Understanding 0% balance transfer and purchase cards
A combined balance transfer and purchase card is effectively two cards in one.
Providing the best of both, it offers a combination of an interest-free period on balance transfers and a 0% interest period on new spending.
This means that there’s no excuse for paying interest on your existing credit card debt or new purchases. Plus, you’ll only need to apply for one credit card.
Is this card right for me?
A combined balance transfer and purchase card can be useful in certain situations, but there may be a better card out there. Follow these rules to work out if it's the right card for you.
If you want one card for all of your credit needs, a combined balance transfer and purchase card is an effective tool. You won’t have to monitor several credit card accounts or make multiple credit card applications.
However, if you’re looking for the cheapest way to clear your debt this isn't it. You will get a much longer 0% period if you opt for a balance transfer credit card. While you may not be able to use a balance transfer card to spend, they do tend to offer a cheaper transfer fee too – find a balance transfer card.
If you don’t have any existing credit card debt and are looking for a cheap way to spend, try a 0% purchase card instead. The interest-free period is likely to be longer and you're likely to be better off – check your eligibility for a 0% purchase card.
How to make a combined card work for you
Use a combined balance transfer and purchase card carefully and you can borrow money without paying a penny. Here’s how:
Never miss a payment: Set up a direct debit to cover at least the minimum payment on your card. Missing even one payment will have a negative effect on your credit rating and your provider could even stop your 0% interest deal.
Cancel your old cards: Improve your credit rating in the process by cancelling your old cards. Lenders look at how much credit you have available to you, even if you’ve since transferred your balance.
Clear your debt in time: Don’t leave debt on a combined credit card after the 0% period ends. The interest charges will cancel out the benefit of using the card in the first place. If you can’t clear your balance in time, it can pay to move your debt to another 0% deal.
Remember the deal end date: Avoid paying interest by making a note or setting a reminder of when the 0% period ends.