What Is a Finance Charge, and How Do I Avoid Paying One?
If you're savvy, you can avoid credit card finance charges entirely.
If you pay off your statement balance completely during a grace period, you could dodge interest charges altogether. (Getty Images)
Borrowing money typically costs money, and credit cards are no exception. One of the advantages of having a credit card is that you don't have to pay off your balance each month. But that perk comes at a price, called a finance charge.
Here's what you need to know about credit card finance charges, how they're calculated and what you can do to avoid them.
How Credit Card Finance Charges Work
Carrying a balance. If you don't pay your balance in full by the due date each month and there is no promotional 0% APR period, you will incur a finance charge based on your card's APR and the remaining balance.
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Generally, credit cards require relatively low minimum payments compared with balances. While some credit card issuers include interest charges in the minimum payment, others just charge a flat percentage. "If this minimum is less than the accrued interest," says James Philpot, certified financial planner and associate professor in the department of finance and general business at Missouri State University, "you will effectively be borrowing more money from your card issuer in order to pay interest."
Transferring a balance. If you transfer a balance from one card to another, you may incur a finance charge in the form of a balance transfer fee. You may also pay interest on the balance unless the card has an introductory 0% APR balance transfer promotion. Check the card's terms before you submit your request.
Requesting a cash advance. If you use your credit card to get cash from an ATM, interest will start accruing immediately from the date of the transaction, with no grace period. The APR for credit card cash advances is often higher than the APR for purchases.
Making a foreign transaction. A foreign transaction on your credit card, whether in a foreign country or currency, can incur a foreign transaction fee. This fee is typically about 3 percent of the transaction.
How Credit Card Companies Calculate Finance Charges
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Even though we are apart, you are in my heart this season.千山万水，隔不断我在佳节对你的思念。
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Note, however, that some credit card issuers compound interest on a daily basis, so your calculation may be even more complicated than this one.
How to Avoid Paying Credit Card Finance Charges
Take advantage of your grace period. Most credit cards offer a grace period on purchases. If your credit card has one, it typically runs from the end of your billing cycle to your payment due date. By law, you must receive your credit card bill at least 21 days before it is due.
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The impact of sluggish growth on year-end payouts may have peaked in 2015, however, when 66 per cent of white-collar workers received no year-end bonus. And the 2016 level actually represents an improvement from 2014, when 61 per cent had to go without.
Use a 0% APR promotion. Some credit cards offer an introductory 0% APR promotion to new cardholders, waiving interest charges on purchases, balance transfers or both transactions for a set period.
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我在世界最知名的公司之一找到了一份工作，对此学校的关系网络起到了重要的作用，鹿特丹管理学院(Rotterdam School of Management)一名毕业生表示，这家公司是学校的一个公司合作伙伴，因此我基本上是在我的邮箱收到工作申请书的。
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Yes. Mr Meade is the candidate of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI. His main rival is the hard leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a passionate orator who can work a crowd. Mr Meade has a lot to overcome: he will have to convince voters that they can trust him, after he put up petrol prices by 20 per cent overnight in January, triggering a surge in inflation. He will also have to reveal himself as his own man, not just a clone of an unpopular government that has failed spectacularly to rein in rampant corruption and crime. But backed by the formidable PRI get-out-the-vote machine, he could prove unstoppable. In Mexico’s one-round-only system, 30 per cent of the vote might be enough.
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Millions of people working or studying out of their hometowns will be hurrying home to reunite with families as the Chinese Spring Festival approaches. This long-held tradition is the main reason for the rush. The other is that the holiday is one of the two week-long holidays of the year, a perfect travel time for many people. The rush usually begins 15 days ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year and 25 days after that.
Forgo certain activities. Because many cards charge fees for balance transfers, cash advances and foreign purchases, consider refraining from these activities, or try to find a card that waives these fees.
Some balance transfer credit cards, for instance, will waive the balance transfer fee for new cardholders for a short period. Also, many travel credit cards don't charge a foreign transaction fee.
Always Read the Fine Print
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4. The 2012 Ig Nobel Neuroscience Prize
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