0% Deal Finder: June’s long interest-free credit card deals are shorter (but many good offers are still out there)

Posted: 4 June 2019 11:49 am
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June’s top credit card deal will give you up to 28 months to spread out the cost of your summer holiday.

We know how it goes. Saving for the summer was your top-priority New Year’s resolution, but then life happened and with what you’ve put aside at best you can afford to spend a weekend in Brighton.

A 0% credit card may be a solution: credit card companies are offering shorter 0% deals than they offered three months ago, but you can still grab yourself a decent one.

0% purchase credit cards top deals

A 0% purchase credit card is the easiest way to spread out a big expense, such as a holiday, a new fridge or the dress for your sister’s wedding, without paying any interest on it. The longest 0% period on purchases is currently offered by Barclaycard, lasts 28 months and also features an equally long 0% period if you transfer your balance.

It’s worth knowing this deal gives you 2 months less than the 30-month-long top 0% purchase deal that was available in February – Santander has since brought its All In One Credit Card’s 0% period down to a slightly less competitive 26 months. The average length of 0% purchase periods greater than 6 months has since also gone down by almost 9% (from 19.16 to 17.44 months).

Although some seasonal fluctuations are to be expected, this trend, which is followed by 0% balance transfer cards, may also have something to do with economic uncertainties tied to Brexit that make lenders less willing to give out money for long periods of time.

However, there’s still a respectable number of deals that will give you more than two years to pay off your purchase and you can compare them on our 0% purchase credit cards page. Just keep in mind that, if you don’t pay off your debt by the end of the introductory offer, it’ll start accruing interest at the card’s standard rate, at which point it’s likely to turn really expensive really quickly.

Balance transfer credit cards: Top deals

When it comes to borrowing, it’s sensible to get a 0% purchase credit card before spending the money and having a plan for paying off the balance (see Chris’s tips, below), rather than desperately looking for a balance transfer deal after you’ve realised you couldn’t really afford that flight to the Caribbean you bought last month.

But if you do need a balance transfer credit card, the longest 0% deals currently available last 29 months and are with MBNA, Sainsbury’s and Halifax.

With balance transfer deals, it’s all about finding the right balance between a long 0% period and the lowest possible balance transfer fee. Again, deals aren’t as great as three months ago these days: at the time, you could get a card that had no balance transfer fee and a 30-month-long interest-free period, and the average length of 0% balance transfer periods greater than 6 months was 20.65 months (almost 7% more than the current 19.22 months).

Should I go for a 0% offer?

Finder’s credit card expert Chris Lilly answers

Chris Lilly
The 0% deals are fantastic if you play them correctly. Whether you need a balance transfer deal for existing debt or a purchase deal for upcoming expenditure, set yourself a monthly budget for clearing your debt and stick to it. Most card issuers will let you set up a direct debit for a fixed monthly amount so that you can get debt-free (and protect your credit score) without even having to think about it. Just try not to use the card for additional spending.

None of the top balance transfer cards mentioned above is completely fee-free, but Sainsbury’s has the lowest (1.5% of your balance, minimum £3). On a £5,000 balance, that’s still £75, so it may be worth considering a balance transfer credit card with a shorter 0% period, but no balance transfer fee.

Only Santander and Co-operative Bank offer cards without a balance transfer fee, with two-year-long 0% periods, so the available selection isn’t huge, but the Barclaycard Platinum 24 Month Balance Transfer Visa is also worth a mention with its comparatively low 0.75% fee.

Finally, it’s always important to work out the overall cost for your circumstances: how much will the balance transfer fee amount to? How much would you have to pay back each month to clear your debt on time? How much would it cost to be a month late? Consider all those factors, do your maths and then compare deals (our credit cards page can help).

We exist to help you find better. The offers we've compared on this page are from a range of products whose details we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own financial circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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