'Tis (almost) the season to be jolly, but before all that festive fun begins, chances are you've got a bit more shopping to do – and if you're turning to credit, you'll want to find a card that offers a 0% interest deal to spread the cost of Christmas without interest adding to the bill.
We've already talked about how a cashback card can fuel your festive spending, but using cards that offer 0% interest on purchases means you can shop without needing to worry about the financial hangover. You can cover your festive spend and pay the balance off in the New Year, and as long as you go about it the right way – by ensuring you pay off the full amount by the time the interest-free deal comes to an end – it could be a great way to tick everyone off the gift list.
There's a wide range of 0% interest cards to choose from, with some seriously long introductory purchase terms on offer. But, as with any card, they need to be managed efficiently, and should only be considered by those who are truly financially organised.
Not only will you need to ensure that the full amount can be repaid by the end of the interest-free period – failing to do so will mean interest will quickly start accumulating – but you need to make absolutely certain that you can meet at least the minimum repayments each month, because if you miss one, your interest-free deal will effectively be cancelled and you'll start racking up additional debt.
However, if you make sure you can comfortably afford the minimum payments and have a plan in place of how you'll repay the lot, a 0% purchase credit card could be a great way to cover your festive spend without incurring any interest. Just make sure your credit score is up to scratch before you apply.
Sound like a good deal? Then you'll need to find the card to suit. Here's a run-through of the 0% purchase credit cards currently sitting at the top of the Moneyfacts Best Buys.
Comfortably taking the top spot in the 0% purchase sector is this card from Sainsbury's Bank, which boasts the longest introductory term available. Borrowers can spread the cost of their festive purchases for a market-leading 29 months before interest is charged, and can even enjoy 29 months of 0% balance transfers.
This card could be particularly suitable for loyal Sainsbury's shoppers in the weeks leading up to Christmas, as not only can customers rack up standard Nectar points, but they can earn bonus points each time they spend £35 or more on Sainsbury's shopping – festive food shop, anyone?
In second place is Post Office Money, with this straightforward deal that boasts an introductory purchase term of 28 months from the date of issue, alongside a 0% balance transfer term of 18 months. As an added bonus, this online-exclusive deal doesn't charge foreign usage fees, making it ideal for regular travellers – particularly those who may be heading to a Christmas market on the continent in the next few weeks.
MBNA secures third place with this card that really offers the whole package – as well as a 28-month introductory term for purchases, it includes the same interest-free deal for balance and money transfers too, offering something for everyone.
Next up is Virgin Money with this deal offering 28 months of 0% interest on purchases as well as an 18-month 0% balance and money transfer term, the latter boasting highly competitive introductory fees as well.
Sainsbury's Bank has managed to sneak a second card in the top six, this time its deal boasting a 27-month 0% term for purchases as well as a three-month term for balance transfers. It comes with the same Nectar points benefits as its market-leading counterpart above, which means this card could be well worth considering for those who want to spread the cost of their festive purchases.
Clydesdale Bank just makes it into the top six with its Gold Mastercard, a deal offering 26 months of 0% interest on purchases as well as a 12-month 0% balance transfer term, offering a competitive deal for those who want to both spread the cost of their purchases and clear outstanding debt.
Information & rates correct as at: 29.11.2018
Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.