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.
Conventional or Traditional Finance
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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.
Best for Wealth Management: Personal Capital. Personal Capital. Courtesy of Personal Capital. Personal Capital is a personal finance and wealth management app that allows you to manage your assets and investments along with your everyday spending accounts. The service integrates with more than 14,000 financial institutions so you can link your accounts within the app. While you can connect to your bank account to track spending and create a monthly budget, the app really shines in helping you track and optimize your investments. You can track your portfolio by account, asset class or individual security. With built-in intelligence available on the tablet version of the app, you can discover opportunities for diversification, risk management, and discover any hidden fees you may be paying. Comparing your own portfolio to major market benchmarks allows you to determine whether you’re on track to meet your investment goals. Personal Capital provides registered financial advisors who can provide you with customized advice tailored to your goals.
Credit cards give you the ability to make purchases today and pay for them later. If it takes you longer than a month to pay off your balance you’ll pay a fee in the form of a finance charge. Paying finance charges increases the cost you pay for having a credit card, even moreso if you never fully pay off your balance. You can avoid finance charges on almost all credit cards, but it’s all about the timing and amount of your credit card payment.