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. 

With inflation standing at over 9% in the UK, a 0% credit card can help mitigate the effects of the cost of living crisis. 

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 

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 

Sainsbury’s Bank 

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 

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

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.

SEE ALSO:

Here are the best savings accounts on the market now
How to claim compensation for travel delays
How to cut the cost of childcare

Recommended

A South African adventure
Travel and holidays

A South African adventure

From buzzy Johannesburg to big game drives, South Africa has it all, says Katie Monk
16 Aug 2022
Investors should get ready for a political revolution
UK Economy

Investors should get ready for a political revolution

Liz Truss will beat Rishi Sunak, cut taxes, and then shake up the Bank of England, says Helen Thomas
15 Aug 2022
Why aircraft leasing funds look attractive now
Investment trusts

Why aircraft leasing funds look attractive now

Aircraft-leasing funds crashed during the pandemic, David C. Stevenson explains why the outlook for these funds may be improving.
15 Aug 2022
Don’t listen to the doom-mongers – the future is bright
Economy

Don’t listen to the doom-mongers – the future is bright

With volatile markets, raging inflation and industrial unrest, it may feel like things are bad and likely to get worse. But the end of the world is no…
15 Aug 2022

Most Popular

Are UK house prices set to fall? It’s not so simple
House prices

Are UK house prices set to fall? It’s not so simple

Figures suggest UK house prices are starting to slide, but we shouldn’t take these numbers at face value, explains Rupert Hargreaves.
11 Aug 2022
Is gold cheap relative to equities?
Gold price

Is gold cheap relative to equities?

Dominic Frisby looks at the Dow-gold ratio and explains why gold is starting to appear inexpensive compared to equities.
12 Aug 2022
Share tips of the week - 12 August
Share tips

Share tips of the week - 12 August

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
12 Aug 2022