0% Purchase Credit Cards

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0% purchase credit cards are a type of credit card offered by banks that feature a 0% interest rate on purchases for an introductory period. Typically, this period lasts between three to 15 months, after which the interest rate on purchases reverts to the credit card’s standard rate. This type of credit card is perfect for people who plan to make large purchases and are certain that they can repay the balance within the introductory period. You should be careful, since any outstanding balance at the end of the offer could attract significant amounts of interest, but if you can repay within the promotional period these credit cards are a great way to finance purchases.

Credit Card Offer Balance Transfer purchase Intro standard purchase
rate duration fee rate duration (variable)

Halifax All in One Credit Card

0% balance transfers & purchases for 12 months.

Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 17.95% p.a.(variable) so if you spend £1,200 your representative APR will be 17.9% p.a. variable% variable.

0% 15 months 0.8% 0% 15 months 17.95%

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Virgin Money Credit Card

0% balance transfer offer for 18 months.

Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 16.8% p.a.(variable) so if you spend £1,200 your representative APR will be 16.8% p.a. variable% variable.

0% 18 months 2.89% 0% 3 months 16.8%

 

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NatWest YourPoints World Credit Card

0% on purchases & balance transfers for 15 months.

Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 16.95% p.a.(variable) so if you spend £1,200 your representative APR will be 16.9% p.a. variable% variable.

0% 15 months 2.9% 0% 15 months 16.95%

 

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RBS YourPoints World Credit Card

Earn YourPoints rewards. Excellent insurance protection included.

Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 16.95% p.a.(variable) so if you spend £1,200 your representative APR will be 16.9% p.a. variable% variable.

2.9% 15 months 1.5% 0% 15 months 16.95%

 

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Tips for Using 0% Purchase Credit Cards

Carefully budget: It is crucial to carefully budget when choosing and using a 0% purchase credit card. You should be clear about what purchases you plan to make, how much you intend to spend and how much you can afford to repay each month. Having planned your budget you can select a credit card with a credit limit that allows you to make the purchases you want and an interest-free period that gives you enough time to repay the balance. Whether you plan to make a one-off large purchase or regular ongoing purchases, it is best to be disciplined and aim to repay before the introductory offer expires – if not you could end up paying high levels of interest on the outstanding balance.

Avoid other transactions: You should be aware of exactly what types of transaction are covered by the 0% purchase rate. Some transactions, particularly cash transactions such as ATM withdrawals, buying foreign currency and gambling payments, attract a high rate of interest, which, if you make them, quickly negate the savings you make on the 0% purchase rate. This is another area in which you should be disciplined in your card use – make sure the purchases that you want to make are covered by the 0% interest rate, stay within your budget and avoid making any other transactions.

Look for purchase protection: When selecting a 0% purchase credit card, take a look at any insurance policies included in the deal. Many credit cards include purchase protection to insure against loss, theft and accidental damage, and extended warranties, which protect items when the manufacturer’s warranty has expired. These insurance policies can be very useful, particularly if you plan to make purchases of high-value items.

Study the credit card’s other features: It is important to familiarise yourself with all the features when comparing, selecting and using a 0% purchase credit card. Although you should aim to repay the balance within the interest-free period, you should know what rate is applied at the end of the promotional period. You may want to consider the card’s other features such as rewards schemes, extra perks and benefits, and the option of a balance transfer. An essential feature to take into account is the annual fee. Ensure this fee is not so high that it negates the savings made during with the zero-interest offer.

Common Features of 0% Purchase Credit Cards

These are some of the features you should take into consideration when comparing and selecting an offer:

Introductory 0% purchase rate term: Make sure you know how long the 0% rate offer lasts and that it suits your planned purchases and projected budget.

Standard purchase rate: Although you should aim to clear the balance within the interest-free period, make sure you know what rate is applied when the promotion expires.

Annual fee: Check out the annual fees, and any other applicable charges, to ensure they do not outweigh the savings you make on the 0% interest rate for purchases.

Balance transfer deal: If you have a balance on an existing credit card, you may be able to make a balance transfer to a 0% purchase rate credit card and repay at a lower interest rate. If you do plan to make use of both a 0% purchase rate and a balance transfer, make sure the terms suit your budget and aim to repay within the promotional period.

Rewards programs: Some 0% purchase cards are linked to rewards programs, allowing you to earn and redeem points as you spend on your card. Credit cards with rewards schemes tend to feature higher annual fees, so if you do choose one of these credit cards it is important that the loyalty scheme suits you spending and financial aims. If you plan to make a one-off purchase and repay within the promotional period, you are unlikely to earn many points and enjoy the benefits of the rewards program, so may be better off with a no-frills card with lower fees.

Insurance policies: Credit cards with 0% on purchases often feature insurance policies to protect the purchases you make. When selecting a card ensure that it offers the right kind of protection and you know exactly what is covered if anything goes wrong.

Examples of Using a 0% Purchase Credit Card

Large one-off purchases: If you need to make a one-off purchase, an appliance such as a new oven for example, a credit card with no interest on purchases can be a very useful way of making an interest-free loan to cover the coast. If the oven costs £1,000 and the interest-free period lasts 10 months, you know you have to budget to pay £100 per month in order to repay the balance and avoid paying any interest.

To help with everyday expenses: These cards can also be useful to help cover the costs of everyday purchases such as groceries at the supermarket and petrol at the filling station. As long as you repay the balance each month and only make transactions that are applicable to the 0% purchase rate, you can enjoy all the convenience of owning and using a credit card while paying no interest. Used wisely, a 0% purchase card can be a great tool for making the purchases you want with minimal extra cost.

Glossary

Cash advances: The 0% purchase rate deal will only apply to specific purchases; other transactions often attract a significantly higher interest rate. Cash advances, such as ATM withdrawals, are usually charged at a particularly high rate of interest, so you should avoid such transactions as much as possible.

Introductory 0% purchase rate: This type of card features a special 0% purchase rate for an introductory period. This means you can make purchases and pay no interest during the promotional period, which typically lasts three to 15 months.

Minimum payment due: Your monthly credit card statement features a minimum payment due – this is the least you can repay to keep your credit card in good order and the 0% offer active. You should, however, aim to pay more and calculate how much you need to repay each month in order to clear the balance before the introductory offer expires.

Standard purchase interest rate: When the introductory 0% offer on purchases ends, a standard purchase rate is applied to the balance on the credit card account. This rate varies between individual cards but is often relatively high, especially in comparison to the introductory offer.