One of the most common questions regarding credit cards is, How and when do credit cards charge interest? It’s a valid question, especially if you have multiple cards and you’re not paying your balance in full every month. If this describes your situation, this guide will help you understand the answer to that question and learn how to manage your finances with multiple credit cards better.

What Is Credit Card Interest?

Experts at SoFi state, “Credit card interest is what you’re charged by a credit card issuer when you don’t pay off your statement balance in full each month.”

What are the 2 Interest Rates and 2 Compounding Cycles in Credit Cards?

Most credit cards have two interest rates: the purchase APR and the cash advance APR. The purchase APR is the rate charged on purchases and balance transfers. The cash advance APR is the rate charged on cash advances and convenience checks.

What’s the Difference Between Daily, Monthly, and Annual Charge Periods in a Month?

Most credit card companies use one of three methods to calculate interest charges: daily, monthly, or annual. The way your issuer calculates interest can have a significant impact on how much you end up paying in interest charges.

Which Is Better, A Low or No Balance Transfer Fee Credit Card?

If you are looking to transfer a balance from one credit card to another, you may wonder if choosing a card with a low or no balance transfer fee is better.

Although there are no-fee cards with 0% intro APR offers, both Discover it Balance Transfer and Chase Slate have a fee of 3% for transfers made within 60 days of opening an account.

Which Is Better, A Low Or No Regular APR After The Balance Transfer Offer Ends?

The answer to this question depends on how you plan to use your credit card. For example, a low APR will save you money on interest charges if you plan to carry a balance on your card monthly.

If you plan to pay off your balance at month’s end, then a low or no regular APR won’t save you any money. Make sure that all of your monthly payments are made before the end of the promotion period to take advantage of the balance transfer offer and pay off the entire balance every month.

Why Are There No Late Fees Ever Statements Even On Balance Transfer Offers Without Them?

Many people don’t realize there’s no grace period on balance transfers, meaning interest will start accruing immediately. However, the interest you pay on the transferred amount will still apply even if you pay off your monthly balance.

Luckily for those who want to avoid interest charges, it’s usually possible to do so by making payments before the statement closes. A lot of credit cards also offer 0% APR promotions. The average credit card APR is 16%.

Are 0% Introductory APRs Always The Best Deal For Me If I Want To Pay Off My Balances Quickly And Avoid Finance Charges At All Costs?

Zero percent introductory APRs can be great if you plan to pay off your balances quickly and avoid finance charges. However, you may pay more interest if you carry a balance after the intro period ends.

If you carry a balance after your intro period ends, your interest will be calculated based on your purchase APR, which could make it even more expensive to carry that balance. Credit card interest is critical to understand so that you don’t pay more than you should. Generally, interest is charged daily on your outstanding balance, but exceptions do exist.