Best 0% Purchase Credit Cards

7 best interest-free purchase cards.

Updated: May 21, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

|
Rebecca Goodman

Edited By

Rebecca Goodman

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Have your eye on an expensive item? Maybe you need a new fridge, or your washing machine has broken, if so a purchase credit card could help.

Even better, a zero-interest purchase credit card allows you to pay for that big-ticket item on your credit card without paying any interest, within the time limits given.

In this article, we'll introduce you to what we think are seven of the best interest-free purchase cards, and we'll also explain how they work, why you might need one, and what's included with one.

Card NameScoreDetails
1. HSBC Purchase Plus Credit Card★★★★★Click Here
2. Royal Bank of Scotland Purchase & Balance Transfer Card★★★★★Click Here
3. NatWest Purchase & Balance Transfer Card★★★★★Click Here
4. Barclaycard Platinum Credit Card★★★★★Click Here
5. Sainsbury's Bank Dual 20-Month Credit Card★★★★Click Here
6. M&S Bank Shopping Plus Offer★★★★Click Here
7. Tesco Bank Purchases Credit Card★★★★Click Here

Benefits and drawbacks of interest-free purchase credit cards

Like most credit cards, there are benefits and drawbacks which you need to know about before making any commitments.

Benefits

✔️ Spread the cost of purchases: a purchase credit card allows you to make a big purchase and spread the cost making it more affordable and giving you longer to pay it off

✔️ Interest-free: most credit card providers offer an interest-free introductory period varying from three to 24 months

✔️ Balance transfers: some purchase credit cards allow you to make balance transfers; these are ideal for paying off other credit card balances with a higher annual percentage rate (APR)

✔️ Increase credit record: if you regularly use your credit card and pay back the balance on time, you'll change your credit score positively

Drawbacks

❌️ Interest-free period ends: once the introductory period ends, you'll have to pay interest on the outstanding balance

❌️ Balance transfer fee: not all purchase credit cards allow you to make balance transfers, and some may charge you a fee

❌️ Late payment fee: your interest-fee period may be terminated if you don't make the minimum monthly repayment and may face a late payment fee

Seven of the best Interest-free purchase credit cards

Here's our pick of seven of the best 0% interest purchase credit cards, which are all UK-specific and protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

1. HSBC purchase plus credit card

HSBC Purchase Plus Credit Card

HSBC Purchase Plus Credit Card
Credit Limit
Minimum £500
Representative % APR (variable)
24.9% APR
  • 0% interest on purchases for up to 20 months.
  • Up to 17 months of interest-free balance transfers (2.99% fee, minimum £5).
  • No annual fee.

Representative Example – If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 24.9% p.a. (variable) your representative APR will be 24.9% APR (variable). Your APR and credit limit may vary depending on your circumstances.

With the HSBC purchase plus credit card, you can make interest-free purchases for 20 months, and HSBC rewards you for using their card with exclusive discounts and offers.

If you're looking for a card that allows you to make balance transfers, this card enables you to make interest-free balance transfers for up to 17 months, although a 2.99% fee will incur for every transfer.

On top of interest-free purchases and balance transfers, you can use your credit card abroad in all countries and regions supported by the Visa and Mastercard networks.

Purchases between £100 and £30,000 are also protected under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. To be eligible for this card, you must be over 18, a UK resident, and have an annual minimum income or pension before tax of £6,800.

Also, your application will be rejected if you already hold an HSBC basic bank account. Credit is subject to status, affordability, and terms and conditions.

2. Royal Bank of Scotland purchase & balance transfer card

Royal Bank of Scotland Purchase & Balance Transfer Card

Royal Bank of Scotland Purchase & Balance Transfer Card
Credit Limit
Minimum £250
Representative % APR (variable)
24.9% APR
  • 0% interest for 23 months on purchases.
  • Use worldwide at Mastercard® locations, in-store and online.
  • 2.99% balance transfer fee applies. No annual fee.

Representative Example – If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 24.9% p.a. (variable) your representative APR will be 24.9% APR (variable). Your APR and credit limit may vary depending on your circumstances.

Are you looking for a card with a long 0% interest period? The RBS purchase & balance transfer card has the longest interest-free time of our top picks, allowing you to make interest-free purchases for up to 23 months.

Additionally, if you wish to make a balance transfer, you can take advantage of 23 interest-free months with a 2.99% balance transfer fee.

Credit limits and APR may vary depending on your credit history.

3. NatWest purchase & balance transfer card

NatWest Purchase and Balance Transfer Card

NatWest Purchase and Balance Transfer Card
Credit Limit
Minimum £250
Representative % APR (variable)
24.9% APR
  • 0% interest for 23 months on purchases.
  • 0% interest for 23 months on balance transfers.
  • Available to UK residents, aged 18+ and earning at least £10K per year.

Representative Example – If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 24.9% p.a. (variable) your representative APR will be 24.9% APR (variable). Your APR and credit limit may vary depending on your circumstances.

If accepted for the NatWest purchase & balance credit card, you'll be entitled to 23 months of interest-free purchases and balance transfers. This card allows you to transfer 95% of the balance and has a 2.99% balance transfer fee.

Unlike other interest-free credit cards, NatWest won't remove the 0% off if you miss a monthly repayment. However, there will be a late payment fee.

To be eligible for this account, you must be a UK resident over 18 with an annual income of over £10,000.

4. Barclaycard Platinum credit card

Barclaycard Platinum Credit Card

Barclaycard Platinum Credit Card
Credit Limit
Minimum £50
Representative % APR (variable)
24.9% APR
  • 0% interest on purchases for up to 21 months from the date you open your account.
  • 0% interest for up to 20 months on balance transfers from the date you open your account. Transfers must be made within 60 days to benefit from the 0% offer.
  • 3.45% balance transfer fee (terms apply).

Representative Example – If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 24.9% p.a. (variable) your representative APR will be 24.9% APR (variable). Your APR and credit limit may vary depending on your circumstances.

The Barclaycard Platinum card allows you to make interest-free purchases for up to 21 months and balance transfers for up to 20 months. There is a 3.45% transfer fee on each balance transfer transaction.

If you're a small spender looking to build your credit rating, you can get a card with a balance as low as £50 although your financial circumstances and credit history will determine your credit limit.

It also includes perks such as five free months of Apple subscriptions, such as Apple Music, Apple News+, Apple Fitness, and more.

Additionally, you can register to take part in Barclaycard cashback rewards and save money at events with Barclaycard Entertainment.

You're more likely to be accepted for this card if you're aged 21 and over, a UK resident, have at least four years experience of managing credit, have an annual income of more than £20,000, and your credit file shows you always make repayments on time.

5. Sainsbury's Bank dual 20-month credit card

Sainsbury's Bank Dual 20-Month Credit Card

Sainsbury's Bank Dual 20-Month Credit Card
Credit Limit
Subject to status
Representative % APR (variable)
23.9% APR
  • 0% interest on balance transfers up to your first 20 months.
  • Balance transfer fee of 3% applies to transfers made within the first 3 months (£3 minimum).
  • No annual fee.

Representative Example – If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 23.95% p.a. (variable) your representative APR will be 23.9% APR (variable). Your APR and credit limit may vary depending on your circumstances.

If you're a Nectar Card holder, you can apply for the Sainsbury's bank dual 20 month credit card and earn bonus Nectar Points on your spending.

You'll gain up to three points for every £2 spent at Sainsbury's, Argos, or at Tu clothing; everywhere else, you'll earn one point for every £5. You'll need to have been a Nectar Card holder for at least six months before you can be accepted.

With this purchase credit card, you can enjoy 20 months of interest-free on purchasing and balance transfers. For any transfers made within the first three months of opening the account, there’s a 3% balance transfer fee, after this period, rates may increase.

6. M&S Bank shopping plus offer

M&S Bank Shopping Plus Credit Card

M&S Bank Shopping Plus Credit Card
Credit Limit
Minimum £500
Representative % APR (variable)
23.9% APR
  • 0% interest on purchases for up to 18 months.
  • 0% on balance transfers for 15 months, available for 90 days from account opening (2.99% fee applies, minimum £5).
  • Collect M&S points every time you use your card.

Representative Example – If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 23.9% p.a. (variable) your representative APR will be 23.9% APR (variable). Your APR and credit limit may vary depending on your circumstances.

If you regularly shop in M&S, you'll be pleased to know that the M&S bank shopping plus offer allows you to earn points for spending in-store and online. You can earn rewards and convert them to vouchers to spend at M&S. Additionally, you can register for Sparks, the M&S app that gives you personalised offers for shopping.

You can spread the cost of large purchases with a free interest period of 18 months. If you need to make a balance transfer, you can do so for 15 months interest-free as long as you make the transfers within 90 days of account opening. There is a 2.99% balance transfer fee.

7. Tesco Bank purchases credit card

Tesco Bank Purchases Credit Card

Tesco Bank Purchases Credit Card
Credit Limit
Minimum £250
Representative % APR (variable)
10.9% APR
  • Longest 0% period on purchases for up to 14 months.
  • Credit limit £250 to £5,000.
  • Collect Clubcard points almost every time you spend in and out of Tesco.

Representative Example – If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 10.9% p.a. (variable) your representative APR will be 10.9% APR (variable). Your APR and credit limit may vary depending on your circumstances.

The Tesco bank purchase credit card offers a low interest rate, of 10.9%, which doesn't have a time limit. While it's more than some on the list, there's no limit so the rate should remain the same, as long as you make repayments on time.

It also rewards you for shopping and you can collect Clubcard points almost everywhere you spend.

The availability of this credit card is the subject status of personal circumstances. You must be a UK resident aged 18 or over and be a new banking customer of Tesco Bank.

0% purchase credit cards — Buying Guide

While 0% purchase cards can be useful for spreading the cost of big items, if used incorrectly they could see you with expensive debt or paying fees. Therefore it's important to understand how they work.

What is a 0% purchase credit card?

A 0% purchase credit card is a credit card that allows you to make interest-free purchases over a set time.

You use this credit card to help spread the cost of purchases, and you can pay back the balance without worrying about interest rates. After the set period, you'll have to start paying interest on the outstanding balance — the interest rate you'll pay will vary between credit card providers.

How to choose the best purchase credit card

An interest-free credit card helps you make the most of your purchases. However, there are more factors to consider before you apply.

Consider the following:

  • Interest-free periods: the length will change between credit card providers and can range from nine to 24 months
  • Interest rates after the introductory period: if you continue to use your card after the initial period has ended, ensure you've picked a card with a low APR — you can expect these rates to range from 22% up to 30%
  • Additional features: some credit cards may have more features than interest-free purchases such as reward points, discounts, balance transfers or low costs for using your card abroad
  • Eligibility: your credit history will impact what cards you'll be eligible for, so look at what credit scores are needed before you make any unnecessary applications

Alternatives to 0% purchase credit cards

If a 0% purchase card doesn't feel like the right option, here we've compiled a list of alternative options:

  • Overdraft options: your current bank account may have overdraft options which may be easier than applying for a new credit card but watch out for the interest rates
  • Personal loans: a personal loan may be better suited for your needs
  • Savings: if you have savings, they could be used for a big purchase – just make sure you're leaving a little behind for emergencies and unforeseen costs

Final thoughts

0% purchase credit cards are a great way to make big purchases easier to manage.

You can spread the cost and build your credit rating using one of these interest-free credit cards. Just remember you also need to make your repayments on time, and when the 0% interest period ends you'll start paying interest on anything you owe.

Here are some helpful reminders for using these cards:

  • Cash withdrawals: avoid withdrawing cash from your credit card as you may face a hefty fee, which can hurt your credit score
  • On-time monthly repayments: if you don't make your monthly repayments on time, you're at risk of losing your interest-free term, and you may harm your credit report
  • Compare credit card deals: shop around and look at what different credit card providers offer
  • Interest rate: when choosing the right purchase credit card, consider the interest rates after the introductory period
  • Minimum monthly repayments: try to make more than the minimum repayment so you can clear your balance quicker and prevent getting into long-term debt.

Related Guides:

FAQs

Can You Get 0% Interest on Credit Cards?

How Many 0% Credit Cards Can One Person Have?

Which Credit Card is Best for Low Spenders?

Are Zero Interest Purchase Credit Cards Worth it?

Will My Credit Score be Affected if I Cancel My Credit Card?

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About HSBC Bank HSBC is a British banking and financial services company. It is the largest bank in Europe and the seventh largest bank in the world. The bank originated in Hong Kong...
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About M&S Bank Marks & Spencer Financial Services PLC trades under the name M&S Bank. It is a UK-based retail bank, formed as the financial services arm of Marks &...
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NatWest, or National Westminster, is a retail and commercial bank based in the United Kingdom. It is one of the ‘Big Four’ UK clearing banks and has more than 7.5million personal banking...
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About RBS RBS, or Royal Bank of Scotland, is a retail banking subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. The Group’s other retail subsidiaries are NatWest and Ulster Bank....
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Part of one of the world’s biggest supermarket chains, Tesco Finance was launched back in 1997. The Head Office is based in Edinburgh, and although there were bricks and mortar branches...
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