If you tend to carry a credit card balance rather than pay off your balance every month, then you’ve seen a finance charge added to your balance. Finance charges are applied to credit card balances that aren’t paid before the grace period. Unlike most other credit card fees, finance charges aren’t a flat fee. Instead, the finance charge is calculated for each billing cycle based on your balance and interest rate. Generally, higher balances and interest rates result in higher finance charges.
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.
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A word of caution, however: YNAB was initially designed for Mac and Windows, and then Linux users alerted the company that it also was working fine on their operating systems. Some bugs were subsequently reported. They’ve been fixed, and yes, the software will work for you, but YNAB won’t guarantee its performance. GnuCash for Linux sports a rather plain-looking interface, but it still has a good feature set, including online stock quotes and multiple currency support.
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.
We are committed to researching, testing, and recommending the best products. We may receive commissions from purchases made after visiting links within our content. Learn more about our review process. Managing your money isn’t the easiest thing to do. Now that we no longer balance a checkbook, tracking and expenses and keeping up with the bank balance can get a little difficult. Personal finance apps can connect with your bank account and help you keep up with your spending. Not only that, personal finance apps can help you pinpoint areas that you’ve been spending, track upcoming bill payments (some allow you to pay your bills directly through the app), keep up with your credit score and investment portfolio. The best personal finance apps provide several different features (e-mail reminders, bill due dates, track subscriptions, shared wallets, etc.) for managing your overall finances. All the apps on our list are available on both iOS and Android, so you can enjoy no matter which smartphone giant you’re partial to.