Pay zero interest on your credit card for 13 months
Leading credit card companies are offering zero per cent credit cards to lure new customers ahead of the busy Christmas spending season.
Banks such as NAB and Bankwest have special credit cards with interest free periods ranging between six to 13 months – that means you can shop now with the comfort of knowing you have a substantial amount of time to pay back the debt.
Money editor Sally Tindall said for cash strapped consumers zero per cent credit cards provide shoppers with some breathing space.
“Cards with long interest free periods are particularly good for one off big purchases like a holiday or essentials items around the home like new washing machine.
“They can also be helpful for people who are on maternity leave or having a temporary break from the workforce.
“The trap some consumers fall into is over spending on the card and being unable to pay back the money during the interest free period.
“With rates as high as 20.74 per cent the results can be financially disastrous.
When shopping for a zero per cent card look for:
- A card with at least six months’ interest free to give you time to pay off your debt.
- Low annual fee
- Low ongoing purchase rate
“A zero per cent purchase card can get you in to all sorts of trouble if you don’t set yourself some strict boundaries before you sign up to it. Work out exactly how much debt you can afford to get into and make sure you don’t put an extra cent more on the card.
“Also, set up a payment plan to ensure you pay it off, in full, by the end of the introductory period.
“Credit card companies bank on people spending beyond their means. If you are someone who struggles to stick to a budget or has trouble clearing credit card debt, these cards are not for you.
“You are better off taking out a personal loan to manage big expenses. While you’ll end up paying interest on the loan, you’ll be forced to make regular repayments so your interest charges can’t spiral out of control,” said Ms Tindall.
|CREDIT CARD COMPANY||PRODUCT||PURCHASE OFFER||RATE (after offer expires)||ANNUAL FEE|
|Bankwest||Breeze Classic Mastercard||0% for 13 months||12.99%||$79|
|Bankwest||Breeze Platinum Mastercard||0% for 13 months||12.99%||$99|
|Virgin Money||Velocity Flyer credit card||0% for 12 months||20.74%||$129|
|NAB||Low Rate Platinum card||0% for 9 months||13.99%||$100|
|NAB||Low Rate Card||0% for 6 months||13.99%||$59|
Source: RateCity data