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.
If you continued making minimum payments and no additional charges on this account, you’d pay $18.00 in finance charges over the course of a year. Why Does the Billing Cycle Matter? Credit card companies state your interest rate in terms of an annual percentage rate, or APR, to make it easier to compare various credit cards and loans. However, you are not charged interest on an annual basis. You’re charged interest periodically based on your billing cycle. Including the billing cycle in the finance charge calculation ensures you are charged interest only for that specific period of time.
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Deferred interest promotional offers are often promoted similar to zero percent balance transfers, but they’re a little different. A deferred interest offer will backdate interest on your balance – assess the full finance charge from the start of the promotional period – if you don’t pay the balance by the time the promotional period ends. Always read the terms of your promotional offers to know whether you need to pay off the full balance before the end of the promotional period to avoid paying finance charges on the balance. You don’t want to be caught off guard with several months of finance charges added to your balance.
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If your credit card issuer calculates your balance using the average daily balance method, tou can minimize your finance charges by paying your balance down earlier in the billing cycle. The daily balance method is similar to the average daily balance method because it uses the balance each day of your billing cycle. Instead of averaging the balance, each day’s balance is multiplied by the daily rate for a ”daily finance charge.” Each day’s finance charge is totaled for the finance charge for that billing cycle.