What Is a Finance Charge, and How Do I Avoid Paying One?
If you're savvy, you can avoid credit card finance charges entirely.
If you pay off your statement balance completely during a grace period, you could dodge interest charges altogether. (Getty Images)
Borrowing money typically costs money, and credit cards are no exception. One of the advantages of having a credit card is that you don't have to pay off your balance each month. But that perk comes at a price, called a finance charge.
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Here's what you need to know about credit card finance charges, how they're calculated and what you can do to avoid them.
How Credit Card Finance Charges Work
Carrying a balance. If you don't pay your balance in full by the due date each month and there is no promotional 0% APR period, you will incur a finance charge based on your card's APR and the remaining balance.
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Generally, credit cards require relatively low minimum payments compared with balances. While some credit card issuers include interest charges in the minimum payment, others just charge a flat percentage. "If this minimum is less than the accrued interest," says James Philpot, certified financial planner and associate professor in the department of finance and general business at Missouri State University, "you will effectively be borrowing more money from your card issuer in order to pay interest."
Transferring a balance. If you transfer a balance from one card to another, you may incur a finance charge in the form of a balance transfer fee. You may also pay interest on the balance unless the card has an introductory 0% APR balance transfer promotion. Check the card's terms before you submit your request.
Requesting a cash advance. If you use your credit card to get cash from an ATM, interest will start accruing immediately from the date of the transaction, with no grace period. The APR for credit card cash advances is often higher than the APR for purchases.
Making a foreign transaction. A foreign transaction on your credit card, whether in a foreign country or currency, can incur a foreign transaction fee. This fee is typically about 3 percent of the transaction.
How Credit Card Companies Calculate Finance Charges
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凯投宏观(Capital Economics)首席亚洲经济学家马克?威廉姆斯(Mark Williams)补充道：“我们预计，2017年新兴市场出口的表现将继续改善，出口值会同比温和增长。”
Note, however, that some credit card issuers compound interest on a daily basis, so your calculation may be even more complicated than this one.
How to Avoid Paying Credit Card Finance Charges
Take advantage of your grace period. Most credit cards offer a grace period on purchases. If your credit card has one, it typically runs from the end of your billing cycle to your payment due date. By law, you must receive your credit card bill at least 21 days before it is due.
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纽约人向专栏提出的问题，不仅取决于他们的个人情况，还取决于当今的重大问题，比如住房成本上升、士绅化、豆腐渣工程。最终，2014年成为了一个一切都在增长的年份，增长的包括房价、租金，以及最重要的——楼盘数量。根据纽约房地产委员会(Real Estate Board of New York)的数据，10月批准建设的单元达到了16700套。
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Use a 0% APR promotion. Some credit cards offer an introductory 0% APR promotion to new cardholders, waiving interest charges on purchases, balance transfers or both transactions for a set period.
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Forgo certain activities. Because many cards charge fees for balance transfers, cash advances and foreign purchases, consider refraining from these activities, or try to find a card that waives these fees.
Some balance transfer credit cards, for instance, will waive the balance transfer fee for new cardholders for a short period. Also, many travel credit cards don't charge a foreign transaction fee.
Always Read the Fine Print
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