Act fast or risk missing the best Christmas credit cards

Everyone knows there’s a date you have to beat to get your Christmas cards and presents delivered on time – but there’s another one that you have to hit if you want to get the best deal on Christmas shopping.

If you don’t act fast you’ll miss out on the chance to spread the cost and earn a little extra back on your Christmas shopping. That’s because it can take up to six weeks from ordering a credit card and it arriving. So to help you out, we’ve rounded up the best deals on the market if you want to spread the cost, shift a balance or earn a little extra on all your Christmas spending.

Put Christmas on a card

If you haven’t managed to put by enough money for Christmas, or you don’t want to dip into your savings, did you know you could spread the costs with a 0% on purchases credit card? The most competitive cards give you more than a year of interest-free credit, hopefully giving you plenty of time to pay off your balance.

But, before we look at the best buys, here’s a word of warning: don’t forget to pay the minimum repayment every month or you’ll risk losing the 0% promotional rate. And try your best to pay off the card balance in full before the introductory period disappears or the far higher typical APR will kick in. If you don't think you'll manage that, make a note in the diary that you'll need to transfer the remaining balance to a 0% balance transfer card at that point.

The table below shows the current tops deals for 0% on purchases credit cards

Top interest-free purchase credit cards for your Christmas shopping

Credit card

0% introductory period

Typical APR

Extra benefits

Tesco Clubcard credit card

16 months

16.9%

Collect Clubcard points on all of your spending

M&S credit card

15 months

15.9%

Earn M&S points on all your spending.. No cash advance or foreign exchange fees if you use your card to buy travel money from M&S

Halifax All in One

15 months

17.9%


Barclaycard 14/14 Platinum

14 months

18.9%


0% balance transfers

Alternatively, you might want to do all of your spending on your existing card and then move that debt onto a new card offering 0% interest on balance transfers.

The top cards in this area offer an even longer period before interest is charged on your debt, though you will have to pay a balance transfer fee.

Below are the cards offering the longest 0% periods on balance transfers:

Top interest-free balance transfer credit cards for your Christmas shopping

Card

0% balance transfer period

Balance transfer fee

Typical APR

Barclaycard 23-Month Platinum

23 months

2.8% + £30 refund on transfers of £2,000+

17.9%

NatWest Platinum

23 months

3.5%

17.9%

RBS Platinum

23 months

3.5%

17.9%

Barclaycard 22-Month Platinum

22 months

2.6%

17.9%

Halifax 22-month MasterCard

22 months

3%

18.9%

NatWest Platinum MasterCard 22 months 3.2% 17.9%

Royal Bank of Scotland Platinum MasterCard

22 months

3.2%

17.9%

Tesco Clubcard Balance Transfer MasterCard

22 months

2.9%

16.9%

Note that you can pay less in balance transfer fees if you take out a card with a slightly shorter interest-free period.

Earning cashback on your Christmas shopping

If you reckon you can clear your bills in full and won’t need to make use of a 0% period, then why not go for a cashback credit card? You’ll be rewarded for your spending with cold, hard cash!


Card

Introductory cashback offer

Cashback rate thereafter

Typical APR

American Express Platinum Everyday

5% on all spending in the first three months (capped at £100)

Rate of between 0.5% and 1.25%, depending on how much you spend

19.9%

Capital One Aspire World

5% on all spending in first three months (capped at £100)

Rate of between 0.5% and 1.25%, depending on how much you spend

19.9%

Barclaycard Cashback Visa

6% cashback in the first three months (capped at £120)

2% cashback on top five monthly purchases, 0.5% on everything else. Doubles to 4% in your anniversary month. £24 annual fee.

24.6%

Santander 123 credit card

3% at petrol stations and on National Rail travel, 2% at department stores, 1% at supermarkets.

Same as introductory offer. £24 annual fee.

22.8%

Sainsbury’s Bank Cashback credit card

5% on shopping at Sainsbury’s for the first three months. £5 cashback each month you spend £250 at Sainsbury’s and £250 elsewhere.

£5 cashback each month you spend £250 at Sainsbury’s and £250 elsewhere.

17.9%