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Best 0% Credit Cards

Up to 30 mths' interest-free spending

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Martin

Updated Weekly

0% credit cards

Do it right and credit cards are the cheapest way to borrow. You can get 0% for up to 30 months on new purchases – yet get it wrong and you'll be stuck in debt for years. We've all the key info...

The seven golden rules

If you need to borrow (eg, to replace a worn sofa or old fridge), then used correctly, credit cards are cheaper than loans. But first read these key rules to prevent a debt nightmare.

  • What is a 0% credit card for spending?

    It is simply a card that you pay no interest on when you make a purchase for a set number of months (length varies by card). But you only get to keep the 0% if you stick to the rules which are outlined below.

  • Debt's like fire. Used well, it's great. Used badly, you'll get burned

    Unless you're financially disciplined and doing it tactically for stoozing, it's always worth borrowing as little as you need, and if possible, use savings instead. Man holding warning sign

    Only borrow for something you've budgeted for and can afford to pay back and NEVER borrow to fill income gaps which can leave you in a debt spiral (see the Stop Spending guide for more).

  • Make AT LEAST the monthly minimum repayments (preferably more)

    Set up a direct debit for at least the minimum repayment as soon as you are accepted. Even though you pay 0% interest, you still need to make repayments. If you miss one, you may lose your 0% deal and get a £12 charge.

  • Aim to clear the card within the 0% period (and how to make it work like a loan)

    Go even one month beyond the promotional period and the rate rockets, so calculate the amount needed to clear the balance by then and diarise that end date.

    So divide what you spent by the number of 0% months and set up a direct debit to clear it in that time so it works like a loan where you pay it back in full over a set period.

    So £600 over a year is £50 a month to clear. If you've not cleared it in time, see our Best Balance Transfer guide to move it to 0%.

  • Use our eligibility calculator before applying for a speedy check of cards you're most likely to get...

    Usually, the only way to know if you'll be accepted is to apply, but each application marks your credit file. But our 0% spending eligibility calculator quickly shows your odds of getting almost every top 0% spending card so you can find the ones most likely to accept you, thus minimising applications.

    Quick questions

    How does the eligibility calculator work?

    Will credit scoring affect the deal I get and my credit limit?

  • ... or join our Credit Club for a full credit health check

    The new MSE Credit Club is a game-changer. For years the credit market has been shrouded in mystery but our revolutionary tool brings together the key components to give you the full picture, and crucially, what it means for your acceptance chances and how to boost your creditworthiness.

    A credit score alone isn't enough to borrow, as there are other factors at play (it's why many with perfect scores still get rejected). Credit Club shows your Free Experian Credit Report and Credit Score, your Affordability Score, you Credit Hit Rate and much more.

  • 'Up to' deals mean you might not get the headline deal you apply for

    There's a catch to watch out for. Some card firms give those with lesser credit histories fewer months at 0% than they advertise. You could, say, apply for a 25-month 0% spending deal, be accepted but given a fewer 12 months at 0%.

    We highlight cards that do this by putting 'up to' before their headline offer, and tell you the other 0% lengths they may offer in the write-ups of the products below.

    Quick questions

    Is there any way to know what deal I will get before I apply?

    Why do lenders give some applicants worse deals?

Best 0% credit cards

Here are the top deals, though you'll need a good credit score to get 'em. If yours is patchy, there are cards for poorer scorers in the section below.

MBNA - up to 30 MONTHS

Longest 0% spending card

MBNA* – up to 30 months 0% (19.9% rep APR after)

This MBNA* card has the longest 0% spending period currently available, though oddly you have to make purchases within 60 days for them to be at 0% – so it's best if you're just looking to spread the cost of a one-off purchase.

As it offers 'up to' 30 months' 0% interest, you could be accepted and offered fewer 0% months. If you want to make purchases after 60 days or want the certainty of a non-'up to' card, it's worth looking below.

Need-to-knows
  • After the 30 months, or for purchases made after 60 days from account opening, you'll pay 19.9% interest on purchases.
  • Always pay at least the minimum monthly repayment, or you'll lose the 0% deal.
Eligibility Calculator
(MSE's free tool)
APPLY*
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Spending length: Up to 30 months 0% | Card issuer: Visa | Min income: N/A
  • Rep variable APR: 19.9% (see Official APR Examples)
  • Minimum repayment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £25
Sainsbury's card

Second-longest 0% and possible £25 bonus Nectar pts

Sainsbury's Nectar – 28 months 0% (18.9% rep APR after)

This Sainsbury's card offers a long 0% period, and if accepted you'll definitely get the full 28 months. Plus, apply by 30 Jul 2018 and you'll get 500 bonus Nectar points worth £2.50 each time you spend £20+ in Sainsbury's in the first two months from receiving your card (max 5,000 points, worth £25).

Doing a big shop? You can split it into smaller £20 chunks to max the bonus, getting 500 points on each transaction. The offer works on in-store and online shops, but not fuel purchases.

Need-to-knows
  • You need to give your Nectar card number when you apply for the credit card and the bonus points will be added to your Nectar account within two months of the end of the offer.
  • You get two points per £1 spent on Sainsbury's shopping and fuel, and one point per £5 spent elsewhere.
  • Make sure you fully clear the card by the end of the 28 months or you'll be charged 18.9% interest on any remaining balance. Poorer credit scorers may get 21.9% or 28.9%.
  • Always pay at least the minimum monthly repayment, or you'll lose the 0% deal.
ELIGIBILITY CHECK NOT AVAILABLE
APPLY
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Spending length: 28 months 0% | Card issuer: Mastercard | Min income: N/A
  • Rep variable APR: 18.9% (see Official APR Examples)
  • Minimum repayment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, 2.25% or £5

More long 0% purchase cards

Card 0% length Representative variable APR after Eligibility
Virgin Money*Virgin Money 28mths 18.9% You can use our eligibility calculator for this card
Post OfficePost Office Money 28mths 18.9% -
Tesco BankTesco Bank Up to 28mths (1) 18.9% -
Barclaycard*Barclaycard Up to 27mths (1) 19.9% You can use our eligibility calculator for this card – are you pre-approved?
HalifaxHalifax Up to 27mths (1) 19.9% -
See all Official APR Examples. (1) Poorer credit scorers could get fewer months.

Best 0% credit cards for poor credit scorers

If that's you, the cards above aren't likely to be open to you (use our eligibility calculator first to check). Yet the cards below give some options but offer short 0% periods. To help (re)build your credit, also read our Credit Cards for Bad Credit guide.

Aqua

Six months' 0% spending while rebuilding your credit

Aqua*

This card from Aqua* is a good option for poorer credit scorers. It offers a six month 0% spending period which can be used to give a respite from existing debts (see below).

Helpfully, our eligibility calculator can tell you if you're pre-approved for this card.

Need-to-knows
  • Even during the 0%, you MUST still make at least the monthly minimum repayments (preferably more) – 0% doesn't mean nothing to pay. If you miss a payment or bust your credit limit you'll get a mark on your credit score and be charged a fee.
  • You need to be super-organised and repay the card IN FULL BEFORE the 0% ends. If you don't clear the card before the six-month 0%-interest period ends you'll be charged a hefty 34.9% representative APR on any balance left. Some people accepted for the card may get even higher APRs, up to 59.9%.
  • Your credit limit will start between £250 and £1,200. If you pay on time and don't bust your limit, Aqua could increase your credit limit on your fourth statement.
  • You get free credit reports/alerts with this card, helping you keep track of your credit rating.
  • You won't be able to get this if you already have an Aqua card.

How to use this card for respite from bank charges and payday loans

Eligibility Calculator
(MSE's free tool)
APPLY*
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Rate: 34.9% representative APR (see official APR example)
  • Min income: N/A | Card issuer: Mastercard
  • Accepts defaults? Yes, provided they're a year old or more
  • Accepts CCJs? Yes, provided they're a year old or more
  • Accepts bankruptcies? Yes, provided it's 18 months old or more
  • Minimum repayment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £5
Key questions

What is the free credit report? Aqua appointed Noddle as its credit checker so you'll get access to its online credit report. Noddle does offer free access to a limited credit report, but the one included with the Aqua card typically costs from £5-£15 a month.

You'll also be signed up to receive Noddle Alerts, which highlight any significant changes to your credit report by sending you an email. Finally, you get Noddle Improve, which is a credit score with added tips on how you can improve it if it comes up a little low.

What's pre-approval? Aqua has provided us with info so we can tell many people that they've a 100% chance of getting this exact deal (subject to passing its ID and fraud check). There's no impact on your credit score, though of course if you then apply, that marks your file.

Aqua

Five months' 0% spending while rebuilding your credit

Marbles*

This Marbles* card can be used to rebuild your credit. Plus, it offers five months' 0% spending – though this should only be used to give you a respite from any existing debts (see below).

It also offers pre-approval if you use our eligibility calculator, so you can check if you'll definitely be accepted without harming your credit score.

Need-to-knows
  • Even during the 0%, you MUST still make at least the monthly minimum repayments (preferably more) – 0% doesn't mean nothing to pay. If you miss a payment or bust your credit limit you'll get a mark on your credit score and be charged a fee.
  • You need to be super-organised and repay the card IN FULL BEFORE the 0% ends. If you don't clear the card before the five-month 0%-interest period ends you'll be charged a hefty 34.9% representative APR on any balance left. Some people accepted for the card may get even higher APRs up to 69.9%.
  • Your credit limit will start between £100 and £1,200.

How to use this card for respite from bank charges and payday loans

Eligibility Calculator
(MSE's free tool)
APPLY*
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Rate: 34.9% representative APR (see Official APR Examples)
  • Min income: N/A | Card issuer: Mastercard
  • Accepts defaults? Yes, provided they're a year old or more
  • Accepts CCJs? Yes, provided they're a year old or more
  • Accepts bankruptcies? Yes, provided it's 18 months old or more
  • Minimum repayment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £5
Key questions

What's pre-approval? Marbles has provided us with info so we can tell many people that they've a 100% chance of getting this exact deal (subject to passing its ID and fraud check). There's no impact on your credit score, though of course if you then apply, that marks your file.

Cap One

Four months' 0% spending while rebuilding your credit

Capital One Classic Complete*

This card from Capital One* can help you repair your credit history and offers four months' 0% on spending. This can be used to give you respite from existing debts (see below on how to do this).

Need-to-knows
  • This card is only available through our link or at MoneySupermarket (we're part of the same group).
  • Even during the 0% period, you MUST still make at least the monthly minimum repayments (preferably more) – 0% doesn't mean nothing to pay.
  • Outside of the 0% period make sure you clear the card IN FULL or you'll pay a horrid 34.9% interest on any balance left over.
  • Credit limits start from £200 to £1,500.
  • This card also offers 0% on balance transfers for four months which could give you a respite from existing debts, though there's a hefty 3% fee.
  • If your credit score improves, see our 0% Spending Cards guide.

How to use this card for respite from bank charges and payday loans

Eligibility Calculator
(MSE's free tool)
APPLY*
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Rate: 34.9% representative APR (see official APR example)
  • Min income: N/A | Card issuer: Mastercard
  • Accepts defaults? Yes, provided they're a year or more old
  • Accepts CCJs? Yes, provided they're a year or more old
  • Accepts bankruptcies? Yes, provided it's a year or more old
  • Minimum repayment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest or £5

Best long-term, low rate credit cards

Here, the rate is low for the long term, but it's not 0%. While the cards above are cheaper, the rates below won't rocket if you can't pay the debt off in a set time.

MBNA Low Rate

Low interest rate for four years, good loan alternative

MBNA* – 4.9% interest for 48 months, 0.5% balance transfer fee

The MBNA* Low Rate card offers a low interest rate of 4.9% for four years on purchases made within 60 days of account opening. If you've a big purchase to make, it's a good alternative to a loan as the interest rate beats the best buys up to around £5,000 – just make sure you budget to pay it off by the end of the 48 months.

Need-to-knows
  • After your low rate ends, or for purchases made after 60 days, you'll pay 8.9% interest a year on any debt.
  • Some poorer credit scorers getting this card may be given initial interest rates of 9.9%, jumping to 11.9% at the 48 months' end.
  • This card also offers balance transfers and money transfers at 4.9% interest for four years, with a 0.5% fee.
Stats box
  • Spending rate: 4.9% for 48mths then 8.9% (see Official APR Examples)
  • Min income: £20,000
  • Card issuer: Mastercard
  • Min repayment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest or £25
Tesco Low Rate

Cheap long-term, low-rate card

Tesco 5.9% rep APR, no balance transfer fee

The Tesco Low APR credit card offers 0% on spending for one month, and then a lowish 5.9% representative APR on all spending after. It's a good option if you want a guaranteed low rate for the life of the card, plus you can earn Clubcard points on purchases.

Need-to-knows
  • Not everyone will get the low 5.9% APR. Some will get a higher APR of 10.9%.
  • You get Clubcard points on your spending – one point for every full £4 spent at Tesco stores or petrol stations, one point for every £8 elsewhere.
  • Tesco can increase the rate after a year. But you can reject this rate hike.
  • Always pay at least the monthly minimum payment or you'll get a penalty for late payment and a mark on your credit file.
  • Don't withdraw cash on this card. It usually isn't at the cheap rate and cash withdrawals hit your credit file.
  • The card also offers balance transfers at 0% for one month, followed by a rate of 6.054% for the life of the balance.
ELIGIBILITY CHECK NOT AVAILABLE
APPLY
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Spending rate: 5.9% APR (see Official APR Examples)
  • Min income: £5,000
  • Card issuer: Mastercard
  • Min repayment : Greater of 1% of balance plus interest or £25

Cashback sites may pay you for signing up

As an extra boon, members of specialist cashback websites can be paid when they sign up to some financial products. Do check that it's exactly the same deal though, as terms can be different. And remember the cashback is never 100% guaranteed until it's in your account. 

Full help to take advantage of this and pros and cons in our Top Cashback Sites guide.

0% spending cards Q&A

  • How much could I save?

  • Can these cards be used for balance transfers too?

  • What should I do if I'm worried about being or have been rejected for these cards?

  • I need longer than 30 months to pay off my purchase. Are there any other options?

  • Is there another way to keep my debt at 0% for longer?

Get Our Free Money Tips Email!

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes - join the 12m who get it. Don't miss out