Looking to pay for a big spend but without high interest charges? A 0% purchase credit card is one very good option, as these cards give you an interest-free period to pay off your debt.

Here are the top cards right now and what you need to be aware of before you borrow.

The pros of a 0% purchase card

The beauty of a 0% purchases credit card is, so long as you pay it off within the interest-free period, every penny goes to paying off your debt.

So if you know you've got a big purchase ahead of you, going for a 0% credit card is a sensible course of action.

The downsides of a 0% purchase card

There are some hurdles to consider though. What if you don’t manage to clear your balance before the 0% period finishes and you still have thousands of pounds sat on the card?

You have a couple of options. The first is to do nothing – leave your debt where it is, continue making your monthly payments, and your debt will eventually disappear. That said, you will end up spending a decent chunk of cash on interest.

Or you can move the remaining debt to a balance transfer card, which will also offer a period of 0% interest on your debt.

Longest 0% purchase credit cards

Here are the longest 0% periods on offer today for purchases.

Credit card

0% period

Representative APR

Halifax Purchase Credit Card

30 months

18.9%

Sainsbury’s Bank Purchase Credit Card

29 months

18.9%

AA Dual Credit Card

28 months

18.9%

Post Office Money Platinum Credit Card

28 months

19.9%

Sainsbury's Bank Dual Offer Credit Card

28 months

18.9%

Virgin 28-Month Purchase Credit Card

28 months

19.9%

Tesco Bank Clubcard Credit Card for Purchases

28 months

18.9%

Santander Everyday Credit Card

27 months

18.9%

Virgin 27-Month All Round Credit Card

27 months

18.9%

The supermarkets are also dishing out great products with the Sainsbury’s Bank Purchase Credit Card offering 29 months interest-free, while the Sainsbury's Bank Dual Offer Credit Card and Tesco Bank Clubcard Credit Card for Purchases are offering 28 months.

If you're looking for a card to spread the cost of a big purchase it might also be worth looking at the AA Dual Credit Card, which is paying £35 cashback when you spend £500 or more in the first 60 days you have the card.

Good credit rating required

And then there’s the fact that in order to get your hands on a 0% card you’ll need to have a good credit record. Credit card providers don’t make a habit of handing out these cards to any old borrower – ironically the borrowers who would most benefit from a bit of breathing space in paying off their debts are the ones who find it most difficult to get their hands on 0% cards.

Alternatively, you may find that your credit rating is good enough to get a 0% on purchases card, but not good enough to get the very best 0% card. Halifax is now offering 'tiered 0% deals' where some applicants get 0% cards but with shorter interest-free periods.

Therefore, the best way to get a 0% card is to ensure your credit rating is as spotless as possible.

Compare 0% purchase credit cards