Interest-free period on purchases

Understanding your interest-free period on purchases

Put time on your side

Sometimes it's nice to have a little more time. And when you make purchases on your credit card, you’ll get up to 56 days interest-free, when you pay in full and on time. So, if you’re planning on making a large purchase, take the maximum advantage of your interest-free period by making your purchase on the first day of your billing cycle.

But there are some important things to keep in mind, to make the most of your interest-free period. And we’re here to help you get confident using your credit card.

Representative example

Representative APR
21.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate
21.9% (variable)
Based on a
£1,200
credit limit
Annual Fee
No annual fee

The approval of your application depends on your financial circumstances and borrowing history, so do the terms you may be offered.

What is ‘up to 56 days’ interest-free credit’?

This is the amount of time between when you make a purchase with your credit card and when you have to pay it back to avoid paying interest on it.

How does it work?

To start benefiting from this feature, you must have cleared your outstanding balance from previous months and be confident that you can make the full repayment when it’s due. If the purchases aren’t repaid in full by the end of the interest-free period, interest will be charged on them from the date they were purchased.

The below is an illustrative example only, to show you how the interest-free period on your card works. Your statement dates may be different – you can check yours in Barclaycard online servicing or the app.

Let’s say your billing period starts on 1 January (this is also when your interest-free period on purchases will begin)

When your monthly bill is generated, say on 31 January (this will show the purchases you’ve made during the month – i.e. 31 days of purchases)

Your bill will include a ‘payment due date’. You’ll generally have 25 days to make a payment – i.e. due 25 Feb

If you make a payment in full and on time, you’ll avoid any interest charges (up to 56 days interest-free). means you’d have until 25 February to pay off the purchases in full, otherwise interest will be charged on them (31 + 25 = 56 days)

This example timeline shows how the up to 56 interest-free days are split in two – the time when purchases are made and billed (the billing period), and the additional time there is to pay them back in full and avoid paying interest on them (the grace period).

Interest free table

What if you have a promotional balance?

Don’t worry, you can still make the most of balance transfers, money transfers and Instalment Plans without losing the interest-free period on your new purchases.

If you card has a promotional balance, you won’t be charged interest on your purchases as long as you’ve paid them off in full by the time the interest-free period ends.

To show you how this works, here’s an example using a promotional balance and up to 56 days’ interest-free credit:

Interest-free credit

You have a promotional balance of £1,000 at 0% for 18 months. The minimum payment due is £10.

Interest-free credit

You then make a few purchases during the 56-day interest-free period, spending £500 on the card.

Interest-free credit

In this example, you then pay £510 in total to cover your purchases as well as your minimum payment for your promotional balance.

Interest-free credit

You pay no interest on both your spending and the balance.

Two key things to remember

Minimum payment

To benefit from an interest-free period or promotional rate, you must make at least your minimum payment on time and stay within your credit limit.

interest-free credit

If you’re carrying over a balance from a previous month, you’ll need to clear it before you can benefit from interest-free credit on purchases.