Enjoy the freedom of buying now and paying later with a credit card that offers you 0% interest on purchases.
A credit card with a 0% purchase rate can help you save on your shopping by charging zero interest on the balance during the promotional period. While the length of the 0% introductory offer varies, you'll usually be able to get between 3 to 12 months interest-free depending on the credit card you choose.
Use this guide to learn about the benefits of 0% purchase credit cards, how they work and how you can compare the different interest-free offers on the market. We also answer the most common questions about 0% purchase credit card deals to help you get the most out of your next credit card.
Compare 0% Purchase Credit Cards and get up to 13 months interest-free
The best* interest-free credit cards - finder.com.au
Compare the features of some of the most competitive 0% purchase credit card offers below.
|Credit Card||Feature||Annual fee|
|ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer||An exclusive offer with 0% p.a. for 3 months on purchases and a long-term balance transfer offer.||$0 in the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)|
|Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer||Get 0% p.a. for 12 months on purchases and earn Velocity Points per $1 spent.||$129 p.a.|
|Enjoy 0% p.a. interest on purchases and balance transfers for 13 months on purchases and balance transfers, plus platinum perks.||$99 p.a.|
What is a 0% purchase credit card?
A credit card with 0% on purchases allows you to make purchases and pay zero interest on them during a promotional, introductory period. When this period ends, the standard purchase rate will be charged for any remaining balance on your card. If you have some big-ticket purchases to make, a 0% purchase credit card can temporarily keep your interest costs low, which could help you pay off the balance faster.
While a standard credit card typically has an interest rate between 13% and 22% p.a. for purchases, credit cards offering interest-free purchases provide zero interest on all eligible purchases made during the promotional period.
How can I find the best* 0% purchase credit card?
There is no one best* 0% interest credit card on the market because each offer is designed to suit different spending habits and budgets. But you can find a 0% purchase credit card offer that works for you by comparing the following features:
- Length of the 0% purchase promotional period. As the 0% purchase period can range between 3 to 13 months or more, it's important to choose a card with a promotional period that works for you. Consider how much you're going to spend, divide it by the number of months in the promotional period and calculate whether you can repay that much each month to clear the balance before the revert rate applies. If not, you might want to apply for a card with a longer promotional period or be prepared to collect some interest when the offer ends.
- Annual fee. Most 0% purchase credit cards charge an annual fee. To determine whether or not the card is worth the cost, consider how much you'll save with the 0% interest offer and the other perks on offer to see whether the benefits outweigh this cost.
- Revert purchase interest rate. If you're unable to pay your balance in full by the end of the introductory period, your purchases will begin attracting the standard purchase rate. Depending on the card, this will typically be between 13% and 22%. If you don't think you can repay the entire balance before the promotional period ends, look for a card with a lower ongoing purchase rate. Otherwise, you could enjoy another interest-free period by transferring your debt to a card with a 0% balance transfer offer.
- Extra benefits. Does the card come with complimentary travel insurance? Do you want to earn rewards points on your purchases? Will your purchases be covered by purchase protection and extended warranty? Can you access a 24/7 concierge service? If you will be using the card for more than just the 0% offer, comparing these features can help set the cards apart.
Types of 0% purchase credit cards and extra features
While each of these cards offers 0% on purchases, there are several types of interest free purchase credit cards. You can compare the additional benefits and features to determine which type of 0% purchase credit card is right for you.
|0% purchase offer type||Benefits|
|Standard 0% purchase offer||Includes the 0% promotional purchase rate for a specified promotional period, which will revert back to the standard purchase rate once the offer has ended. Extra benefits such as interest-free days, travel benefits and complimentary insurances may also be available.|
|0% purchases with frequent flyer benefits||Earn frequent flyer points for every dollar spent on your card for the life of the card and also take advantage of an interest-free purchase promotional period.|
|0% purchases with balance transfer offers||This type of card allows you to transfer and repay your existing credit card debt interest-free whilst also making purchases with zero interest.|
|0% purchases with rewards benefits||Pay no interest on your purchases and earn rewards points for every dollar you spend. Unlike a frequent flyer card, these are connected to your credit card's rewards program and can be redeemed for flights, merchandise and cash back.|
What's the difference between interest-free days and 0% interest credit card offers?
Most credit cards offer you up to a certain number of interest-free days each statement period, for example, up to 55 days. To take advantage of interest-free days, you usually need to pay off your full balance by the due date on each statement. As long as you meet these conditions, you can enjoy interest-free days on your card.
In comparison, credit cards that offer a promotional 0% interest on purchases give you a temporary period when you can make purchases without paying any interest. You only have to make minimum payments during the promotional period. But a standard interest rate will apply to any balance remaining at the end of that period.
4 common mistakes to avoid with 0% purchase credit cards
Want to get the most out of a 0% interest period? Here are four things to avoid:
- Ignoring the revert rate. At the end of the promotional period, the 0% interest rate will revert to the standard purchase rate (which usually sits between 13% and 22%). Consider the revert interest rate before applying for the card so you understand how your debt will grow if you fail to repay your balance before the standard interest rate kicks in.
- Only making the minimum repayment. You'll be required to make minimum repayments, usually 2% or 3% of the total balance, for each statement period. However, if you only match the minimum amount each month, you'll be unable to repay your entire balance before the 0% offer finishes. If you make more than the minimum repayment, you'll have a much better chance of repaying your balance before the revert rate applies and you start paying a higher interest rate. If you're unable to repay your balance before the 0% purchase offer ends, a balance transfer might be the next step.
- Ineligible transactions. This type of 0% interest offer only applies to eligible purchases. If you use your card for balance transfers, cash advances, government payments or other cash-equivalent transactions, they'll usually be charged at the standard rate unless a separate promotional offer applies.
- Not taking advantage of the entire offer period. The 0% offer is available as soon as your card is approved, not from when you make your first purchase. So if your card offers a 0% offer for six months but you don't make a purchase or any repayments for the first month, you'll only have five more months to make repayments without incurring interest. If you have a big purchase in mind, make it as soon as possible and start making repayments immediately to get maximum value out of the offer length.
The introductory 0% interest periods offered in these cards can be a great way to save money on planned purchases and big-ticket items that you need to buy. When you're comparing these cards, pay attention to how long the promotional period lasts, what interest rate applies at the end of the promotional period and other features and fees so that you can find one that suits your needs.
Popular questions about 0% purchase credit card offers from our users
Does the 0% purchase offer apply for foreign currency transactions when shopping overseas or online?
As long as it's an eligible purchase, overseas purchases will not be charged any interest during the promotional period. However, you may be charged foreign currency conversion fees. You can compare credit cards which do not charge currency conversion fees in our detailed guide.
How many purchases will receive the 0% interest rate?
All eligible purchases made once the card is activated until the end of the promotional period will not collect any interest. However, any remaining balances that haven't been repaid by the end of the promotional offer will start to collect interest.
Please note that ineligible transactions (such as cash advances or balance transfers) will accrue the standard relevant interest.
Will the credit card's annual fee be eligible for the 0% interest rate?
Credit card annual fees are usually not considered eligible purchases. So if you get a promotional 0% purchase rate credit card that also has an annual fee, you'll usually be charged interest on that part of your balance. You can check with a specific credit card provider to find out if this fee would be eligible for the interest-free promotion. Alternatively, you may want to consider cards that offer no annual fee.
Can you give me some examples of when a 0% purchase credit card is useful?
Credit cards that offer 0% interest on purchases can be useful in a number of different scenarios. For example, if you have to make a major purchase, or have a lot of holiday spending to do, getting a 12 month interest-free credit card could give you the flexibility to pay off your spending over time while avoiding interest charges.
Another example could be if you wanted to earn more reward or frequent flyer points on a credit card. Usually these points are offered per $1 spent, with some cards also offering bonus points if you meet a specific spending requirement. Either way, if you got a card with a promotional 0% purchase rate, you could earn more points without paying interest during the introductory period.
If you're interested in a 0% purchase credit card, just remember that this interest-free period is temporary. So aiming to pay off your balance before the end of the introductory period will help you get the most out of your card.
When does the 0% purchase promotion start?
The 0% promotion will begin either when your credit card application is approved or upon credit card activation, depending on the bank. It will generally take 3-5 business days for your card to be mailed to your address after application approval. So if you want to take advantage of the full promotional period, you'll need to remember that the offer period begins when you open the card rather than when you make your first purchase.
What types of transactions are eligible to receive 0% interest?
Your transactions need to qualify as an "eligible purchase" to be covered under the 0% purchase promotion. Eligible purchases are generally defined as everyday purchases which involve the exchange of a good or service for a payment. Transactions that do not qualify as eligible purchases generally include business expenses, gambling transactions, balance transfers, BPAY payments and cash advances. If you are unsure about whether your transaction will qualify, contact your bank directly to find out.
What is the interest rate after the 0% promotional period?
After your 0% purchase promotion has finished, the outstanding balance from your purchases will be charged interest at the regular purchase rate, usually known as the "revert rate". You can consider moving your outstanding purchase amount to a 0% balance transfer credit card, which will give you more time to repay your debt interest free.
Do interest-free days apply during a 0% purchase promotion?
For the length of the 0% purchase promotion period, standard interest-free days offers do not apply. If your card comes with an interest-free days feature (say, for up to 55 days), then you'll be able to take advantage of this when the promotional period ends. Note that this type of interest-free day period usually only applies if you pay your entire balance in full by the due date on each statement.
Do I have to make any repayments with a 0% purchase promotion?
Yes. You must make the minimum monthly repayment of the credit card even with a 0% purchase promotion available. This repayment is generally around 2-3% of the full outstanding balance, or a set dollar amount if the outstanding balance is below a certain level (often $25). Please note that paying the minimum monthly repayment isn't usually enough to repay the entire balance before the promotional period ends, though. So if you want to avoid collecting the standard interest rate, pay as much as you can each month to pay it in full before the standard interest rate applies.
Can I pay my bills or government payments with no interest cards?
Banks generally exclude bill and government payments from eligible purchases so they will not be considered an interest-free purchase. If you would like to inquire further, contact your bank's customer service team directly.