The card that lets you spread big purchases over 32 months

With 0% purchase cards you can avoid paying interest for up to 32 months. Here's everything you need to know.

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Cards that will spread the cost

If you are thinking about making a big purchase and want to spread the cost over a period of time, a 0% purchase credit card can be a good option. Just make sure you keep on top of your repayments.

These cards give you an interest-free period to pay off your debt.

The AA is offering the longest 0% period on the market, giving you up to 32 months interest-free on purchases.

However, the offer is only available on purchases made within the first three months of account opening.

The next best deal on the market is from Sainsbury's Bank, which gives you up to 31 months interest-free on purchases and the ability to collect Nectar points when you spend.

Plus if you apply by 28 August you can get 5,000 bonus Nectar points when you spend £250 in the first month of opening the account.

Longest 0% purchase credit cards

Here are the longest 0% periods on offer today for purchases.

Credit card

0% period

Representative APR

AA Dual Credit Card

32 months

18.9%

Sainsbury's Bank Purchase Credit Card

31 months

18.9%

Halifax Purchase Credit Card

30 months

18.9%

Post Office Money Matched Credit Card

30 months

18.9%

Santander Everyday Credit Card

30 months

18.9%

Tesco Purchases Credit Card

30 months

18.9%

Bank of Scotland 29-Month Purchase and Balance Transfer Credit Card

29 months

18.9%

Halifax 29-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

29 months

18.9%

Lloyds Bank Platinum 29-Month Purchase and Balance Transfer Credit Card

29 months

18.9%

MBNA All Round Credit Card

29 months

18.9%

Sainsbury's Bank Dual Offer Credit Card

29 months

18.9%


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 have 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 debt.

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% balance transfer cards.

Therefore, the best way to get a 0% card is to ensure your credit rating is as spotless as possible.