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Spotlight: Sainsbury's Credit Card

Activity in the credit card market is warming up as we start to think about those all-important Christmas shopping purchases.

Sainsbury's Finance has increased the length of the interest-free on purchases on its credit card from three months to 10. This means the 0 per cent deal for purchases now equals that of balance transfers.

This is a big plus point as many of the leading credit cards have different interest-free periods for balance transfers than they do for purchases. Often the 0 per cent period for purchases is shorter. The problem with this is that if you use the card for both purposes, you'll be charged interest on any spending you've done once it comes to an end because your monthly payments go towards clearing the cheapest debt first. The standard rate of interest is 15.9 per cent.

The Sainsbury's credit card is now a market- leading deal because of the length of the interest-free periods. Customers are also rewarded with Nectar points when they spend on their card.