Your credit card issuer will send you a monthly statement with the date that your payment is due. This is usually about 21 days after the close of the billing cycle. However, some issuers may have different due dates, so be sure to check your statement or cardholder agreement.
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Credit card companies usually give a grace period of 21 days from the close of each billing cycle until the payment is due. If you pay your balance in full and on time each month, you will not be charged interest. However, if you carry a balance on your credit card from one month to the next, you will be charged interest on that balance. The interest rate that you are charged depends on the type of credit card that you have and on your credit history.
Credit Card Billing Cycles
Most credit card companies bill their customers on a monthly basis. This means that you will have a certain amount of time, usually between 21 and 25 days, to pay your bill before it is considered late. There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. Some companies bill their customers on a quarterly basis, which means you will have to pay your bill every three months.
Defining a Credit Card Billing Cycle
A billing cycle is the interval between an issuer’s statements. A typical credit card billing cycle lasts about 28 days, but some issuers use periods that are shorter or longer. Each card issuer has its own definition of a billing cycle.
The days of the billing cycle aren’t necessarily the same every month. For example, if your statement is dated the first of every month, your billing cycle might start on the 16th of one month and end on the 15th of the next. In this case, your next statement would be dated the first of the following month and would include transactions from the 16th of that month up to (but not including) the 15th.
Your due date is usually 21 days after the close of each billing cycle. That gives you time to receive and review your statement before you have to pay your bill. But if you carry a balance from one month to another, your payment may be due sooner than 21 days after each statement is issued.
If you pay your entire balance by the due date each month, you won’t be charged interest on your purchases (unless a promotional financing offer applies). If you don’t pay in full, you’ll be charged interest on any outstanding balance, starting from the day each purchase is made (unless a grace period applies).
How long is a Credit Card Billing Cycle?
Most credit card companies have a set time period between the close of one billing cycle and the start of the next. This is generally between 21 and 25 days. If you opened your credit card account on the 15th of the month, for example, your first statement would probably include activity from the 15th through the 14th of the following month and would be due 25 days later. The next billing cycle would begin on the 15th and be due on or about the 10th of the following month, and so on.
When are Credit Card Payments Due?
The Grace Period
The due date for your credit card payment is at least 21 days after the close of each billing cycle. That’s called the grace period. For example, if your billing cycle ends on March 31, you have until at least April 21 to make your payment.
The grace period is a feature of U.S. consumer credit laws that give cardholders extra time to pay their bills without incurring interest charges. If you pay your balance in full and on time each month, you can avoid paying interest on your credit card purchases.
Some card issuers do not offer a grace period on cash advances and balance transfers. That means you’ll start accruing interest on those transactions from the date of the transaction, rather than from the end of the billing cycle. For other types of transactions, such as purchases, card issuers must give you at least 21 days to pay your bill without incurring interest charges.
To avoid paying interest, you’ll need to pay your entire balance by the due date each month. If you don’t think you can do that, consider making a larger payment each month or setting up autopay so that you never miss a due date. You can also transfer your balance to a card with a 0% intro APR on balance transfers to help you pay down your debt interest-free for a limited time.
Miss the due date on your credit card bill and you could be hit with a late fee of up to $38, plus accrue interest on the balance. Other penalties may include having your interest rates jacked up to the default rate (which is often close to 30% APR).
Your credit card issuer must give you at least 21 days to pay your bill, so if you’re ever in doubt, just remember the three-week rule. Payments are generally due on the same day each month, but that day can vary. For example, if your closing date is on a weekend or holiday, your payment will usually be due on the next business day.
To avoid late fees and penalties, mark your calendar or set up automatic payments (most issuers offer this feature) for at least the minimum amount due on the day it’s due. That way even if you forget, your payment will go through on time.
Paying your credit card bill on time is important to avoid late fees and keep your account in good standing. But what if you can’t pay the full balance? Most credit card companies have a grace period of 21 days from the end of the billing cycle before they charge interest on new purchases. That means you have 21 days to pay your bill in full without incurring any interest charges.
If you can’t pay your bill in full within the grace period, you’ll still need to make at least the minimum payment by the due date to avoid late fees and keep your account in good standing. The minimum payment is usually around 3-5% of your total balance, but it can vary depending on your card issuer.
Remember, paying just the minimum payment means it will take you longer to pay off your debt and you’ll end up paying more in interest over time. If you’re having trouble making payments, contact your credit card issuer to discuss options like lowering your interest rate or extending your payment deadlines.