The absolutely ideal way to handle your credit card is to never carry a balance from month to month and thus avoid all interest charges. There are exceptions to this advice though and an excellent way to benefit from credit cards which offer a 0% APR on purchases for an introductory period is to use them to purchase high ticket items. When purchasing an item which requires longer financing 0% APR cards allow you to spread the cost of an expensive purchase over several months without paying interest.
There are several excellent offers with 0% APR currently on UK credit cards, which allow you to fund purchases and spread the cost interest free. However you should always be aware that the introductory periods begin from the moment the account is opened rather than the date you first use it. It is imperative that you are aware when the introductory period is due to end at which time the typical APR the card carries will begin. All introductory offers are revoked if payments are made late on the cards or if the credit limit is breached.
When comparing cards which offer 0% APR deals you should consider the length of the introductory offer, the interest rate which will apply at the end of the promotion, and any other benefits the card carries which may be of use to you. The top current offers are these:
Barclaycard Platinum Credit Card with Purchase: The introductory 0% APR period is valid for 12 months on purchases before reverting to a typical variable APR of 16.9%. In addition the card offers a rewards program and free purchase delivery protection.
Halifax All in One: This card offers 0% APR for 10 months before reverting to one of three interest rates depending on your credit rating. Typical APR’s range between 15.94% and 21.95%.
Virgin 12/12: The Virgin Card offers 0% APR for 12 months before reverting to the variable rate of 18.9% and offers a discount scheme on Virgin products.
The Tesco Club Card: This card has the longest introductory period at 13 months and the typical APR is standard at 16.9%.
In addition to these promotions both the Bank of Scotland and the Halifax have cards with 0% introductory offers on purchases which are available to existing customers.
These cards each offer the opportunity to purchase high ticket items without the need to enter into store credit agreements or pay high interest rates on credit cards. If you do have a large purchase planned make it as soon as receiving the card, to benefit from the longest introductory period.