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Spread Christmas costs with a 0% card

With careful planning and strict budgeting, the right type of credit card can help you cover the cost of Christmas without storing up big problems for the New Year.

There are still a couple of months to go but not too early to start planning financially to cover the extra cost of the holiday season.

Purchase credit cards

If you’re thinking about making a few larger purchases – Christmas food, presents and a party perhaps – you may want to consider a new purchase credit card.

Most offer interest-free introductory deals - up to 18 months at 0 per cent interest in some cases – allowing you to spend and spread the repayments over a period of time without interest charges racking up.

Here’s a look at our top five.

Top five 0% purchase credit cards

Credit card

0% purchases period

Representative APR (variable)

Tesco Clubcard credit card for purchases

18 months


Natwest Platinum Transfer & Purchases

15 months


RBS Platinum Transfer & Purchases

15 months


Halifax All in One

15 months


Barclaycard Freedom Rewards Purchase Card

14 months


‘Some great deals to be had’

Head of credit cards at Nerys Lewis says: "You should ideally be in a position to save for Christmas.

"If you’re feeling cash-strapped, putting Christmas on a credit card is only going to leave you with an unwelcome financial hangover in the New Year.

"And, while a purchase card is a great way to spread repayments over several months, the zero per cent offers can be withdrawn if you don’t keep making minimum monthly payments - this can make the cost of borrowing rise substantially.

"However, with good planning and budgeting there are currently great deals to be had for the savvy shopper."

Rewards credit cards

If you’re in a position to pay off your credit card bill in full every month, a rewards deal can be a great way to get something in return for your spending.

There are a whole host of rewards to choose from to suit your lifestyle.

For example, the AA Rewards credit card offers points towards cashback and shopping vouchers, while the Tesco Clubcard Credit Card for Purchases offers bonus Clubcard points.

Here’s a look at our top five, some of which have 0 per cent deals on purchases too.

Top five rewards credit cards

Credit card


0% purchases period

Representative APR (variable)

AA Rewards

Reward points: Earn points towards cashback, shopping vouchers and more.

10 months


Tesco Clubcard credit card for Purchases

Clubcard points: Earn 1 point for every £4 spent in each purchase transaction (£4 min).

18 months


Capital One Classic Extra

Uncapped cashback: Build your credit rating while earning 0.5% cashback on everything you buy.

No 0% intro (34.9% interest)


American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday

Uncapped cashback: Receive 5% cashback up to £100 in the first 3 months.

No 0% intro (19.9% interest)


Barclaycard Freedom Rewards Purchase Card

Freedom points: Earn rewards from the high street and online.

14 months


‘Think about where you’ll use the card’

Lewis adds: "With rewards credit cards offering incentives from cashback and Avios points to shopping vouchers and discounts on travel, there is the perfect scheme for almost everyone.

"And if you expect to make a nice chunk of spending over the Christmas period you will soon see your rewards stack up.

"As with any credit card, you should think about where and how frequently you’ll use the card, as some cards offer higher rewards for certain shops, such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

"Also, if you aren’t able to pay your balance off in full each month you may be better off choosing a card with a low standard rate of interest or a 0 per cent purchase period, as any interest generally wipes out the rewards."

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Adam Jolley

Adam Jolley

Adam Jolley is a content producer at He joined us in May 2012 from the world of financial services PR.

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