Plan ahead for Christmas and you can do it without going into crazy debt. One way to do it is to apply NOW for a 0% on purchases credit card. It can take a few weeks to get the card so if you apply now you can get it in time for the festive season.
What are 0% purchase credit cards, and why are they good for Christmas? We explain it all – and show you the best cards to go for.
- What are 0% purchase credit cards?
- Who are these cards good for?
- Why they’re good for Christmas spending
- Should I apply?
- Find the best cards here
0% purchase credit cards charge you no interest at all for a certain period when you buy things with it, allowing you to spread the cost of your purchases over time (whether you’re buying one big thing or several smaller items).
Unlike buying things with a normal credit card, you don’t get charged interest for several months so you could potentially pay off your debt over that time without having to pay anything extra.
If you’re disciplined, cards that offer 0% interest on purchases can be a real help if you want to spread the cost of buying something big, like a new car, a holiday, or simply your Christmas shopping.
It’s much better to use one of these cards than to go for a 0% finance deal in a shop. With your own 0% credit card you have a lot more control over the way you pay back the money.
If you don’t manage to pay the lot over over the 0% period, try and switch the remaining debt to a 0% on balance transfers card instead.
If you’re really canny, you can even use a 0% purchase card to make you money. If you have the cash to cover the whole purchase, you could still buy the item (or items) with your 0% purchase card, then put the money into a high interest savings account and earn some interest on it until the end of the 0% period (not much, admittedly, but better than nothing!)
To make the most of these cards, you should aim to pay the whole thing off before the 0% period finishes. That way, you ensure that you clear off all your debt without paying any interest on it.
0% Purchase cards and Christmas spending
If you don’t have the cash to pay for your Christmas celebrations on the spot, a 0% purchase credit card can help.
Spending on 0% purchase cards is still getting into debt, though, so you need to limit your spending as much as you can. However, you won’t be paying any interest on your spending, so you’ll only need to pay back the exact amount you spend.
The key point here is plan your borrowing – make sure you budget for the amount you spend.
Just be sure you can pay the whole balance off before the end of the 0% period.
You might think that with several months to pay off the debt, that’s not a problem. But by the end of the 0% period you’ll be gearing up for another Christmas, which you’ll have to pay for. So you don’t still want to be offloading last year’s debt!
The key thing is to control yourself and not just buy things on a whim because you can. Only buy the essentials you need for a fun Christmas and make sure you start paying off your balance immediately in the New Year.
Should I apply?
Not everyone is approved for these cards. And remember that each time you apply for credit and get rejected you get minus points on your credit rating ‘scorecard’.
You should check your Experian Credit Score before applying. Their new CreditMatcher services is now FREE forever, all you have to do is sign up as a new member.
If you find out that your score isn’t good or excellent, it’s probably best not to apply for one of these cards.
Go instead for a card with a low regular interest rate. Or, even better, save up for the thing you want to get and then buy it!
The best cards change all the time so make sure you check out the various 0% purchase cards on the market at the moment.