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Understanding Your Credit Card Grace Period

Understanding Your Credit Card Grace Period

*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Jun 01, 2018, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

What is a credit card grace period?

A credit card grace period is the amount of time between the end of a billing cycle and when your bill is due. During this period, you may not be charged interest on your balance. While grace periods vary by issuer, they must be a minimum of 21 days from the end of a billing cycle and some may be as long as 25 days. For example, if your billing cycle ends on the third of each month and your bill is due on the 26th of the month, your grace period is 23 days.

What transactions qualify for a grace period?

Transactions that are eligible for grace periods are typically limited to new purchases. Other transactions like balance transfers and cash advances don’t qualify for a grace period and instead, are charged interest beginning on the transaction date. Note, if you are utilizing a 0% intro period for balance transfers, you won’t be charged interest during the length of the intro period.

Do all credit cards have grace periods?

No, issuers are not required to offer grace periods, but most do. And, depending on which type of credit card you have, you may or may not have a grace period. For example, typical credit cards have grace periods, but charge cards don’t since balances are due in full each statement due date.

What happens after the grace period?

When your credit card grace period ends and you continue to carry a balance, you will begin to be charged interest at the regular purchase APR (unless you have a 0% intro APR period). For example, if you have a credit card with a 23.99% variable APR and your grace period is 23 days after the close of each billing cycle, carrying a balance for more than 23 days means your balance will be charged the 23.99% variable APR, broken down into a daily charge.

What happens to my grace period if I miss a payment?

If you miss a payment, you may temporarily lose out on your grace period for a certain amount of time. You typically forgo your grace period for two months, but some issuers may end your grace period indefinitely or require you to make several consecutive on-time payments before your grace period is reinstated. For example, if you have a Capital One credit card and pay late or don’t pay your balance in full every month, you may lose your grace period — but you can get it back by paying your balance in full for two consecutive billing cycles.

Where do I find my credit card grace period?

In the table below, we break down credit card grace periods by issuer. We also encourage you to verify your grace period by checking the “Interest Rates and Interest Charges” section of your cardmember agreement. The column stating your grace period is often titled “How to Avoid Paying Interest on Purchases” or “Paying Interest.”

Credit card grace period by issuer

Issuer Minimum length of grace period (days)
American Express 25
Bank of America 25
Barclays 23
Capital One 25
Chase 21
Citibank 23
Discover 25 (23 days for billing periods that begin in February)
Wells Fargo 25

 


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