Why use a purchase card?

Let’s face it: sometimes, we all have things we need to buy. And sometimes, we wonder how we’re going to fund those things. Not many people know it’s these situations where a purchase card could help. Whether your purchase is to sort something like this…

Or to get something like this…

We don’t judge. But, put simply, if you’re gonna spend — find a way to be savvy about it. Here’s how a credit card with a purchase offer can help you do just that.

How a purchase offer is…

Better than a standard credit card

Unless you’re paying your balance off in full each month (not everyone's perfect), you’ll pay interest on what’s left. But, using a purchase offer means you won’t pay interest on anything you buy for a limited time. It gives you an interest-free period. It means you can get what you want now and spread the costs.

Better than using your overdraft

It’s easy to dip your toes in and out of your overdraft. You think: Oh, when I get paid my bank balance will be positive again. But, every time you go into your overdraft, you start paying interest. So, if you’re thinking of using your overdraft for an upcoming purchase, think twice. Although a little dip is a relatively little cost, why pay anything at all if you don’t have to? A purchase card could mean you don't pay any interest at all.

Better than getting a loan

When you get a loan, you need a certain amount in mind. You have to decide how much you want —and you can’t dip in and out of it like a credit card. You’ll start paying interest on whatever you borrow, the moment you borrow. So, if you can borrow on a credit card with a purchase offer, you should do that. It’s the best option for anything under £5,000. Otherwise, it’s your money you’re kissing goodbye to.

Better than a payday loan

Yup, you guessed it: interest. But this time, it’s loads of it. Loads. In fact, some lenders will refuse to let you borrow if you’ve ever had a payday loan.

Why? Because they see it as a sign of bad money management.

Purchase offer pitfalls…

Get out while the getting is good

Try to pay off your balance before the purchase offer ends. Otherwise, you’ll pay interest on what’s left — and probably at an uncompetitive rate. If you don’t think you can pay it off by the time it ends, you should think about transferring what’s left to a balance transfer card.

Never miss a payment

If you do, your interest-free period could be withdrawn. That means you’ll start paying interest on your balance. It’s best to set up a direct debit for at least the minimum amount, so you’re never caught off guard.

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