for

Before applying for a purchase card, it’s important to check your credit score. Lenders use this to decide whether to accept your application or not. You can get your credit score for free with Credit Monitor.

If you’re after the most competitive purchase card on the market, but your credit score isn’t high, Credit Monitor provides personalised tips and actions that could help you improve your score. If your score starts to climb, so will the range of credit card you’re likely to get.

We’ll also keep an eye on your credit file and let you know about any activity that could be suspicious, so you can act on it quickly to help protect your score.

See credit cards you are guaranteed to get

Once you’ve chosen the purchase card for you, it’s worth bearing in mind the following:

  • Length of your 0% interest period: Make sure your interest-free period gives you enough time to repay what you owe. When your promotional period is over, the interest accrued on your balance could make your repayments significantly more expensive.
  • Making your payments on time: Make sure you keep on top of your repayments otherwise your lender might withdraw your 0% deal and you could be charged expensive late fees.

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