Interest Free Credit Cards

Updated 24 September 2019

A card that is described as an ‘interest free credit card’ is usually a card with an interest free offer. With this type of offer, you pay no interest on purchases over an introductory period, helping you save on both day-to-day spending, as well as larger purchases. After the introductory period ends, any balance remaining and any new spending will revert to the card’s standard purchase rate.

Other types of interest free credit cards can provide interest free savings in the long term too. Usually paired with partner retailers, these cards can offer interest free periods on purchases over a certain amount made at these retailers. This can allow you to pay off larger purchases while paying nothing in interest, also helping you buy what you want now, to pay it off over time.

How To Compare Interest Free Credit Cards

Compare Interest Free Periods

When comparing interest free cards, you need to think about how much they could potentially allow you to save. Choosing a 0% interest offer, consider how long the introductory period lasts. The availability of longer offers will depend on the market. Sometimes there will be plenty of long offers to choose from, at other times, card providers may be focusing on other types of offers, such as balance transfers.

Compare Interest Free Terms

With an interest free offer, any purchase you make (not including foreign exchange, gambling transactions and so on) will be interest free throughout the introductory period. However, outside of introductory offers, your card may offer interest free purchases at specified partner retailers. If you want to take advantage of this, be sure to read the terms regarding minimum purchase amounts, interest free periods, eligible retailers and repayment schedules.

Compare Card Costs

To find out how much an interest free card could save you means first thinking about how much it will cost you. Look at how much you will pay in annual fees or account fees, and whether there are any other fees that may apply, such as rewards programme fees. If you think you may not pay off your spending before the intro period ends, be sure to find out the standard purchase rate on the card. The outgoing costs should be less than your interest savings if it’s to be worthwhile.

Compare Card Features

If you are only interested in interest free shopping, you may not be overly concerned about what else the card has to offer. In this case, a no frills card with a low annual fee may work well. On the other hand, if you do want certain features from your card, such as rewards or platinum perks, make sure the cards you are comparing have everything you need.

Compare Introductory Offers

While some cards will have a 0% purchase offer only, others may tie in other offers alongside it. This could include a balance transfer offer, a no annual fee offer, or a bonus rewards points offer. Think about what is most important to you and consider how these additional offers could be of benefit.

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Flight Centre Credit Card

Flight Centre Credit Card

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American Express Airpoints Credit Card

American Express Airpoints Credit Card

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0% on credit card purchases

Pay no interest on purchases over an introductory period. This can help you save on day-to-day spending as well as on larger purchases. Be aware what the purchases rate reverts to after the introductory period.

When A No Interest Card Would Suit You

Why choose an interest free card? Here are some situations that may benefit from an interest free offer.

Going On Holiday

There’s no denying it, travelling is expensive. But with an interest free offer, you could cover the costs of your trip, plus your holiday spending, while paying nothing in interest. This could include flights, accommodation, car hire, tours and more. Spending on a rewards card could offer even more benefit, allowing you to earn rewards points on all your travel spending. Just be aware of any foreign transaction fees if you are spending overseas.

Buying Something Big

It’s not always possible to cover the entire cost of larger purchases upfront. Whether it’s a new washing machine, a new bike for the kids, or any other expensive item you don’t have the cash to cover, an interest free offer could help you pay it off over time, while you pay nothing in interest.

Covering An Emergency Expense

Emergencies can happen at any time, and if you don’t have the savings to cover the cost, you may be in trouble. An interest free offer could help you cover the cost of surprise costs such as vet bills, car repairs, or even a new boiler, as long as you get approved and get your hands on the card quickly.

Using An Interest Free Card

Like any offer, understanding how an interest free offer works can help you make the most of it. Here are some tips that could help you take full advantage of 0% purchase offer.

Plan Your Spending

If you only want to use the card for everyday spending that you know you will pay off within the intro period, this doesn’t really apply to you. However, if you are planning a large purchase – or even a few large purchases – it can be a good idea to make a plan first.

Say you’re planning on using the card to cover the cost of renovations at home. Create a budget to work out how much you will need to spend and when. This should help you work out how much you will spend overall, so you will know what your repayments will need to be to pay it all off within the intro period.

Plan Your Repayments

Making the most of an interest free offer means paying off your balance before interest starts accruing. It’s not a great idea to just keep on spending without having a plan in place to pay it back. Knowing you are paying no interest on your purchases can make it easier to overspend, buying things you would not normally buy.

Having a repayment plan with automatic repayments set up can help you keep on top of your spending, making sure you pay off what you owe within the intro period. It can help to reassess your balance every month or so to make sure you are paying off enough with each repayment.

Understand Your Card

What happens at the end of the introductory period? How much interest will you pay on new spending? What interest will be applied to your remaining balance? If you think you may carry a balance once the intro period ends, consider how much that will cost with the standard purchase rate in place.

Time to check out the options? Take a look at the great range of interest free credit cards right here on CreditCard.co.nz and apply today.

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