The best interest-free credit card deals
As the cost of living continues to rise, keeping the price of borrowing down is vital. That's where an interest-free credit card can help. Saloni Sardana looks at the best deals on the market now.
An interest-free credit card allows you to take debt and make purchases interest-free.
There are two main types of interest-free credit cards: a 0% purchase credit card and a 0% balance transfer credit card.
A 0% purchase credit card allows you to pay no interest on new spending, while a 0% balance transfer charges no interest on credit card debt already accrued from other cards.
Borrowing money is usually cheapest using a 0% purchase credit card. These credit cards usually do not charge interest for a specific period of time, ranging from three months to three years or longer.
But these credit cards are only interest-free so long as you make the minimum repayment each month within the specific time period. You also need to repay the full amount of the debt within the 0% interest period. You will start paying interest on any balance left on the card once that ends.
0% interest balance transfer credit cards enable you to move existing credit card debt and not have to pay interest on it for a limited number of months.
But it’s worth noting that most balance transfer cards charge a fee of around 2% to 3%, which can eat into any savings you make from switching cards. So it’s important to factor this in when deciding to switch. Just like with 0% balance credit cards, if you don’t manage to make your repayments within the offer period, then you start paying interest.
There were 1.7 billion credit card and debit card transactions in the UK in February 2022, which was around 40% higher than the previous year, says UK finance, a trade association for the UK banking and financial services sector.
With soaring inflation, it is more important than ever to choose a credit card that helps you pay as little debt as possible.
The best 0%-interest purchase credit cards
Barclaycard offers 0% interest for a 25-month purchase period. It is currently the longest 0% purchase period, but there is a catch: this deal is not available to everyone: your credit history determines whether you will get the deal or not. Some customers may only get the 0% for 12 months. The card has a representative APR of 22.9%
The Barclaycard gives five free months of Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple News+ and Apple Arcade.
M&S Bank Shopping Plus
This new 0% credit card has the longest guaranteed 0% purchase period of 24 months. It also gives £25 cashback assuming you make a minimum of five qualifying purchases worth £250 within 90 days of opening the account.
It has a number of other perks, such as one point for each pound you spend in M&S shops, and one point for each £5 you spend outside of M&S. You can trade the points for M&S vouchers. It has a representative APR of 21.9%.
Sainsbury’s Bank dual 24 month credit card
This credit card gives customers 0% on purchases for a maximum of 24 months. It has a representative variable APR of 21.9%.
It also gives 500 bonus points for every £35 spent at Sainsbury. This can be collected for up to ten times in your first two months, meaning a maximum of 5,000 points can be collected.
The best 0%-interest balance transfer credit card
The 34-month balance transfer credit card gives 0% interest on balance transfers for a maximum of 34 months. It is possible that you are accepted and you only get 26% at 0% and/or then you may face a higher 3.88% fee. The balance transfer fee ranges from 2.88 to 3.88%. There is a one-off minimum fee of £3. It has a representative APR of 21.9%.
Santander’s balance transfer card has a slightly shorter 0% period of 33 months compared to Sainsbury’s 34 months, but it has a lower balance transfer fee of 2.65%.
You can also save money by moving money from the credit card balance into the Everyday Long Term Balance Transfer Credit Card. From the date of account opening, you also earn 1% cashback on purchases made between 13 June and 18 September 2022. But in order for this to apply, a minimum £500 is required and purchases must be made in the local currency.
It has a variable APR of 21.9%.
NatWest charges 0% with no fee for 22 months but this is available to existing customers only. To get the 0%, you must transfer within three months of opening. This card is also offered by NatWest’s sister banks, Ulster Bank and RBS. However, you can’t transfer a balance from these banks to this card. The balance transfer interest after the 0% period rises to 21.9% and up to 29.9% for some.