Where to borrow for free

You can spread the cost of a big purchase without paying a penny in interest.

credit cards stack on white

If you want to pay for a big purchase and spread the cost over a period of time, a 0% purchase credit card can be a good option – providing you keep on top of your repayments. These cards give you an interest-free period to pay off your debt.

Current longest 0% purchase credit cards
Here are the longest 0% periods on offer today for purchases.
Credit card0% periodRepresentative APR
Santander 123 Credit Card*
23 months16.5%
Tesco Bank Clubcard for Purchases
21 months18.9%
Clydesdale Bank Gold MasterCard
20 months18.9%
Yorkshire Bank Gold MasterCard
20 months18.9%
Halifax Purchase Credit Card
20 months18.9%
Sainsbury's Bank 19 Month Purchase and Balance Transfer Card
19 months18.9%
M&S Credit Card
19 months18.9%
Lloyds Bank 19-Month Platinum
19 months18.9%
Bank of Scotland 19-Month Purchase
19 months18.9%

*Annual fee of £24

As you can see, the longest offer is available from Santander with an incredible 23 months free of interest on its 123 Credit Card. It also pays you cashback as you spend. You get 1% at supermarkets, 2% at department stores and 3% on certain travel spending. But it charges an annual fee of £24.

Tesco Bank offers the longest interest-free period with no fee altogether at 21 months, and it also offers rewards in the form of Clubcard points. The Sainsbury's Bank and M&S cards also give the added benefit of loyalty points when you spend.

Compare 0% purchase credit cards

The pros of a 0% purchase card
The beauty of a 0% purchases credit card is, so long as you pay it off within the interest-free period, every penny goes to paying off your debt.

So if you know you've got a big purchase ahead of you, going for a 0% credit card is a sensible course of action.

The downsides of a 0% purchase card
There are some hurdles to consider though. What if you don't manage to clear your balance before the 0% period finishes and you still have thousands of pounds sat on the card?

You face a couple of options. The first is to do nothing – leave your debt where it is, continue making your monthly payments, and your debt will eventually disappear. That said, you will end up spending a decent chunk of cash on interest.

Or you can move the remaining debt to a balance transfer card, which will also offer a period of 0% interest on your repayments.

And then there's the fact that in order to get your hands on a 0% card you'll need to have a good credit record. Credit card providers don't make a habit of handing out these cards to any old borrower – ironically the borrowers who would most benefit from a bit of breathing space in paying off their debts are the ones who find it most difficult to get their hands on 0% cards.

Alternatively, you may find that your credit rating is good enough to get a 0% on purchases card, but not good enough to get the very best 0% card. Halifax is now offering 'tiered 0% deals' where some applicants get 0% cards but with shorter interest-free periods.

Improve your chances of getting a 0% card
Therefore the best way to get a 0% card is to ensure your credit rating is as spotless as possible.

Compare 0% purchase credit cards

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