Tired of shelling out big bucks every month on credit card interest? Try these four ways to save on credit card interest.
Have you looked at the interest on your credit card statement lately? If you have a large balance, you’re probably paying some interest each month that you could be spending on other expenses or even a nice lunch (or a few nice dinners) with friends or family.
If that’s the case, don’t settle for handing over all that money to your credit card issuer every month. Instead, take these four steps to reduce and/or eliminate your credit card balance(s), along with the interest that accrues.
Pay off your monthly balance
The best way to avoid paying credit card interest is to pay off the entire card balance each month. But if you pay at least the balance on a statement that doesn’t include purchases made after the statement date, you still won’t be charged interest on the remaining amount unless you pay the entire balance on that statement.
In the following month’s statement, you must pay the balance on the following statement, which will include the remaining amount to avoid interest.
Find out: How credit card interest works
Take advantage of your credit card grace period
Did you know that most credit cards also have a “grace period” of at least 21 days that can help save you money on interest if you time your credit card purchases correctly?
A credit card grace period is the time between the date your statement closes and the next due date of your next monthly payment, usually around 21-25 days, if you’ve consistently paid your statement balance each month for several months.
During the grace period, you won’t pay interest on new purchases made after the date of your last statement. Instead, payment is made on the next statement.
For example, if your credit card billing cycle ends on June 15th, and you charge a new $200 purchase on June 16th, that new billing cycle won’t end until July 15th. Then you still have about 21 days until your next payment. sometime during the first week of August to pay off the balance to avoid paying interest on that $200 purchase.
Transfer your balance to an introductory card with 0 percent APR
When credit card balances and interest get out of hand, transferring your balance(s) to a new credit card that offers 0 percent APR balance transfers can save you hundreds of dollars in interest over time. The card may also offer the same rate on new purchases, but don’t take the bait. You are trying to pay off the balance, not increase it.
Before transferring a credit card balance to a new 0 percent APR card, check the balance transfer fee in the card’s offer and/or terms. The transfer fee is usually three to five percent of the transferred balance.
Then compare these credit card interest charges to see how much you’ll pay in interest over time to make sure the balance transfer works in your favor.
Find out: How to transfer a credit card balance
Make more than one payment per month
Credit card issuers calculate credit card interest on a daily basis. Therefore, if you pay off the balance in frequent payments in addition to the payment term on the card, the interest will be lower. And any interest charged will be on the lesser of the balance.
If you get paid twice a month, make payments from each paycheck to reduce your credit card balance faster. Better yet, whenever you have a little extra cash, make an extra payment on your credit card to bring your balance down to an acceptable amount or pay it off completely.
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