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When looking for a credit card, it’s always worth thinking about your priorities and what you would like to use your card for. If the answer for you is for spending without accumulating interest, then a 0% Purchase Credit Card could be the right option for you.

As one of the most popular types of credit card, it allows you to spread the cost of purchases without accruing interest, for as long as the 0% period lasts for, though you will have to make a minimum payment each month.

It can also allow you to take advantage of certain rewards such as supermarket points or an equivalent with your favourite retail brands.

To find out more about purchase credit cards along with how they work in the UK, keep reading our useful article below.

What is a purchase credit card?

  • A credit card for making purchases on
  • You have a balance that you are given to spend, but you will have to pay it off eventually
  • 0% interest means you won’t pay anything extra for as long as the introductory period lasts
  • Pay off your full balance by the time the introductory offer ends

A 0% purchase credit card is designed for making purchases on that will not accumulate interest as long as you are within the 0% interest free period, otherwise known as the introductory period or introductory offer.

This gives you the flexibility to spread the cost of significant purchases, or multiple smaller purchases without having to pay interest on top. For example, you could use it to buy Christmas or birthday presents and pay off this additional expense at your own pace.

However, you will still have to make a minimum monthly repayment and ensure that you have paid off your balance by the time the introductory period comes to an end. After this time the card will usually revert back to a standard interest rate.

How does a 0% purchase credit card work?

  • Spend without paying interest
  • 0% interest free introductory period
  • Standard APR after the introductory period ends
  • Annual fee for some cards
  • Extra charges in some instances

A zero percent purchase credit card works in the first instance as an additional card you can use for spending, without having to pay anything extra on top.

You are able to spread the cost of purchases without incurring interest, as long as you pay off your entire balance before the end of the introductory period. You can do this through making minimum monthly payments and overpaying in order to pay off the remaining balance in time.

When the introductory period does end, you will be switched onto a standard APR and start to incur interest on your outstanding balance.

With some interest free credit cards, you will also have to pay an annual fee as standard, depending on the card provider. There are usually additional charges that are applied if you choose to withdraw cash using a cash machine, or transaction fees for balance transfers or money transfers under certain conditions.

Always read the terms and conditions of the card before you start using it, so you can avoid these additional charges as much as you can.

What are the benefits of a purchase credit card?

  • One of the only forms of 0% interest borrowing, as long as you manage it correctly
  • Additional features - balance transfers and money transfers
  • Extra benefits – rewards or points

Getting a 0% purchase credit card means you can borrow money without having to pay anything extra in interest, as long as you manage your card correctly and avoid any additional fees or charges.

This means spending within your limits, making regular payments and ensuring you have reduced your balance to £0 by the time your introductory period has ended. It’s worth remembering that whatever you spend on your credit card will always need to be paid back, so by proactively paying off your balance you can make it easier for yourself down the line.

Other benefits consist of additional features that you can also get with some purchase credit cards. That includes a period of 0% interest on balance transfers, allowing you to transfer an existing debt, or 0% on money transfers, meaning you can transfer money into an existing account from your card. Both of these are usually an option on a purchase credit card, but you may have to pay an additional transaction fee to use these features.

Lastly, you can also benefit from rewards or points when spending on certain credit cards, so it’s worth finding a provider who aligns with your current spending habits, such as a retailer or supermarket where you can gain extra rewards just for using your card.

Purchase credit card eligibility

  • Check your credit score before you apply
  • Always use an eligibility checker first
  • Compare credit cards to find the right one for you

Are you eligible for a 0% purchase credit card? Try our FREE online eligibility tool MoneyMatcher to find out whether you can apply for a credit card. Use the link below to get started.