Do you know how many interest free days you have?

Credit card users need to know all about their interest-free periods if they want to avoid big interest bills on their card debt. Standard credit card purchase interest rates range up to 23.49 per cent on Australian cards. That can add hundreds, even thousands of dollars, to the average Australian credit card debt of $3,070. The key to managing your credit card is to avoid interest charges altogether and repay your debts within the interest-free period.

What does credit card interest-free days mean?

Credit card purchases must be repaid. Credit card issuers will send you an account statement and bill each month. Depending on when you made a purchase, you will have a certain number of days to repay the total amount before interest starts to accumulate.

For example, if your card offers up to 44 days interest-free (a common interest free period) you will get the full 44 day period only if you make a purchase 14 days from the end of the monthly billing cycle. That’s because your bill is issued every 30 days (approximately).

Remember – the number of Interest free days offered is always quoted as “up-to.” That means you may have a lot fewer than the maximum days quoted before interest is charged.

The shortest number of interest-free days offered on credit cards in Australia is zero. That means that interest is charged from the day of purchase. InfoChoice lists four credit cards with zero interest-free days on purchases. All these cards are very low rate credit cards like the Bank Australia Low Rate Visa which is currently charging just 9.39 per cent on purchases.

The maximum number of interest-free days offered on a credit card in Australia is 62. InfoChoice lists six credit cards currently offering up to 62 days interest free on purchases including the Coles Low Rate MasterCard.

There are plenty of cards offering up to 55 days interest-free including the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventure Card.

The most common number of interest-free days offered by Australian credit cards is “up to 44.” InfoChoice lists more than one hundred cards with up to 44 interest-free days, including the David Jones American Express Card.

You can compare credit cards from all of Australia’s major credit card issuers here.

Source: InfoChoice.com.au

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