By: Harvey Jones | Updated: 30th November, 2018.
Tesco Bank Purchases Credit Card
Good for: Long 0% interest on purchases and rewards
Our Bottom Line
Tesco Bank’s Purchases Card is a solid choice if you’re looking for a long period for 0% interest on your spending, as 26 months stacks up well with competitors. The card gets even better if you’re a Tesco customer, since it’ll help you rack up Tesco points. You’ll get 1 Clubcard point for every £4 you spend at Tesco and 1 Clubcard point for every £8 that you spend elsewhere. There is a balance transfer option with this card, but it’s only three months and carries a fee on the balances you transfer. So it’s a nice bonus, but if you’re looking specifically for balance transfers, there are better cards for that.
Representative APR (variable):
0% Purchase length:
Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent
What I like about Tesco Bank Purchases Credit Card
- Great purchases intro rate – If you’re looking to buy something that you can’t afford to pay for in one go, this card will help you spread the cost over up to 26 months. That gives you two years and two months to clear the bill without paying interest, one of the longest deals on the market today.
- Tesco Clubcard points – You can collect Tesco Clubcard points when you go shopping in store… and pretty much everywhere else. You get one Clubcard point for every £4 spent in Tesco, with a minimum £4 spend. You can also collect them online at Wine by the Case, as well as at Tesco Mobile, Tesco Bank, Tesco petrol filling stations, and Esso.
- Points everywhere – You don’t just get points on your Tesco spending, you get them everywhere, albeit at the lower rate of one point for every £8, with the minimum spend £8.
- Freedom to spend – You can spend your Clubcard vouchers in Tesco, but you could also convert them into bigger discounts at its many partners. You can treble them at theme parks Alton Towers and Legoland, or turn every 50p in Clubcard vouchers into a £1.50 discount at Pizza Express.
- Other benefits – Tesco’s online banking app lets you keep on top of all your spending. You can also set up direct debits and payment due date alerts to late or missed payments.
- Worth knowing – You can hold up to two Tesco Bank credit cards. You can apply for the second if you haven’t applied for a Tesco Bank credit card within the last month. You pay a 3.99% fee on cash withdrawals, capped at £3, and a foreign currency conversion fee of 2.99% for overseas use. You can’t collect Clubcard points on Tesco Travel Money purchases. Your introductory rates will be withdrawn if you do not make your minimum payment on time and in full each month.
Why you can trust me
I’ve been a personal financial journalist for 30 years, writing for national newspapers, magazines and websites. I reported on the technology boom in the 1990s, and the subsequent bust. I covered the financial crisis, and the tentative recovery. Decades of writing about the big banks has taught me to be skeptical, to examine every pledge and promise, and look closely at the small print of their product offerings. I’m on the side of the consumer, alert to rip-offs while also keen to highlight top deals. There are plenty out there, if you know where to look.
What could be improved
The headline 0% purchase rate plus the Clubcard points deal is a winner for Tesco shoppers, but no credit card gives you everything.
- Fiddly vouchers – Tesco has thankfully made it quicker and simpler to spend your Clubcard points. Previously, users were sent vouchers every quarter, which could be annoying if yours arrived just after your weekly shop. With its new Faster Vouchers scheme, you can turn your points into a voucher within 24 hours. You can print them off at home or redeem them in store using your mobile. It’s better, but still seems a bit fiddly.
- Point limits – You won’t collect any Clubcard points if you nip into Tesco to buy a chocolate bar or fizzy drink as you need to spend a minimum £4. Away from Tesco, you need to spend at least £8. Also, when converting points, Tesco rounds them down to the nearest 50p. Rounding them up would have been nicer.
- Short balance-transfer deal – With this card, you can transfer an existing credit-card balance as well, but the interest-free introductory period lasts just three months. Also, there is a 2.9% transfer fee, which will cost you £29 for every £1,000. It doesn’t seem worth paying for such a short term.
- Higher APR – You should always check the standard APR, even on a 0% credit card, as this is the rate you pay once the introductory period is over. Tesco’s is slightly higher than others, although the difference is marginal and doesn’t matter if you clear your credit card in full every month.
How does this Tesco offer stack up?
At 26 months, Tesco’s 0% purchases deal is riding high in the best-buy tables, although a few other cards also run to 26 months, or slightly longer. It is worth noting that there are other supermarket cards that give users 0% for 29 months on both purchases AND balance transfers, which is obviously a bit better than the offer here. If you’re a regular Tesco shopper though, that fact still may tilt the balances in favor of this card.
The Tesco Bank Purchases Credit Card credit score
When you apply for any form of borrowing, the provider will check your credit rating with one of the big reference agencies such as Experian or Equifax. This will highlight any financial problems such as missed payments, bankruptcy or County Court Judgements (CCJs) in the last six years.
If you have had prior financial problems, Tesco might cut your 0% interest period to 22 or 16 months, charge you a higher APR, or reject you altogether.
To qualify, you must have an annual income of at least £5,000, a good credit history, hold no more than one Tesco Bank Credit Card and have not applied for a Tesco Bank Credit Card in the last month.
How to apply
You need to gather some basic personal information including:
- your address history for the past three years,
- details of your annual income and monthly take home pay, and
- bank account number and sort code.
You will also need details of any other credit cards, if planning to transfer the balances to Tesco. The application should take just 10 minutes online, but existing Tesco Bank customers could find it even quicker.
Is Tesco Bank Purchases Credit Card right for you?
This card has one clear attraction: one of the longest 0% introductory purchases deals around. If you want to spread the cost of a major purchase for more than two years without incurring any interest, this is up there with the best. Just remember to clear it within 26 months, since the standard APR kicks in after that. Other cards also offer 0% purchases for 26 months but Clubcard points may give this the edge for regular Tesco shoppers. If you don’t need 0% purchases but do want those points, check the rest of the Tesco credit card range.