Credit cards are the way of the future, but have you heard of no interest credit cards? It seems like everything has an attached interest rate these days. Hence, breaking away from the threat of interest can be refreshing. No interest credit cards come in all shapes and sizes with varying terms. But, if you’re an avid credit card user, skipping the interest could be good for you.
This article will be talking about everything to do with credit cards. Including when it might be better to take no credit check loans, the accompanying rewards, and what type of card is right for you. Cash loans come in all forms; you should know what’s available on the market.
Please note that specific ideas and products presented in this article may not be on offer by Monzi or the lenders we work with. This article presents only general information. Consider seeking professional financial, taxation, legal or other advice to check how the information and ideas presented on this website relate to your unique circumstances.
What is a no-interest credit card?
There are several types of no interest credit cards available. In most instances, a credit card is ‘no interest’ if it has a certain period of interest-free time. Whether this is six months, a year, or permanent.
Essentially, no matter the period, no interest credit cards may allow you to transfer debts or make your payments without charging interest. This makes these cards excellent for larger purchases, as you can spread out the cost without being stung by interest. The difference between the cards with an introductory period of no interest and permanent no interest credit cards is that the cards that never charge interest charge a monthly fee instead.
If you are looking for a permanently 0% interest card, you will want to ensure you do the calculations and use the card enough for it to make you a profit.
How do no interest credit cards work?
If you take a card that has a 0% interest introductory offer, you simply will repay your purchases as usual without the extra interest for however long this period lasts. These offers are promotional. Therefore, if you want to take it, you may have to apply before the offer runs out. Just like you would with a regular credit card, you will still have a limit, a minimum spend, and the potential to earn rewards points.
Permanent no interest credit cards are similar regarding the potential for rewards and minimum spending/limits. However, you are likely to have an additional fixed monthly payment in the place of any interest charged, which correlates with your credit limit. If you don’t exceed the minimum spend limit by the end of the month, you’ll need to pay at least this amount. Hence, it is worth working out how much you would need to spend on this type of card to warrant using a 0% interest credit card instead of a regular credit card.
How do regular credit cards work?
The regular credit card model isn’t too hard to wrap your head around. Essentially, you receive a minimum and maximum limit based on your credit score and income. Then you are free to spend however much you like each month, providing it is between the upper and lower limit. Much like personal loans, or any other credit loan type, you will then need to repay what you spend plus any accrued interest at the end of the month.
You may not have to pay back the total amount you owe. Instead, you can opt only to repay the minimum amount monthly. However, this may increase your chances of harming your credit score in the process. Regular credit cards are also usually accompanied by an annual fee and potential extra fees for activities such as a balance transfer. If you are thinking of getting a credit card but want to know what your limit might look like, you can try a credit card limit calculator.
How to get a no-interest credit card?
How to get no interest credit cards depends on which type you are looking for. If you are looking for a permanently 0% interest card, you will simply have to do the appropriate research to see which provider you can obtain one of these cards from. Then you will have to fill out their application for a credit account and continue the process with the provider.
If, however, you are looking for a credit card with a no-interest promotional introductory period, then you will have to keep your eyes open for a deal you like. This is as you may have a specific provider in mind or want a deal better than what is currently on offer. One way to easily see what’s available to you is to use a credit card comparison tool (credit card compare). These tools are accessible online and allow you to view a side by side comparison of the options available. They should show you the purchase rate, balance transfer rate, annual fee, interest-free period, and the amount you could save.
Once you narrow the choices down to a few options, you can then go directly to those provider’s sites and see more for yourself about the cards you are considering. If you are confused about any of the terms of the offers, it may be wise to contact the provider directly.
How to extend no interest on a credit card?
If you took one of the no interest credit cards with a promotional period, it is unlikely you will be able to extend this period. Of course, there’s no harm in trying; however, it is doubtful a bank or individual credit card provider is likely to grant this extension. This is as these introductory offers are a marketing tactic to attract new customers. Therefore, if you are looking for a more permanent interest-free period, you may want to consider the cards specifically designed for this option.
Alternatively, you may be able to look for a low rate credit card instead. While these cards do have interest, they might be far more manageable and cheaper in the long run. When choosing a credit card, you should weigh all the available options and see what is best for you. If you aren’t sure how to go about this, the government’s MoneySmart site has a page on choosing a credit card that may be a good starting point.
Is 0% APR the same as no interest?
0% APR or annual percentage rate is the interest rate that applies to the specific credit card you use. So yes, technically, 0% APR is the same as no interest. However, you need to remember to look for the interest-free days that this rate applies to. For example, if this is a promotional offer, you may only be entitled to 0% APR for six months or a period similar.
If you are after permanent no interest credit cards, then you should look for this type of wording. Don’t forget to read the attached fine print and ensure that you are getting what you expect. The same goes for introductory offer cards. Ensure that when it reverts to its original rate, you aren’t in for a shock. Mainly if this rate is relatively high and you were unaware of this.
You can also find cards that have a 0% APR on balance transfers only. This means that it won’t cost you to balance transfer from one credit card to another. However, you may find that this is not a feature you require and may choose to look at the other available options.
No interest periods
Interest-free periods are attainable for most credit cards, not just six months no interest credit cards or permanent 0% interest rate cards. Typically, no interest periods happen within a specific period once you establish your account. This period is typically 50-56 days after opening your account.
The good thing about interest-free days is that you may be able to get them when you repay your total balance by the due date. The earlier you repay, the more interest-free days you might be entitled to. Annual fees and transaction fees could still apply to this. Regardless of the type of credit card you apply for, if you get no interest periods, you will still need to pay what you owe during this time. You may also have to ensure you are meeting the minimum spend. Failing to do so may result in the charging of late fees to your account.
What happens if you don’t repay your balance?
Regardless of the credit card you use, you cannot simply skip your repayments because there is no attached interest rate. If you don’t repay your balance on no interest credit cards, you are likely to encounter one or more of the following:
- Cancelled promotional deals: The 0% APR that you originally signed up for can be taken away from you if you fail to make at least the minimum repayment by the due date.
- Late payment fees: Failing to repay the minimum may also mean that you could incur late fees of $10 to $30 depending on the type of card you are using.
- Bad credit: Too many missing repayments could mean your credit takes a hit and may leave you chasing bad credit loans because you don’t qualify for other loan types.
If you are struggling, you must be upfront with your provider. There are steps you can take to better your situation. However, if you simply pretend that there isn’t a problem, this could hurt you further down the road.
No interest credit card transfer
Credit cards that have no interest for balance transfers can be a handy bonus feature to consider when shopping for a new credit card. Aside from looking for low annual fees and interest-free days, knowing how much a balance transfer will cost is always a good idea.
A credit card balance transfer is the act of moving existing debt to a new credit card. This can be a form of debt consolidation and allows you to repay the debt faster or seek lower rates that may save you money. Some balance transfer cards may even accept debt from personal loans, meaning they can be quite a handy tool.
When you place your application for this balance transfer, you typically will give the details of the card you are transferring from and how much you are looking to transfer. Using a 0% balance transfer card will mean that you won’t incur extra interest when moving your money around. Therefore, if you are accumulating minor debt, this may be an excellent option to help ease the burden.
No interest financing credit card
Financing is essentially just the act of someone providing funding for another person’s needs. Therefore no interest credit cards are merely a method of financing. Another example of financing that you can receive is same day loans via the Monzi lender-finder.
If you need some extra cash but don’t trust yourself with the amount of money a credit card might give you access to, why not try a personal loan for small loans? Unfortunately, an interest rate will apply. However, you are likely to have longer than a month to repay this loan. You also can’t be approved for anything beyond your borrowing capacity. Thereby it is designed to be manageable for you. If you think this sounds appealing, why not see what the lenders in the Monzi network can do for you?
Best no interest credit cards with rewards
One of the most attractive features of credit cards is the potential to accrue various rewards points via your spending. One of the most common rewards points is frequent flyer points which enables you to purchase cheaper flight tickets when travelling.
Typically, many no interest credit cards and low rate credit cards don’t have rewards points as the interest rate is the bonus. However, you may still be able to get credit cards through stores, that generate points to use in said stores. Alternatively, you may be able to find a credit card offering the rewards points you want with the promotion. Therefore you would be getting a specified amount of interest-free days and still accumulating points. Although, you may have to accept in some circumstances that it is one option or the other.
What rewards can credit cards give you?
When it comes to credit cards across the board, there are various bonuses each card may be able to offer you. Most of these include:
- Points for store credit. Often provided by Woolworths, David Jones etc., these cards allow you to save when shopping in the provider’s stores.
- Points for flights. These points may help you save money on plane tickets. They are typically only for use with a single flight provider. However, they can be helpful if your job is very demanding in the travel department.
- Points that benefit your account. Some banks allow you to accrue points to secure better interest rates or interest-free days etc. Some may even partner with various insurance companies or policies.
These are just some general ideas of what you might be able to obtain. However, if you feel that having some of these points could be helpful, consider these features when comparing credit cards.
No annual fee credit cards
In case you haven’t already heard, you may want to hear about no annual fee credit cards. No annual fee means what you might expect it to. You won’t have to pay an annual fee (extra money) per year just to maintain your credit card account. Doesn’t that sound nice?
These cards aren’t just great because you don’t have to pay anything extra for your account. Credit cards without the annual fee are also excellent in emergencies. They allow you to access an additional stream of credit if an issue arises. Without the extra strings of paying for a credit card that you don’t use. You can expect the purchase rate to be relatively high with this kind of card. It is also unlikely that you will find no interest credit cards without an annual fee.
No interest credit card transfer offers
If you seek a balance transfer, it may make sense to transfer to a no interest credit card. This is as the usual goal of a balance transfer is to save yourself money. Just as you would if you take debt consolidation loans. Therefore if you open a no interest credit card account with a balance transfer in mind, it may not cost you interest.
If you are unsure how this could work or what you might need to look for, you could always start with a comparison tool. Then, once you narrow your options down, contact the credit card provider. This way, someone will be able to walk you through the ins and outs of the credit card you seek.
Can you request 0% APR?
If you currently have a regular credit card or one with an expired promotion, you can request a 0% APR. However, it is unlikely that your provider will be willing to entertain this request. Instead, if you seek no interest rate on your credit card, you can simply open another credit account. This would allow you to attain the interest-free days and then conduct a balance transfer. Whether or not you close your original account is up to you.
However, don’t forget that too many credit applications have the potential to hurt your credit score. Be cautious whenever you request credit. Whether it is a credit card, personal loans, payday loans online, or a mortgage loan. If you don’t have the borrowing power or have applied too many times, this can show on your report. A borrowing power calculator may be able to help you with this.
Is 0% interest a bad thing?
Having no interest on your credit card is not outrightly a bad thing. It is essential to ensure that you are conscious of the extra charges that accompany this, however. This is as many people get so wrapped up in the idea that they don’t need to pay interest. They then forget about the annual fee, and the balance fee and possible transaction fees and purchase rates. If you think you might not have the best money management skills, consider switching to debit instead.
Pros and cons of no interest credit cards
All financial decisions have attached pros and cons that you should be wary of. No interest credit cards are no different from any other financial concept. Before you begin seeking out any sort of interest-free credit card, consider the advantages and disadvantages.
- They may help you pay off debt faster. Transferring your balance to a card without an interest rate can be a great way to help consolidate debt.
- More savings in the long run. You won’t have to worry about paying all that extra cash in interest over the duration you hold your card for.
- Extra perks. Whether it’s travel insurance or rewards points, just because your card is interest-free doesn’t mean you can’t get rewards.
- Credit score. An enquiry for a new credit account could further impact an already weak credit score. Ensure you are careful when it comes to attaining a new card.
- Consequences of missing payments. If your no interest credit card is promotional, you can have the privilege taken off you. This is only if you aren’t making your payments.
- Temptation. Just because you don’t have the interest to pay doesn’t mean you should be going on multiple shopping sprees. The money is not yours, and you will need to repay it regardless.
Consider each of these points and weigh them against your circumstances when choosing the right credit card for you.
Other credit card perks to look for
It isn’t all about the annual percentage rate and the rewards points. There are other things worth looking for in a credit card. Don’t forget to examine and compare this list of items when shopping around:
- The minimum repayment
- The annual fee
- The purchase rate
- Options for a cash advance
Combine these things with your own needs for your credit card. Doing so may help you find the best option. And remember, if you have any questions about the credit card you are looking at, contact the provider for further information.
Alternatives to credit cards
Maybe you don’t think a credit card is a good option for you? Or perhaps you may not qualify for one. If this is the case, you could try a personal loan. Personal loans can be excellent as you can use the money for almost anything you like, just as you can with a credit card. However, private lenders offering private loans are likely to be a lot more lenient with their qualification criteria. Unlike traditional banks, small personal loan lenders can make their own calls when it comes to your application.
Therefore if you have bad credit, it can still be possible for you to receive approval. This is as private lenders, particularly those in the Monzi network, can look at all your life circumstances. Monzi lenders are happy to try and work with all sorts of people from all walks of life. Whether you need pension loans, loans for people on Centrelink, or are self-employed and are struggling with attaining loan approval. Our lenders understand you’re more than your credit report. So, if this sounds like something you need, why not place an application through the Monzi lender-finder?
Monzi and credit cards
Monzi can’t offer you a credit card. But, you won’t have to worry about a purchase rate or any expenses associated with our lender-finder. Our service is free for you to use, thereby taking the stress out of finding you a lender. Not only this, but the Monzi lender-finder is 100% online and paperwork free, just to make the process even simpler.
You can start your application by clicking ‘apply now’ or scrolling up to our loan slider. Then you just have to tell us a bit about yourself, and we’ll do the heavy lifting. We may be able to match you with a lender in as little as 60 minutes. Providing you apply within business hours. If we are successful, then your lender will be in contact with you shortly after.
However, if you still have questions about our services, make sure to ask them. You can reach a member of our friendly team at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you and will work to answer any queries you may have.
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Alternatively, if you want to learn more about interest, why not check out our article on negative interest rates?