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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The report by iResearch Consulting Group and Sina Weibo, China's most popular microblogging platform, was released at a forum in Shanghai, co-organized by Weibo and telecom giant Huawei .
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
These concerns are real, but there are ways around them. For example, you can use your survival job to show employers that you're willing to work hard. And you can continue your job search after 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.
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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For starters, breaches like that of Bitstamp and the much larger (valued at about $400 million at the time) 2011 hack of the exchange Mt. Gox are often misconstrued as security issues with the currency itself. But they are only signs of flaws in those particular exchanges and not a sign of an issue with the underlying technology. And it is the underlying technology behind bitcoin that most excites. As we wrote in the “Shape the Future” package of our January 2015 issue, most of the vocal enthusiasts so bullish on bitcoin—from big-name entrepreneurs like Marc Andreessen to the developers and miners who spend their days refreshing the bitcoin Reddit page—are more interested in the applications that can be built on bitcoin’s “block chain,” the currency’s foundational backbone, than they are in bitcoin as a monetary system. The block chain allows the secure exchange of any form of value between two entities.
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“People are used to the Fed saying it will tighten but, in the end, with volatility or other risks on the horizon, policymakers take it back and it’s a case of if in doubt, stay on hold,” Mr Koepke says.
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
Some of the biggest winners of the night included Lambert, Eric Church, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan. Lambert led the pack with three wins for Female Vocalist of the Year, Single Record of the Year and Song of the Year for "Over You."
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 price of U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude, which is traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange, has been kept lower by problems transporting the oil to markets. Those troubles have eased recently, but Sabine Schels, head of fundamental commodity research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, doubts the problems will disappear.
By the time of the Asian crisis of 1997-98, he says, the Fed had become more responsive and pulled back from its tightening cycle on concern that the turmoil in Southeast Asia would affect the US economy.
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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Russian President Vladimir Putin took a 10% pay cut last year, as his country sank into a deep recession. But that was after his salary more than doubled in April 2014, to roughly 9.7 million rubles.
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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
The list has four British universities, which are Cambridge, Oxford and London's University College and Imperial College. The University of Tokyo is also included in top 20.
“For years we had Chinese growth going gangbusters and US rates going down,” says Josh Crabb, head of Asian equities at Old Mutual Global Investors, the asset management arm of Old Mutual, the insurer. “But transaction volumes have dried up quite significantly, so we are not really sure what the prices are. That looks like a tough fundamental outlook.”
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Official data indicates a total of 81 feature length films, including 47 Chinese titles, surpassed the 100 million yuan box office threshold.