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Compare interest free purchase credit cards

Interest-free purchase credit cards can help you with interest-free spending. 

Interest-free purchase credit cards can help you with interest-free spending. 

Interest-free purchase credit cards can help you with interest-free spending. 

Interest-free purchase credit cards can help you with interest-free spending. 

Interest-free purchase credit cards can help you with interest-free spending. 

Everything you need to know about 0% purchase credit cards 

If used with care, a 0% on purchases credit card can be a useful way to buy bigger items and pay for them at a later date. Find out how this type of credit card works, and how you can avoid racking up a debt that you’ll find hard to pay back. 


Unfortunately, due to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), some providers have decided to temporarily stop offering credit cards through Compare the Market. As a result, we'll only be able to show you credit cards from providers still available, meaning you may see a reduced number of cards on our panel.
We understand that the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused financial difficulty for some of you. If you have a credit card and you’re worried about making repayments due to coronavirus, we’re here to help you understand the options available. 

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What is a 0% purchase credit card?

A 0% purchase credit card lets you buy items upfront and pay off the amount you’ve spent over a set period of time without any interest. If your debt is clear at the end of the pre-agreed 0% period, then you’ll pay no interest and the credit won’t have cost you anything. 

How do interest free credit cards work?

Interest-free credit cards let you spread the cost of an item you’ve bought across several months, interest free. You may want to pay off the entire debt before the agreed interest-free period finishes, otherwise you could be transferred to a higher interest rate. 

Interest-free credit cards are different to many other cards, as you’re not charged interest when using them during the interest-free period. But the 0% interest period only lasts for a fixed amount of time, as outlined in your credit agreement.

What are the advantages of interest free credit cards?

A card offering 0% on purchases can help you buy expensive items as you can  spread the cost over a number of months or years without paying any interest. Once any ‘interest free’ period ends – typically a year or two, but this varies and could be longer – you’ll start to be charged interest on any outstanding balance. However – and very importantly – you’ll only be able to benefit from not paying interest if you  meet your minimum payment each month and pay back the outstanding amount  before the 0% deal expires. 

Another advantage is that buying items using a 0% purchase credit card  could give you Section 75 protection for payments between £100 and £30,000. Read our  guide to credit card security  for more information. 

What are some of the disadvantages of a 0% purchase card?

As with all types of credit cards, people can (and regularly do) get into significant debt problems if they misuse them, so you have to use your 0% purchase card with care. Be really clear on your credit limit and  read about the charges you need to consider  before getting a credit card. Or you could find out more about the  pros and cons of credit cards, before comparing the types of card we offer. 

How to choose the best interest-free credit card for you

The best interest-free credit card for you will depend on your personal circumstances. Look closely at the interest-free period – it makes sense to repay the balance in full before the interest-free period ends. That’s because once it finishes, you may be switched onto a higher rate of interest.

Remember, your minimum monthly payments will vary depending on your agreement and how much you’ve spent on your card.   

Check the terms of your credit deal. You can compare credit card deals with us. After you select the card deal that most appeals to you, you’ll be sent to the card provider’s site where you can fill in their online application form. Normally, it’ll require a few simple details from you, including your full name, job and income details. Typically, the form can be completed in a matter of minutes. 

Frequently asked questions

What other 0% cards should I think about?

There are cards that offer 0% balance transfer, where you can move the debt from your current card to a new one without having to pay interest on the balance you’re transferring. However, you’re likely to have to pay a fee to move the balance, typically up to 3% of the amount borrowed. 

You could also look at  0% balance transfer and purchase cards, which will allow you to move a balance interest-free and get 0% interest on your spending. You need to check the details carefully so that you know exactly how long the offers last for, and there may be other terms and conditions. Find out more about  0% balance transfer and purchase cards.   

Don’t forget that applying for balance transfer cards to move debt (just as with any other credit card) will leave a record on your credit history, which could make it harder to take out other types of credit in the short term. 

What else should I consider when comparing 0% credit cards?

When comparing credit cards, it’s useful to take note of the APR for each card. The APR, or Annual Percentage Rate, is the way lenders describe the cost of borrowing money over a year. Understanding the APR can help you understand how much it could cost you to use the card, and it’s just one way to compare how much it will cost you to use a credit card.  

Let’s say the APR on a card is 17% and you spend £1,000 on it, the interest and charges will mean that you’re accruing £170 on top of your £1,000 debt. In the end, you’ll be paying back £1,170

How do I apply for an interest free credit card?

To apply for an interest-free credit card, usually you'll need to have a regular income, preferably £20,000 or above. Supplying bank statements and pay slips can prove this. Usually, you’ll need a good credit history and the credit card provider will study your credit record using a credit reference agency. When you apply for a card, you’ll need to confirm your identification and address. Typically, this can be done by supplying passport and driver’s licence details, and documents like utility bills, tenancy agreements or your HMRC tax notification.  

Who can get an interest free credit card?

You must be at least 18 years of age to apply for a credit card. Usually, you need to be a UK resident with a UK bank account and a steady income. Typically, you can’t apply for a card if you’ve already had an application for one rejected in the past 30 days. 

What are 0% credit cards with high limits?

0% credit cards with high limits let you spend more on your card – typically £1,200 or more.  

To be eligible for this type of card, usually you’ll need: 

  • an annual salary of £20,000 or more;   
  • very good credit history 
  • a low level of debt 

What happens if I miss a repayment?

You’re likely to be charged a late payment fee if you miss one or more of your monthly minimum repayments. And if you fail to pay back the full balance within the interest-free period, you’ll probably have to pay the money back at a high rate of interest. You should call your credit card provider immediately if you’re struggling to make repayments. 

Remember, always use your card wisely and don’t spend more than you can afford. 

Which credit interest free card is right for me?

When used sensibly, a 0% purchase credit card can be a great way to spread the cost of larger items over a number of months. At  Compare the Market, we can help you find the credit card that works for you.   

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