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Interest & Fees

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What Is a Finance Charge and How Do I Avoid It?

There’s a lot of information to gather before you can borrow money. Whether you’re taking out a mortgage, applying for an auto loan, or opening a new credit card, it’s essential to know what to expect up front. Most importantly, you need to figure out exactly how much a financial product will cost you. What...

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Charging More for Paying With Credit Cards

Although they’re unfairly vilified by a vocal minority, there are many reasons why using credit cards for purchases makes a lot of sense. Credit cards offer safe, portable capacity that is really unmatched, as well as better fraud protections than debit cards and cash. There have been, however, many recent examples of consumers paying a...

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2020 Survey: A Lot of People Pay Interest on Retail Store Credit Cards

You’ve finally made it to the register, clothes piled high, socks and ties slung across your shoulders, and a box of new shoes at your feet. You manage to get everything onto the counter and the young, bright-eyed cashier asks, “Do you have a JCPenney Credit Card?” You don’t, which prompts the inevitable reply: “Would...

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The Surprising Truth About APR vs. Interest Rate for Credit Cards

When you get a new credit card, you’ll often see a range of numbers: minimum monthly payments, due dates, balance transfer fees, and something called the “annual percentage rate” (APR). You may have heard of APRs when it comes to home loans — and if you’re a veteran home buyer, you know they’re not the...

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What Does 0% Intro APR Mean?

You may have received a few credit card offers with a 0% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on new purchases and balance transfers. Or maybe you’ve been offered special financing when you make a large purchase so you can pay it off over time with “no interest.” Most credit card companies make money from interest fees (financing charges)...

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How to Avoid Paying Interest on Credit Cards

Whenever you get a loan, you’ll usually have to pay interest. Even though credit cards are a type of loan, you can avoid interest fees completely with most cards. Interest is a fee you pay for borrowing money from a lender. Most of the time, the interest you pay is a percentage of the amount you...

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What’s a Grace Period for a Credit Card? The Secret to Never Paying Interest

We’ve got a secret — a secret credit card issuers don’t want you to know about. Wanna know what it is? If you pay your bill in full each month, you won’t ever have to pay interest on purchases with most credit cards. That means you can get the perks and convenience of using a...

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Is Paying an Annual Fee for a Credit Card Worth It?

You might think it’s crazy to pay an annual fee for a credit card. Why pay when there are so many other card offers without fees? Although there are many great no annual fee credit cards, a yearly fee shouldn’t scare you away from any particular card. There are many situations in which a card with...

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Why You Shouldn’t Throw Away Preapproved Credit Card Offers

It seems like all you ever get in the mail are bills, advertisements, occasionally a catalog…and oh, credit card offers. Can’t forget about those! While the plethora of envelopes splashed with “limited time” and “apply now” might be annoying, there are a few reasons you might not want to toss them out. What Are Preapproved...

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What Is a Good APR for a Credit Card? (And Why It Matters Less Than You Think)

When you’re in the market for a new credit card, you’ll see one term a lot: APR. But without a basis of comparison, it’s hard to know: What is a good APR for a credit card? Here’s how to tell — and why it may matter less than you think. What Is APR? APR stands...

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How Much Does a Credit Card Cost? Credit Card Fees Explained

You’re looking through your credit card statement when all of a sudden you see it: a fee you didn’t know was coming. Don’t fret. It’s happened to all of us. After all, fees and interest are the main ways credit card companies make their money. But here’s what every smart credit card user knows: Credit...

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Can I Use a Credit Card at an ATM? How Cash Advances Work

You may be asking yourself “Can I get cash out of the ATM with my credit card?” Yes! Most credit cards will let you withdraw cash at an ATM. Great news, right? No way! Borrowing money on your credit card is a cash advance, a type of short-term loan, and it’s worlds away from a...

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What Is APR? Your 6-Minute Guide to Annual Percentage Rates

You’ll hear lots of new terms when you apply for a loan or credit card. Annual percentage rate, or APR, is one you should definitely understand. What’s the definition of APR? The annual percentage rate is what your lender charges you to borrow money on a yearly basis. It includes both your interest rate and...

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What Is a Cash Advance? A Definition and Why You Should Avoid Them

When you need cash right away for an unexpected expense, you may be tempted to turn to your credit card for a cash advance. It’s easy to see the appeal. Credit card cash advances seem like an easy way to access money fast when you’re in a jam or need to cover financial needs with...

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