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.
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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
Honda has recalled more than 10 million vehicles in the U.S. to fix a potentially fatal defect in air bags made by Japanese supplier, Takata. The air bag inflators can rupture after a crash and injure occupants with shards of metal. Honda has confirmed three deaths and 48 injuries in connection with such incidents.
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.
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
The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee and Yemeni women's rights advocate Tawakkul Karman.
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Roth, 60, is a professor at Harvard University in Boston. Shapley, 89, is a professor emeritus at University of California Los Angeles.
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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
This year the list features nine heads of state who run nations with a combined GDP of $11.8 trillion — including the No. 1 Power Woman, German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The 24 corporate CEOs control $893 billion in annual revenues, and 16 of the women here founded their own companies, including two of the three new billionaires to the list, Tory Burch and Spanx’s Sara Blakely. Speaking of, this year’s class has 14 billionaires valued in excess of $82 billion.
Meanwhile, 78 percent of the civil service jobs offered this year are posts at county or district levels, as the central government seeks to steer more college graduates to jobs at city and county levels, he said.
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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Baoneng is believed to have borrowed heavily to fund its share purchases in Vanke and is now the developer’s largest single shareholder with a 25 per cent stake.
The new numbers, reported by a tracking initiative called the Global Carbon Project and published in the journal Nature Geoscience, came on the eve of a United Nations summit meeting meant to harness fresh political ambition in tackling climate change. Scientists said the figures showed that vastly greater efforts would be needed to get long-term global warming within tolerable limits.
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.
This compared to a decade ago when there were six Asian cities, 10 European cities and four US cities in the top 20 of the list that calculates living costs in 131 cities in 93 countries and is used by companies for costings when relocating staff.
Morgan Stanley’s Jonas believes the Model X will sell more based on features like its upgraded infotainment system unique “falcon-wing” back-seat doors than fuel economy and he will be disappointed if the Model X doesn’t win every major car of the year award. He isn’t alone. So will Elon Musk and a whole lot of Tesla investors who pray that the momentum behind this amazing stock keeps building.
Take solid and effective steps to cut overcapacity
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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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Obama won the second to put himself back in the race. Although he also won the third, foreign policy is not a major concern for voters and it is unlikely to result in any major poll swings.
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19. Going, Going, Almost Gone Quentin Tarantino shot his latest, “The Hateful Eight,” in 70 millimeter, and the film is slated to play in almost 100 theaters that, like most of rooms across the country, now usually use digital projection. Whatever you think of Mr. Tarantino, try to catch “The Hateful Eight” on film so you can see for yourself how the industry-enforced switch to digital has radically changed movies.
Here, a quick peek at Power Women 2013: