Balances With Different APRs. If you have balances with different APRs on your credit card, the finance charge for these balances is calculated separately. For example, you’ll have a finance charge for purchases, one for balance transfers, and one for cash advances if you had all these balances on your credit card. So, if you’re calculating your own finance charge, you will have to calculate the average daily balance separately for each.
The ending balance method uses your balance at the beginning of the billing cycle minus payments plus charges made during the billing cycle – which is essentially your balance at the end of the billing cycle. The number of days in the billing cycle doesn’t affect the amount of the finance charge. Having a high balance at the end of your billing cycle would increase your finance charges under this method. The previous balance method uses the balance at the beginning of the billing cycle which is also the ending balance of the last billing cycle. No payments or charges are included in the balance. The number of days in the billing cycle doesn’t affect the amount of the finance charge.
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Consider a Robo-Advisor, One of the latest trends in investing is the use of robo-advisors, in which a company manages your investments with very little human intervention. Money is instead managed through mathematical instructions and algorithms. Some major discount brokerages including Vanguard, E-Trade and Charles Schwab have robo-advisors services, and there are a number of newer companies including Betterment and Personal Capital. The jury is still out on whether robo-advisors offer above-average returns. But in theory, using a robo-advisor will enhance your chances of making optimal and rational investing decisions. Moreover, as more investors turn to this automated approach, we may see the conventional finance models become more accurate as human behavior plays less of a role in how markets perform.
Unfortunately, you may not be able to avoid finance charges on all types of balances. Balance transfers and cash advances don’t have a grace period, so finance charges start accruing as soon as the balance hits your card. When it comes to these types of balances, the best way to avoid a finance charge is to stay away from those transactions completely. The exception is when your credit card has a zero percent interest rate promotion, but these rarely apply to cash advances.
How Promotional Rates Affect Finance Charges. Some credit cards offer a zero percent introductory interest rate to entice new customers who want to avoid interest. During the promotional period, you generally won’t receive a finance charge even if you don’t pay your balance in full. However, once the promotional period ends, any remaining balance will start accruing finance charges at the regular APR. During the promotional period, you can also be assessed a finance charge on balances that aren’t subject to the promotional rate. For example, if the promotional rate applies only to balance transfers, then purchases you make will be charged a finance charge.