0% credit card deals evaporate: how to improve your chances of getting the top deals

0% credit card deals are vanishing. So, if you need a 0% card but have a poor credit score, how can you improve your chances of acceptance?

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If you want a credit card, then you’ll need to pass the lender’s eligibility checks. Often, the most generous deals are reserved for those with good credit scores. This means that if your score is less than stellar, you could be rejected.

So, following the news that 0% deals are starting to be pulled, how can you improve your chances of being accepted for a top-rated card? Let’s take a look.


What’s happening with 0% credit cards?

This week, it was revealed there’s been a fall in the number of 0% credit card deals available over recent months. This is because lenders are becoming increasingly concerned that the era of cheap credit is ending. 

Plus, on Thursday 17 March the Bank of England raised interest rates for the third time in three Monetary Policy Committee meetings. Its new 0.75% rate puts further pressure on the availability of 0% credit card deals. That’s because as borrowing costs rise, 0% cards become less and less profitable. As a result, the latest decision by the UK’s central bank could lead to more 0% deals facing the chop. 

How can you improve your chances of getting top-rated credit cards?

Right now, the longest 0% balance transfer credit card offers up to 32 interest-free months. Meanwhile, the longest 0% purchase credit cards offer 24 interest-free months.

Importantly, to get these headline lengths it’s likely you’ll need a decent credit score.

If your score isn’t ideal, then you could be offered fewer months at 0%, or simply be rejected. If you’re worried about this, then the good news is that there are ways to maximise your chances of being accepted for top-rated cards.


1. Use an eligibility checker before you apply

Every time you apply for a credit card, you need to undergo a hard credit check. Regardless of whether you get accepted for a card, each check is recorded on your credit file.

One or two of these checks isn’t something to worry about. However, if you apply for a number of cards in quick succession, you could find yourself even less likely to get another deal. That’s because a lender can see that you’ve undergone previous checks. As a result, this could give them the impression that you’re desperate for credit.

So, to minimise the risk of this happening to you, it’s worth using our credit card eligibility checker before you apply for any type of 0% credit card. Using the checker will show your chances of acceptance for each card, reducing your risk of encountering rejection after rejection.

Plus, when you use an eligibility checker some cards may even pre-approve you. Pre-approval means you’ll definitely get accepted for a card if you go on to apply.

2. Boost your credit score with a credit card for bad credit

If your credit score is particularly bad and an eligibility checker shows your chances of being accepted for a decent card are low, then it’s worth exploring credit cards for bad credit.

Also known as ‘credit repair cards’ these specialist types of plastic are specifically designed for those with poor credit scores.

There are lots of these cards to choose from and, while they rarely boast generous 0% deals, if you get one of these cards and use it responsibly, then it’s likely your credit score will improve in six months or so. This could make being accepted for a long 0% credit card easier in the future.

Take a look at The Motley Fool’s list of the top-rated credit cards for bad credit to see the cards that are available. You may also find it useful to read our guide that explores other ways to improve your credit score.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

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