We recently received an email from a young woman who had just received her first credit card and wanted to understand the importance of the “grace period.” I’m thrilled to see that someone so young is taking responsibility to get in the know and I decided to write a brief article to explain the grace period. The quick answer to whether the grace period is important is, “Only if you care about saving money.” 期間工 The grace period on a credit card is actually the amount of time that you have, from the date the statement was prepared, (not to be confused with the date you received your bill) to pay off your balance without being charged interest. Depending on the balances you carry, this can be significant.
If you’ll take time to get informed and then make your payments within the grace period, you could actually be using the credit card company’s money absolutely free. To avoid paying interest charges, however, the entire balance would need to be paid in full before the end of the “Grace Period.” Grace periods will vary by credit card but are usually around 25 days. Check the disclaimer on the card or on your statement to verify your grace period.
If you’re receiving a paper statement by snail mail, and your grace period is short, there is a chance that the grace period would be past before you ever get the statement in hand. This is where online account management features can be really beneficial. I’ve listed a few tips for making the grace period work for you.
Make note of when statements are prepared.
Know the date when the grace period ends.
Schedule your payment so that it is received by the credit card company BEFORE the grace period ends.
If you’re comfortable with online account management and online bill pay, consider an automatic payment option.
Sign up for e-statements or one of the available online features for keeping on top of your account and avoiding interest charges.
Denise Wolf is a freelance writer who works with CompareCards.com to help consumers make informed credit decisions. CompareCards.com is a privately held organization and has assisted thousands of consumers in making credit decisions. You can use the online Card Comparison Tool at www.comparecards.com to simplify your search for a credit card or learn more about credit cards using a helpful credit card guide.