Both the Post Office and Virgin are now offering best-buy credit cards that will charge 0% interest on purchases for 25 and 24 months respectively, allowing you to spread the costs of large items over long period of time without being penalised.
The Post Office card, known as the Matched Credit Card, charges no interest on purchases for the 25 month period; thereafter the card will revert to a typical 18.9% APR after the period is up.
The only requirement is that you make a purchase within the first three months of taking out the card, otherwise the interest free period will shrink to 16 months.
Balance transfers are also interest free, but with a 2.98% charge for each transfer, for the first 16 months.
Virginís All Round Credit Card offers 0% interest on both purchases and balance transfers for 24 months, and also reverts to a typical 18.9% APR once the two years is up. Virginís offering also charges a lower 1% fee for balance transfers.
Both of these cards come with no annual fees and both have a typical credit limit of £1,200, though this, like the APR, will vary from customer to customer, depending on your credit rating.
It is worth noting though that a soft credit search showed that only 70% of applicants will be accepted for the Post Office Matched Credit Card, whereas 95% would be accepted for the Virgin All Round Credit Card. And of course, the representative rates will only be offered to 51% of applicants and given the popularity of these cards, those with average to poor credit ratings may well find themselves being turned down in favour of more demonstrably reliable candidates.
Those who arenít sure about whether theyíll be accepted can try conducting a soft search of their own on one of the various websites offering such a service.
These cards, and others like them, are being lauded as viable alternatives to small personal loans. Those with near perfect credit scores will be able to benefit from higher credit limits, making these interest free cards all the more attractive and useful.
Compare Credit Cards with MoneyExpert.