Have an existing credit card debt and need to make purchases? Compare 0% balance transfer and 0% purchase offers here.
The purpose of a 0% balance transfer and 0% purchase credit card is to enable you to pay off an existing credit card debt while being able to make interest-free purchases. When used responsibly, these credit card deals provide cardholders with interest relief on their debt.
Compare credit cards with both 0% balance transfers and 0% purchases
How to use a 0% balance transfer to manage post-Christmas debt
How do 0% balance transfer and purchase credit cards work?
Let's start by looking at what happens when a 0% offer applies to a balance transfer only.
Purchases typically attract interest with a balance transfer offer.
Balance transfer offers can be very tempting and can help you take control of your debt. However, people often fall into the trap of using the card to make purchases. Cards that have a balance transfer offer only, do not include interest-free days on purchases. If you use the card for this purpose, you can quickly increase your debt rather than reducing it.
Here's why: when you make a payment to your card, the debts on your credit card that have the highest interest rate will be paid off first. You might think your payments are making a massive dent in your historical debt, when in fact you are paying off any new purchases before your debt is reduced.
0% purchase and 0% balance transfer cards let you repay your debt as well as make interest-free purchases.
The combination of a 0% balance transfer and 0% purchase card solves this consumer pitfall. It eliminates the possibility of you getting stung with interest on purchases, as long as these are made during the introductory offer period.Back to top
How to compare 0% balance transfer and 0% purchase credit cards
When comparing cards, it's important to select the type that is most suited to your circumstances. Let's take a look at the main features of these cards, and examine what you should be looking for, and how certain factors can work against each other.
Types of 0% balance transfer and 0% purchase credit cards
No two 0% balance transfer and 0% purchase credit card offers are the same. They're available across a variety of cards, so annual fees, revert interest rates and the class of the card can help determine your decision-making.
- Rewards cards. It's rare for rewards cards to carry this type of offer. Generally, only trimmed-down rewards cards will have the full 0% on balance transfers and 0% on purchases. They might come with complimentary insurance and other helpful but low-key privileges.
- Reduced annual fee for first year. Even a cursory glance at the above comparison table shows that many of the 0% balance transfer and 0% purchase rate offers have a reduced annual fee for the first year. This can be very helpful if you want to keep your upfront costs low while you knuckle down to paying off your debt.
- Platinum cards. Platinum credit cards are targeted at higher income customers, and often require a shining credit history. In return, you get higher credit limits as well as more valuable extras, which often include complimentary overseas travel insurance.
- Classic cards. Classic credit cards are a good choice for people on a lower income. They are usually a no-frills option with lower annual fees than platinum cards.
- Low rate cards. These are a popular offering in the 0% balance transfer and 0% purchase scene, as purchases on the cards usually revert to a relatively low interest rate.
How to use these credit cards wisely
Your 0% balance transfer and 0% purchases credit card will be a huge boon during its initial offer period, but only if you make effective use of it. Keep in mind the main dos and don'ts when using this type of card before you apply:
The dos of 0% balance transfer and 0% purchase cards
- Make your balance transfer quickly. Though the introductory period may only last a number of months, your opportunity to make a transfer at the promotional rate may be limited to a shorter period, such as within the first 30 days. The longer you leave it, the less time you'll have to enjoy avoiding interest. Take advantage of the offer by transferring your balance during your card application.
- How to make the transfer. If you don't transfer your balance during your application, you can apply online, over the phone or via hard copy, once your card arrives.
- Pay off your balance in good time. If your deal is for six months, that's not an awful lot of time. Make sure you are budgeting like mad to ensure the balance on your 0% balance transfer and 0% purchase credit card is paid off in full before the offer period expires. You will be charged the regular rate of interest on any unpaid balance, which could be higher than 20%. However, if you can’t make it by the cut-off date, it may be worth considering transferring the balance again to another similar card from a different bank.
- This can't become a habit. Making one 0% balance transfer after another to avoid paying interest will be noted in your credit history. Your credit rating may drop due to regular credit applications, and the assessors of your credit file may well read into your habits and reject applications.
- Don't make any cash transactions. Cash transactions aren’t often included in 0% promotional offers, and when they are, they still carry very expensive cash advance fees.
Things to watch out for when considering this type of offer
- Revert interest rates. Be aware of the spike in interest you can expect at the end of the promotional offer. The balance transfer amount will revert to either the higher cash advance interest rate or the purchase rate. If the balance won't be paid in full by that time, consider swapping cards or think about how you will budget for the extra costs. Rates on new purchases will revert to the purchase interest rate at the end of the introductory period.
- Cash transactions. This is never a good idea with any credit card, and is hardly ever covered by a 0% deal. Even if they are, there will still be a cash advance fee for every transaction of this type. This is an extra charge of around 2–4% of the transaction amount. If the cash advance fee is unpaid by the next statement due date, it will accrue interest as well at the cash advance rate.
- Different length of offer periods. The length of these offers can vary, so it's worth deciding from the outset what your plans are for when the period ends. Think about whether a longer balance transfer and purchase period would suit you, even if the interest rate offer is higher than some of the shorter, 0% offers.
- Annual fee. Check this is not way higher than average. A little higher than normal may be worth it for the benefits you gain from the offer.
- Minimum monthly repayments. Pay your credit card balance in full each month whenever possible. By being prepared for your minimum monthly repayment you can also help avoid late fees. Calculating your own minimum monthly balance repayment is as simple as looking at your minimum percentage repayment and how much your outstanding balance is, interest included. You can also use an online credit card repayment calculator to tell you what your minimum monthly repayments will be, by looking at your current balance and credit card interest rate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, there were such offers at the time of writing. However, offers change from time to time, so the best way to stay up to date with the latest offers from providers is to check our balance transfer comparison page.