I think so. I am doing this with our furniture. It doesn't cost me any more money to pay right now than it will to pay over the course of 3 years, and I can earn interest on the money I didn't spend.
But know this: they aren't offering 0%, they are deferring interest for 3 years. If you pay it off before then great, if you don't you will owe all the accumulated interest.
The key with these is that you always pay it, and on time. Miss a payment and you get hosed. If you don't pay on time you will owe the interest that is being deferred. They will also be financing this through a third party (like a major bank) and that company is now "doing business with you" which means in the US they can call you and solicit new services.
I am willing to deal with those trade offs though, plus, as you say, you can always pay it off.
WHY THEY DO IT (what is in it for them...)
A friend of mine works for a major bank that often finances these deals here is how they work.
- You apply for a loan and get approved. The store does it's financing through another company (in my example a major US bank's "financial division")
- The merchant gets their money right away from the bank, you get your product and an interest free loan, the bank gets a "relationship" with you (a person that borrows money). The merchant is happy because they got paid for a product.
- Should you pay it off? Great, the bank got their money and can solicit you for future loans. They have a copy of your credit report, and can have a salesman call and offer you a debt consolidation plan tailored to your needs if they want. This isn't necessarily a bad deal for you or them.
- If you get near the end of your term without having paid it off, they definitely call you and offer a debt consolidation loan. Again, this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Basically, banks do this to generate leads for their divisions that do cold calls. If you are a high credit, high income customer you go to a classic bank and request cash, if you are building credit or have bad credit, you go to a "financial services" branch. If you tend to finance things like cars and furniture, you get more cold calls.