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Compare long-term purchase offer credit cards

Long-term purchase offers allow you to make purchases and pay no interest for up to 15 months

Credit cards give people easy means to pay for purchases even when they don’t have money, and they can then repay the money in installments over a period of time. What you, as a consumer, should know is that credit card companies make most of their money through interest that you end up paying, and the longer you take to repay, more you end up paying in the form of interest.

The good thing is you can find credit cards that come with promotional interest rate offers that can lead to noticeable long-term savings.

Comparison of credit cards with long-term purchase offers

A long-term purchase offer credit card charges little to no interest on purchases for a given period of time, which can extend up to a year. While finding cards that come with three months purchase rate offers is quite common, finding cards that offer purchase rate offers beyond the six months mark is not.
A card that charges a low ongoing interest rate on purchases can qualify as a long-term purchase credit card, given that it attracts the same low interest for as long as you keep your account active. To save on interest, cardholders can also make use of interest free days on purchase most cards have to offer, but these range in between 30 to 62 days, no more.

How do long-term purchase credit cards work?

A long-term purchase rate credit card, as mentioned, can work in two basic ways.

  • Introductory purchase rate. A long-term introductory purchase rate offer is one that usually stays in place for nine to 12 months. This rate will then revert to a higher rate at the end of the promotional period.
  • Low ongoing purchase rate. There are credit cards that charge ongoing purchase rates of around 13% p.a. This is considerably lower than around 19% that most premium cards charge, so these low rate cards can also work well as long-term purchase rate credit cards.

How can I use a long-term purchase interest rate credit card?

It’s important that you use this type of credit card offer in the way it’s intended to be used. Here’s how to make sure you make the most of your card:

  • Only spend as much as you can afford to repay within the introductory period. No matter how long the introductory rate lasts for, you’re going to have to repay your purchase in the end or be stuck paying interest on your purchases.
  • If you still have a balance at the end of the intro period, consider a balance transfer. If you’ve finished the introductory period and you still have an unpaid debt on your card, there are some options available to you. One of those options is called a balance transfer. You can transfer your balance over to a new credit card that has a special interest rate on balance transfers for a set period of time to further delay paying interest on your purchases.
  • Make contributions to your card balance each month. Some make the mistake of nearing the end of their introductory period and realising they won’t be able to pay off their balance before it ends. They’ll either have to make a massive repayment or start paying interest, so it’s important you put in place a repayment plan as mentioned above to ensure you can repay the entire balance of the card within the introductory rate period.

How can I compare long-term purchase rate credit cards?

Comparing long-term purchase rate credit cards requires that you pay attention to a number of factors, including the following:

  • Introductory interest rate. This is the interest purchases attract during the promotional period and this can be as low as 0% p.a.
  • Length of introductory rate period. A number of credit cards come with promotional interest rate offers, and while these can extend up to 18 months for balance transfers, but the same is not the case with purchases. For purchases, this period typically varies between three and 12 months.
  • Revert rate. At the end of the introductory period, any remaining funds will begin accruing interest at the revert rate. This can be considerably higher than the promotional period, so make sure to confirm these details before applying to avoid any nasty surprises.
  • Annual fee. The annual fee will vary according to the card, with some charging no annual fee and others charging $200 p.a. or more. To determine whether the annual fee is worth it, you’ll need to establish whether the features and benefits of the cards will outweigh this cost.

How can a long-term 0% purchase rate offer help you save?

Let's say that you've moved house and need to make $3,000 worth of purchases to pay for some new furniture. If you got a credit card with a 0% for 12 months offer and a $59 annual fee, you would need to pay $250 each month to repay the entire balance before the promotional period ends and the revert rate applies. Including your repayments and annual fee, this would bring your total costs to $3,059. This is considerably lower than if you opted for a card with a standard interest rate of around 19% that charged no annual fee. If you paid $250 per month but were accruing 19.00% interest, it would take you a year and two months to repay the $3,000 debt and you would've accrued an additional $295 in interest.

Diagram showing repayment terms


What are the pros and cons of using a long-term purchase interest rate credit card?


  • Buy what you want. If you want to buy something but don’t have the money to pay for it, this type of card allows you to make the purchase without the penalty of accruing interest.
  • Save money. Paying interest on purchases can add up, so being free of this cost can lead to significant savings for some cardholders.


  • Requires that you plan ahead of time. The ability to buy something without having to pay interest might seem great, but things can take a turn for a worse if you don’t plan your repayments in advance. Don’t forget that any outstanding balance at the end of the promotional period starts attracting interest.
  • Nullified offers. You have to make sure you don’t do anything that can cause your credit card provider to nullify the purchase rate offer, and you can find details of the same by going through your card’s terms and conditions. Instances that can lead to invalidation of such offers include making late payments, missing payments, and exceeding the credit limit.

What else should I consider?

Before you apply for a credit card with a long-term purchase rate, take the following into consideration as well:

  • Rewards. Some such cards come linked to rewards programs, giving you the ability to earn and redeem reward points as per your spending. Earn rates and opportunities for earning and redeeming can vary from one card to another, and the programs that compliment your existing spending habits will be of the greatest value.
  • Balance transfer offers. Certain long-term purchase rate cards come with balance transfer offers, where you get to pay little or no interest on transferred balances for a given time period. Remember, though, that the terms of purchase rate and balance transfer rate offers might not be the same.
  • Complimentary insurance covers. You can consider getting a long-term purchase rate card that offers complimentary purchase and travel insurance covers, but bear in mind that these come at a cost.

If you wish to buy something now and repay it over a period of time without paying any interest, getting a long-term purchase rate offer card might be your best bet. What helps is that you have a number of such cards from which to choose, but it’s important that you compare your options well to find the right option for you.

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Frequently asked questions

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Credit Card Offers

Important Information*
Westpac Low Rate Card
Westpac Low Rate Card

Interest rate


Annual fee

HSBC Platinum Credit Card
HSBC Platinum Credit Card

Interest rate


Annual fee

St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer

Interest rate


Annual fee


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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    PeterMarch 29, 2013

    Is using a credit card to pay for a dentist bill considered a purchase?

    • Staff
      JeremyMarch 29, 2013Staff

      Hi Peter

      Thanks for your question. Paying a dentist via their credit card payment facility would be considered a purchase and charged at the standard variable rate of interest.

      Please let us know if you have any further questions, we are here to help



Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated June 18th, 2018
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
Westpac Low Rate Card
13.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
Offers a 0% for 24 month balance transfer option, first year annual fee waiver and a competitive purchase rate.
American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle - Qantas - Exclusive Offer
20.24% p.a.
$50 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($249 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 90,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the criteria with this dual Visa (issued & serviced by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex).
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Offers a 0% p.a. for 22 months balance transfer, $0 annual fee for the first year and an annual fee refund each year when you spend $6,000.
NAB Low Fee Card
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$30 p.a.
Receive complimentary purchase protection insurance, a 18 month balance transfer offer and special offers from Visa Entertainment.
Citi Platinum Credit Card - 100k Bonus Points
20.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 100,000 reward Points, enjoy a long-term balance transfer offer, a discounted first year annual fee and complimentary travel insurance.

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* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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