0% on Credit Card Purchase Offers

Pauline Hatch     

You could pay no interest for a promotional period with a 0% purchase offer credit card.

With these cards, you won’t pay any interest on purchases you make during the no-interest introductory period. That gives you time to repay what you spend without extra fees like interest charges. What to know about 0% purchase rate credit cards:
  • The 0% rate is only for a limited period, usually between 6 and 17 months. Sometimes you might find a longer period
  • After the introductory period, anything you haven’t repaid will be charged at the cash advance rate, which is usually higher
  • 0% purchase offer credit cards may have annual fees and other costs
How to compare: use the toggles to sort the no interest credit cards by the feature you want to highlight most. You can input your average monthly spend, and current interest rate and annual fees on an existing card to see how much you’ll save each year.
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0% purchase offers

A 0% purchase offer on a credit card means the interest is waived for a certain timeframe, giving you interest-free spending. To make it work, make sure you know how long the intro period lasts for, what interest rate applies afterwards, and make a plan to pay off all your purchases before interest kicks in.

No interest credit cards rival Buy Now Pay Later schemes, but with added perks.

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What are 0% purchase credit cards?

Normally when you use a credit card, you’re charged interest on your purchase. A 0% purchase offer is a deal-sweetener offered by lenders that waives the interest charges for a certain time period.

Since the offer is a promotion to entice new cardholders, you’ll need to be a new applicant to be eligible. There’s often an expiration date for 0% interest offers, so you’ll have to apply before the offer ends. 

You’ll get the most benefit out of a no interest card by paying off the full amount each month, and making sure the card is paid off completely before the introductory no-interest period ends.

If you don’t pay off the balance in full each month, you’ll still need to make minimum repayments like any other credit card.

Some cards have lifetime 0% interest periods beyond the normal 44 or 55 days, making it even easier to manage your money long-term. For example, the Humm90 credit card gives you:

  • 110 days interest free on your everyday purchases for life
  • 5 years (60 months) interest free at selected big-name retailers like Ikea, Bing Lee, Flight Centre and Panasonic
  • No transaction fees on overseas purchases
  • No annual fee for the first year

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HUMM90 CARD

All types of interest free credit cards

There are a few types of ‘interest free’ credit cards, so it’s a good idea to compare apples to apples. 

Here’s a summary of the different types of no interest offers out there:

Lifetime 0% Interest Cards Cards that have no interest charged, ever, were introduced to rival the Buy Now, Pay Later scene. Instead of charging interest, you’ll only pay a small monthly fee (around $10 - $22) which is waived by some lenders if you pay off your card in full each month.

The downside to interest free cards is that they’re extremely basic, and won’t offer any of the benefits that come with more high-powered cards offering 0% interest as a promotion. 

And, if you don’t meet the criteria for waiving the monthly fee, you might find yourself paying just as much each year – if not more – than a card with more perks, like earning rewards points.

You can find out more about interest free credit cards here:


🏆 GREAT OFFER:
Humm90: 0% interest for 110 days on everyday purchases for life, up to 60 days interest-free with a huge variety of selected retailers. No annual fee the first year (then $99 annually) plus 0% transaction fees on overseas purchases.


Westpac Flex: 0% interest, $10 monthly fee (waived if you pay your card in full each month). Flexible repayment options, but a low credit limit of $1,000.

Commbank Neo: 0% interest, and a monthly fee on a sliding scale depending on the credit limit (fees start from $12). The fee is waived if you don’t use your card and have a zero balance that month. Credit limits are $1,000, $2,000 and $3,000.

Community First Bank nOw: 0% interest with credit limits between $1,000 and $3,000. Monthly fees are based on credit limit and start at $9 per month. 

0% Balance Transfer Cards A card with a 0% balance transfer offer means you won’t pay interest on debt you move from an existing credit card to the new one. These cards are super helpful for paying down debt, because you won’t be hit with interest during the interest-free period. 

Some cards waive interest on balance transfers for up to 36 months, giving you a decent chunk of time to repay any money you owe without penalty.

To see more, and to compare the cards on offer with our one-click comparison tool, go to our 0% balance transfers guide.

0% Purchase Offer Promotional Cards Introductory offers that waive the purchase rate for a period of time are useful because you get all the bonuses of a regular credit card without paying the normal interest on your purchases.

When you’re choosing a 0% purchase offer credit card, always look at the interest rate that will apply after the introductory offer ends, especially if you plan on keeping the card long-term.

The cards in this guide all offer introductory 0% interest. Click each card for a full review and to see all the extras you’ll get.

 

What can you save with a no interest credit card?

Let’s look at an example of using a card with and without interest on a large purchase where interest is charged at 20%.

You buy a large-screen TV for $3,000 and pay down $250 each month. It’ll take you 14 months to pay it off, and you’ll pay $376 in interest.

With an interest free card, you could pay off your TV in 12 months and pay no interest, saying you $376.

 

What can you use a 0% purchase credit card for?

0% purchase offer cards are flexible little cards. They allow you to use your card without penalty for the interest free period. 

Eligible purchases: you can use an interest free card for regular eligible spending without paying interest in the introductory timeframe. Think supermarket shopping, big-ticket items, technology, and dining out.

Purchases that might invite interest: Even with a 0% purchase offer, you might be charged interest on cash advances (where you withdraw money from your card), foreign currency purchases, and BPAY payments. The card’s PDS will outline eligible and ineligible transactions.

How long does the introductory period last?

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Introductory periods vary. Some cards may offer introductory periods up to 17 months – and sometimes even longer – while others may last six months or so. Why does it vary so widely?

The type of card: You may find cards with low interest rates, or low or no annual fees have shorter 0% purchase introductory periods. On the flip side, higher end cards with higher annual fees and interest rates hand out longer introductory periods.

That’s not a black-and-white rule though, so make sure to compare all the options to find the one that suits you.

The card provider: In the world of credit card providers, there are big fish and little fish. Big fish, such as the Big Four banks, have bigger budgets, which can make it easier to provide bigger introductory offers. Smaller institutions, like credit unions and member-owned banks tend to rely more on low ongoing costs rather than big introductory offers.

But, that’s not to say you can’t get a great deal going to a smaller provider. Use our comparison tool to weigh up the different offers from a range of providers.

The popularity of the offer: Introductory offers can rise and fall in popularity. When comparing introductory offers, you might find there’s more options and better deals on balance transfers, because at that time they’re a more popular type of offer.

Then, 0% purchase offers might start trending again – you never know, which is why it’s a good idea to keep checking in and comparing cards to find the best deals.

What happens at the end of the introductory period?

Once the introductory period is up, the card’s standard purchase rate comes into play (called the revert rate). So, any new purchases, and anything left unpaid, will be charged interest at the card’s revert rate.

Just a warning – the revert rate can often be quite high, sometimes over 20%, especially if it’s the same as the card’s cash advance rate.

Always check the card’s revert rate, especially if:

  • You plan to keep the card past the introductory period.
  • You don’t always clear your balance month-to-month.
  • You may not pay off all purchases made within the introductory period.

What about 55 days interest-free offers? Are they the same?

Interest-free days aren’t the same as introductory 0% purchase rate or lifetime interest free cards.

Normally, interest is charged daily, so if you buy a latte you’ll be charged interest immediately. With a card offering 45 and 55 days interest free, you won’t be charged until your interest free days expire.

Interest free days work best when you plan to pay off your card each month, because you’ll be paying it off within the interest free days and won’t be charged.

You can also check that the card has interest free days once your promotional period ends.

How do I compare 0% purchase offers?

Our one-click comparison tool makes it easy to compare cards against each other, and even calculate what you could save by switching cards.

Just use the toggles in the comparison tool to sort the cards in order of the features you want to prioritise. Here’s some things to think about when you’re comparing:

The introductory period. Offers can last anywhere up to 17 months (these kinds of interest free offers are always promotional and change regularly). You might think longer is better, but you should make sure everything else about the card stacks up, too. What are the annual fees? Does it have interest free days once the offer ends? What’s the normal interest rate (also called the revert rate) that’ll come into effect when the offer is finished?

The standard purchase rate. The purchase rate is the percentage of interest charged on your purchases. It’s also called the revert rate when it comes into place after a promotional offer ends. Check the revert rate if you’re planning to keep the card long term, especially if you’re not sure you’ll pay it off in full each month.

The annual fee. Annual fees vary, from no fee at all up to a few hundred dollars. Some cards offer a discounted first year, which can be helpful to keep your card costs to a minimum for a time.

Features. Does the card have any other perks that make it a better fit for you? Sometimes you might opt for a slightly higher annual fee if it means you’re getting a feature that you’ll get a lot of value out of. Click each card to see a full review of its features, pros and cons.

Do I have to make repayments during the interest free period?

Yes, interest free just means you won’t be charged interest, but you’ll still have to pay a minimum repayment each month. Typically, minimum repayments are 2-3% of the balance or $20-$30, although those rates can be different between lenders.

It’s usually a good idea to make more than the minimum repayments, so you pay your balance down faster – especially if you know the introductory 0% purchase offer is coming to an end.

How do you make the most of a 0% purchase offer?

Step 1. Choose the offer that works for you. Think about how long the offer lasts and what else the card has to offer.

Step 2. Make a plan for your purchases. If you have specific purchases in mind, such as a holiday or a renovation project, make a budget and avoid spending over it. Keep track of your spending month-to-month to make sure you’re not spending more than you can afford to pay back.

Step 3. Set up a payment plan. Know how much you need to pay back each month to clear your purchases before the end of the introductory period.

Pauline Hatch

Pauline Hatch is a personal finance expert at Creditcard.com.au with 8 years of finance writing under her belt. She loves turning complex money concepts into simple, practical actions so you can win financially. You can ask Pauline any questions by submitting a comment below and get a personal reply.

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111 questions (showing the latest 10 Q&As)

my

my

6 February 2024
with balance transfer, if it’s in my husband’s name, can I still do balance transfer?
Mandy Liddle

Mandy Liddle

28 December 2023
Hello I have a NAB Platinum credit card, Limit of $12000, 19.99 % interest and yearly fee of $195 and also gets rewards. I see the Bankwest Breeze Mastercard would be the best option but was wondering if it has rewards as they do come in handy Thanks Mandy
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    4 January 2024
    Hi Mandy, unfortunately, the Bankwest Breeze card does not have any rewards program. If you’d like, you can compare a range of rewards credit cards available for options and see if there’s anything that you might be interested in.
Donna

Donna

10 July 2023
What is the best credit card that you have that pays no interest ever and no annual fee.
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    11 July 2023
    Hi Donna, the “best” card depends on your preference.-You’ll need to work out what you’re looking for in a card, how you’ll use it, whether you’ll pay it off each statement period etc. Above you can check out the list above for some of the credit cards that have zero interest in purchases and a range of no annual fee credit cards for options.
Mansila Tabunaidid

Mansila Tabunaidid

14 June 2023
Who can I own a credit card??
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    15 June 2023
    Hi Mansila, if you’re looking to apply for a credit card, you can check some of the credit cards that offer zero interest on purchases or some of the other cards we’ve listed for options. If you’re confident you’ve met all the eligibility criteria, you can click the green Go To Offer button to proceed with your application. Good luck!
John

John

26 May 2023
When it says 0% rate on purchases for 14 months, does it apply to all purchases made within the 14 months?
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    30 May 2023
    Hi John, good question! The promotional offer of 0% interest rate on purchases for X months actually means that you get to enjoy no interest on purchases you made during the promotional period. To enjoy the offer, you need to pay at least the minimum amount on or before the due date indicated on your statement each month. And any balance left after the promotional period will go back to the card’s revert interest rate.
Rewa Shuttleworth

Rewa Shuttleworth

9 May 2023
I want to get a credit card for 10.000
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    10 May 2023
    Hi Rewa, unfortunately, there’s no assurance of obtaining a card with your preferred credit limit. Card issuers determine this based on factors like your annual income, credit file, repayment capacity, debt to income serviceability among many other things they keep under tight lock and key.
Danny Chen

Danny Chen

9 May 2023
Is there any credit card broker in Australia? My wife and I earns pretty well and we have 7 investment properties, we are looking to change our Woolworth credit card and we cannot seem to past the AI card assessment. How is it possible for us to be holding over nearly 200K in cash and we still cannot get an approval for a 8-10k replacement credit card?
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    10 May 2023
    Hi Danny, that's a tough situation. Have you checked your credit score? Equifax says a 'good' score is 660+, but 800+ is safer. If there are inaccuracies in your credit report, you can use a reporting agency to get them fixed up. It's possible the debt from your investment properties is playing a part, but the algorithm banks use is a mystery, so it's hard to know. Do some digging, and call a bank that knocked you back and ask why. They might be able to give you some insight too. Good luck Danny!
dean godfrey

dean godfrey

10 April 2023
my first credit card and want to spend online wat do you suggest
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    11 April 2023
    Hi Dean, getting your first credit card can be both exciting and thrilling but it does come with a ton of financial responsibilities too. Have a read of our tips when you get your first card, and when you feel you’re ready, you can compare some of the credit cards for first time users, read our reviews and then decide on the one that will suit your needs.
Jeff

Jeff

31 March 2023
How many days can you have on interest free cards
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    31 March 2023
    Hi Jeff, the number of interest free days on purchases varies from one card provider to another, but the typical interest-free period length most banks in Australia offer is between 44-55 days. Some cards like the Latitude Gem Visa and the Latitude GO Mastercard have offers for certain purchase amounts with T&C’s around them. If you already have a card, you can check the fine print or contact your credit card issuer to know your card’s interest free period.
Julianne McKay

Julianne McKay

22 March 2023
Can l use the card to say pay for mechanical work done on my car etc
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    23 March 2023
    Hi Julianne, yes you sure can use your credit card. Just check with your mechanic or repair shop first to make sure they accept credit card payments.
Faasi

Faasi

10 February 2023
which one is the best credit card with low rate and no annual fee no international conversion fee and complementary travel insurance and extra complementary stuff
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    13 February 2023
    Hi Faasi, that’s a million-dollar question! It’s tough for us to recommend a ‘best’ card, because it’s really about how you intend to use it, which will be different to someone else! I will say that you’ll struggle to find a card with no annual fee that still comes with all those inclusions, since insurances, rewards and no foreign fees are premium features. Your best bet is to look at our comparison guides and use the toggles to sort by feature. You’ll quickly see some of the credit cards popping up more than once. We highlight the key features on the comparison guides to make it easier, and then give you loads more detail in our review. I hope that’s helped point you in the right direction Faasi! Comparison guides: No Foreign Fee cards // No Annual Fee cards // Free Travel Insurance cards
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