Our bottom line
Tesco delivers with this card. The 18-month, 0% introductory rate on purchases makes this card a strong contender. Throw in Clubcard points as well, and it’s a great offer for regular Tesco shoppers who also want to spread the cost of a new purchase over more than a year without paying any interest.
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 18 months. That gives you a sizeable period of time 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 five Clubcard points for every £4 spent in Tesco, with a minimum of £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 of £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 Your introductory rates will be withdrawn if you do not make your minimum payment on time and in full each month.
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 it 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.
- No balance-transfer deal – With this card, you don’t get a 0% balance transfer period, something that many competing cards offer. Naturally, if you’re not looking to do a balance transfer, this doesn’t make any difference.
- 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 18 months, Tesco’s 0% purchases deal is riding comfortably in the best-buy tables, although a few other cards also run to 18 months, or even longer. If you’re a regular Tesco shopper though, that fact still may tilt the balances in favour 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 or 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 you’re 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: a solid 0% introductory purchases deal. If you want to spread the cost of a major purchase for more than a year without incurring any interest, this is a strong contender. Just remember to clear it within 18 months, since the standard APR kicks in after that. Other cards also offer 0% purchases for 18 months or more, 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.
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