There are now many card providers offering new customers 0% APR for new purchases.
Current card debts
If you are paying interest on an outstanding balance on your current card each month, switching to a credit card offering a 0% interest free rate may well be an attractive proposition. You should use the 0% period to reduce your debt.
If you are planning to make a major purchase and want to spread the repayments over a few months, apply for a card offering 0% for purchases. In effect you will be using your credit facility as a short term interest free loan. However, you should only really use a card like this if you can truly afford to pay the money back over the interest-free period. For instance, if you plan to purchase an item costing £900 with a card offering 0% for 12 months, you should be making repayments of £75 per month to in order to clear the balance before the interest free rate for purchases expires. An easy way to do this is to set up a monthly direct debit. You should not use the interest free offers to add to your debts.
After the credit crunch took a firm hold in late 2007, many card providers reined in their criteria and were considerably more particular about who they were going to lend to. Introductory offers on purchases became more tightly controlled as card provider attempted to counteract the behaviour of so called 'rate tarts' who were repeatedly moving to new providers once benefit periods ended.
However the market has improved slightly since the dark days of 2007 and there are a host of good 0% offers on purchases. Use the search facility above to view the best credit cards for purchases.