These are the best 0% purchase cards for Christmas spending explained

Spreading the cost of Christmas across 0% purchase credit cards can ease the financial pressure (Photo: Shutterstock)

by Derin Clark

Christmas can be an expensive time of year, which can particularly impact already financially stretched household incomes. While borrowing money should always be a last resort, spreading the cost of Christmas across 0% purchase credit cards can ease the financial pressure in the run-up to the big day.

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A 0% credit card is a credit card that allows you to purchase goods and services and will not charge interest for a pre-set period of time, giving consumers more breathing space to pay off the debt without incurring extra interest charges.

As many providers are able to send credit cards within seven days of being applied for, it is not too late to get a 0% purchase credit card in time for Christmas. Here we take a look at the best ones for Christmas spending.

The longest interest-free terms available

The longest interest-free term currently being offered in the 0% purchase credit card charts is 26 months, which is being offered by both MBNA Limited and Santander.

MBNA Limited offers 26 months interest-free term on its 0% Transfer and Purchase Credit Card Mastercard. The interest-free term only applies on purchases made within the first 60 days and outside the interest-free offer it charges 20.9% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on transactions. This card is only available to those with a minimum income of £14,000.

Santander’s All in One Credit Card Mastercard also offers a 26-month interest-free period, which then charges 15.9% per annum outside the interest-free offer. Borrowers should be aware that this credit card charges a £3 monthly fee, however it does include the incentive of 0.5% cashback on purchases. The card is only available to those with a minimum income of £7,500.

The next best interest-free term is currently being offered by Barclaycard on its Platinum All-Rounder Visa, which has an interest-free period of 25 months. Outside the interest-free period, this card charges 21.9% APR and is only available to those with a minimum income of £20,000.

0% purchase credit cards that offer rewards

A credit card that also offers rewards is a great option for those who use credit cards frequently and who are good at paying off the balance each month. There are a number of 0% purchase credit cards that also offer rewards.

A 0% credit card is a credit card that allows you to purchase goods and services and will not charge interest for a pre-set period of time (Photo: Shutterstock)

One of the most attractive is M&S Bank’s Shopping Plus Mastercard, which offers one point for every £1 spent in Marks and Spencer’s UK stores and online, as well as one point for every £5 spend outside of Marks and Spencer. This card offers 0% interest on purchases for the first 20 months, and then charges 19.9% APR.

Regular Tesco shoppers may find the Tesco Bank Clubcard Credit Card Purchases Mastercard an attractive card. It offers one point per £4 spend (from a £4 minimum) in Tesco and one point per £8 spent (from an £8 minimum) outside Tesco – points can then be converted into Tesco vouchers. This card offers a 0% interest deal for a 24-month term and then charges 19.9% APR. A minimum income of £5,000 is needed to apply for this card.

Alternatively, Sainsbury’s shoppers may prefer Sainsbury’s Bank Dual Offer Credit Card Mastercard. This card enables consumers to earn two Nectar points per £1 spent on Sainsbury’s shopping and fuel and earns one Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere. There is a 22-month interest-free period and charges 20.9% APR. This card is only available to those who have a minimum income of £10,000.

0% purchase cards offering the lowest rates

For those concerned about being able to pay off their credit card debt within the interest-free period, choosing a card with a low APR might be a good option. The lowest APR available on a 0% purchase credit card is currently being offered by TSB’s Advance Mastercard. This card has a three-month interest-free period, after which it charges 7.9% APR.

Consumers should be aware, however, that after the initial interest-free term, interest is charged the day a transaction is made. As such, there is no grace period between making a purchase and incurring interest. It should also be noted that this card is only available to existing TSB customers.

The next lowest APR comes from first direct on its Gold Card Visa, which offers a 17-month interest-free period and then charges 16.9% APR. While it offers a competitive APR rate on a good interest-free term, this card has the disadvantage of only being available to existing customers only.

A full list of the current cards available can be found on the 0% purchase credit card chart at Moneyfacts.co.uk