How to Borrow at 0% i.e. No Fee (or As Near As You Can Get) – Masterclass on Cards, Lending, Redeeming Now, Paying Later and Overdrafts by Martin Lewis
0% credit card: 22 months WITHOUT INTEREST and £ 25 cash back
Best used to borrow £ 100 to £ 5,000 all at once. Done well, 0% credit cards offer very low cost borrowing because there is NO TOC NO TOC for almost two years. To use this route, you must be able to pay for what you need to borrow on the map (for example, replacing a broken refrigerator or washing machine).
️ Advantages: Uninteresting for a decent time | Offers valuable legal protection under Article 75 – card provider is therefore jointly and severally liable for purchases | Regulated – so you can complain to the ombudsman if there is a problem | You can check eligibility without applying
?? The inconvenients: Easy excessive spending and borrowing | Refunds are not fixed, so it’s easy to underpay | Not everyone can have one
The best offers of the moment: What really matters is what you’ll be accepted for, so ALWAYS use our 0% eligibility calculator first to find the cards you’re most likely to get.
The current clear first choice is M&S Bank 22 months 0% *, which gives accepted newbies the full 22 months. Additionally, apply by 11.59pm on Friday 3rd December, and if you spend more than £ 100 in the first 90 days (likely if you use it to borrow) you get £ 25 in cashback on top of the usual reward points. So if the eligibility calculator shows that you have a good chance of being accepted, this is a good choice.
The Tesco Bank card “up to” 23 months at 0% * is slightly longer, but not all accepted applicants get the full 0% length and there is no refund – although there is have Clubcard points on expenses.
Key rules: Credit cards require discipline not to overspend. So only take planned loans on these cards and then don’t use them for anything else. If you don’t trust yourself, bag the card in a bowl of water and put it in your freezer, so you’ll need to break the ice to get it out.
The 0% is only for spending on the card, not for withdrawing money, so avoid that. Be sure to schedule your repayments to clear the debt before the 0% ends or goes to the representative APR of over 21%. The best way to do this is to set up an automatic debit to pay off a fixed amount like a loan.
Full information and other top picks in Top 0% charts (APR examples).