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0% Interest free Credit Cards

  • Up to 51 days interest free on purchases when full balance is paid each month
  • Guaranteed credit limit
  • Check your eligibility with no impact to your credit score
Check my eligibility This won't affect your credit score

Representative example: Amount of credit £1,200. Interest rate: 49.0% pa (variable) Representative 49.0% APR (variable)

What are interest-free or 0% interest credit cards?

An interest-free credit card is one which allows you to make purchases or transfer a balance from one card to another and pay 0% interest for a set period. There are however different kinds of interest-free credit cards available dependent on your own circumstances.

For example, an interest-free or 0% interest credit card: this type of credit card lets you make purchases and pay no interest on them for a specific period. Once this period lapses, your balance will accrue interest.

Some credit card lenders in the UK also offer a 0% balance transfer card. This type of card allows you to transfer your balance from one credit card to another, usually to a lower interest card. The interest-free period varies between lenders and fees can be involved – but some lenders do offer this feature without fees to further incentivise you.

Some lenders may also offer 0% money transfer cards. These cards allow you to transfer a sum of money into a bank account to potentially cover overdrafts or other debts. Typically, this involves a fee but an interest-free period for a specific time.

Which one’s the best for you will be dependent on your circumstances. 

Apply for a credit card with an interest-free period from 118 118 Money
Our 118 118 Credit Card comes with an interest-free period of up to 51 days on purchases if you pay your balance in full each month. Use our Eligibility check to find out what credit limit we'll offer you before you apply, without affecting your credit rating!
Check my eligibility This won't affect your credit score
How does an interest-free credit card work?

Interest-free or 0% interest credit cards have a set period where you aren’t charged any interest on the balance. The period for which the card remains interest-free can vary from months to years depending on the provider and your credit history.

The 0% periods are fixed for a specific term; however, you’re still required to make at least the minimum monthly payments on the outstanding balance.

Depending on how use the card, you could pay off the entire balance within the interest-free period – resulting in you not paying any interest at all.

If however you exceed the interest-free period without clearing the balance, the interest rates will be higher.

If used responsibly, these types of cards can offer you ‘cheap’ borrowing as you aren’t paying any interest for a set time, providing you repay the full balance before the interest-free period expires. You should ensure that you can make the repayments within the time frame in your credit agreement, otherwise this could lead to financial difficulties.


Guaranteed Rate and Credit Limit

  • Credit card with an interest-free period on purchases
  • Check your eligibility with no impact on your credit score

What can you do with an interest-free credit card?

You can do the following things with an interest-free credit card:

  • Make purchases or balance transfers from a high-interest credit card for a set period, without paying interest on the balance you move from another lender.
  • Use it as a payment option if you need to make a big ticket purchase like a sofa or new dining table, and you don’t want to take a loan or store credit.
  • Get the breathing space for bigger purchases with a 0% interest credit card will give without building additional interest for a set period.

Is an interest-free credit card the same as a balance transfer credit card?

It depends if it is just a purchase credit card with a 0% period, or if it is also a balance transfer credit card. A balance transfer credit card is designed to allow you to move balances from one place to another, whereas a 0% interest credit card may just offer a 0% purchase rate for a period of time.

This said, one of the main reasons people usually take an interest-free credit card is to do balance transfers so that they can benefit from not carrying an interest bearing debt. A 0% interest credit card will give you some breathing space to try and pay off debt from balance transfers without paying any interest.

Some lenders, but not all, will charge you a balance transfer fee. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of an interest-free credit card?

Before you apply for a 0% interest credit card, it helps to know some of the potential pros and cons.

As these cards feature 0% interest for a certain period, the actual borrowing can be interest free. If the card is used irresponsibly, this can lead to mounting debts and expensive repayments.

The 0% interest period can be useful if making large purchases. If you can repay the balance within the agreed interest-free period, you can spread the cost of your purchases.

Similarly, if you’re transferring a balance from a higher interest rate card to a 0% balance transfer card, by consolidating your existing debts you may find the monthly repayments are lower. There may be balance transfer fees which will need to be factored in when calculating your monthly repayments though.

When considering some of the cons of these types of cards, once the 0% period lapses, the card usually reverts to a much higher APR or interest rate. Being mindful of whether you can repay the balance within the 0% period is therefore something you should thoroughly consider before applying for this type of card.

Dependent on the terms and conditions, typically the 0% interest-free period (unless otherwise stated) only applies to purchases or balance transfers – not cash withdrawals. If the card holder withdraws cash, this could incur interest charges and additional fees.

How do I get the best out of an interest-free credit card?

Here are our top tips to get the best out of a 0% interest credit card:

If you want the flexibility of using an interest-free credit card to move existing, more expensive balances:

  1. Find out which providers offer interest-free credit cards, and what their rates are compared to your existing debt.
  2. Check your income and expenditure to work out if you would be able to pay off any balances you transfer within the interest-free period.
    1. If your calculations show you can, then you will make a long term saving by taking out an interest-free credit card.
    2. If your calculations show you could not, then you should see what balance would be left by the time your interest-free period ends to make sure you will still be saving in the long term – if the APR or interest on the new interest-free credit card is lower than on your existing card, chances are you will make a saving – but make sure you do your calculations carefully first.
  3. Once you’ve got your interest-free credit card and done your balance transfer, make sure you’ve set up a direct debit to get the balance paid off within the interest-free period, assuming your calculations show you can afford it.

If you want to use an interest-free credit card to make a big ticket purchase:

  1.  Consider what is available from interest-free credit card providers, how long the interest-free period will be, and what the interest rate is once the interest-free period ends.
  2. Look at your income and expenditure to see if you could afford to pay off the purchase within the interest-free period.
  3. When you take out the interest-free credit card to make a big ticket purchase, make sure you get your direct debit set up to cover the amount you can afford to pay each month before the 0% period ends.

Can I get an interest-free credit card from 118 118 Money?

In order to get the interest-free period on new transactions, you need to pay off the statement balance, in full by the payment due date. For more details on how the interest-free period works, visit our credit card FAQs.

Apply for a credit card with an interest-free period

Want to apply for a credit card with 118 118 Money? As long as you pay your balance in full each month you can benefit from an interest-free period of up to 51 days. 

You can try our eligibility check first to see if you’ll be accepted before you apply – and it won’t affect your credit rating.

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0% Interest-Free Credit Card FAQs

This depends on the features of the card you apply for. Some lenders do offer interest-free periods on both, however there may be a fee involved on the balance transfer. This feature does differ from one lender to another, not all lenders offer interest free periods on both,

Yes, you can apply for a credit card with poor credit but each lender has their own criteria for acceptance. Most lenders, including 118 118 Money offer an eligibility check option which you can use to see if you are likely to be accepted without impacting your credit rating. Remember, a full application does require a full credit check which will leave a mark on your credit file.

This depends on your own individual circumstances. If the interest-free period is financially suitable for your circumstances and you think you can clear the balance before the 0% period expires, then this can work out financially cheaper than a personal loan. With a personal loan you are required to pay a set amount over a set period. But this is dependent on your individual financial situation, if you’re unable to clear the balance over the interest-free period then this may work out more expensive in the long run.

Interest-free credit cards can be a good idea, depending on your circumstances and if used in a certain way – that is, if you pay off all your balance transfers and purchases before the interest-free period comes to an end. That way you won’t incur interest or any additional charges. You should also check that the purchase rate is more favourable than that on your existing credit card if you are doing a balance transfer or closing one card and moving to another.

The rate which your credit card provider offers does not directly impact your credit score. As with all credit cards though, if used responsibly, these can have a positive impact on your credit score and potentially help you build credit. However, if you don’t repay at least your minimum monthly repayments on an interest-free card, then this will negatively impact your credit score too.

Yes, as with other credit cards, the Section 75 rule still applies on a 0% interest-free credit card too. This covers purchases over £100 and up to £30,000.


Want to apply for a credit card with an interest-free period with 118 118 Money?

If you pay your balance in full each month you can benefit from an interest-free period of up to 51 days on purchases.

See if you’ll be accepted before you apply and find out what credit limit we will offer you without affecting your credit rating!