A credit card billing cycle is the period of time between two credit card statements, usually lasting 28-31 days. On the last day of a credit card’s billing cycle – also known as the closing date –the card’s issuer will compile the account’s billing statement. This includes a bill for all the charges made to your account during that billing cycle, minus any payments made. You can find the starting and ending dates for your credit card’s billing cycle on your monthly statement.… read full answer
Understanding your credit card’s billing cycle is important for a few reasons. First, it’s important because your statement balance – the amount you have to pay by the due date to avoid interest – is comprised of purchases made during the billing cycle. The statement balance also gets reported to credit bureaus each month and factors into your credit utilization.
Secondly, the start and end of a billing cycle determine when you have to pay for a given purchase or fee. For example, if you purchase a big TV the day before your statement closing date, you’ll owe that money on your next due date – usually about 25 days later, or however long your grace period is. However, if you buy the TV the day after your statement closing date, it will land on the next statement. So you won’t have to pay for the TV until that statement’s due date, which could be 50 or so days later. For those budgeting out big purchases, timing the purchase to get an extra few weeks to pay can make a huge difference.
Billing cycles are also important if you are taking advantage of a 0% APR intro period. These zero-interest periods are sometimes measured in billing cycles, rather than months. This difference can be worth calculating if the billing cycle is shorter than a typical month, and you are tracking how much time you have to pay off a purchase before the promotional APR period ends.
It takes 1 to 3 business days for a credit card payment to post to your account if you pay online or by phone. Payments by mail will take a few days longer. If your credit card is linked to your checking account and both accounts are from the same bank, your payment may post immediately following the transaction. Your issuer’s payment timelines are included in your monthly statement, or you can call customer service for more information.… read full answer
In order to understand how long it takes an issuer to post your credit card payments, it’s important to know the difference between “credited,” “posted,” and “cleared.” When you submit a payment, the amount is credited, meaning the issuer recognizes you paid it. But it may not post, or be reflected in your available credit, for another day or two. When a payment is cleared, the issuer has actually received the money. As long as your payment is at least credited by the due date, it’s considered on time, assuming the transaction goes through.
To avoid any worry about how long it will take for a credit card payment to post, set up your account for autopay. This feature automatically debits your bank account for a pre-determined amount on the card’s payment due date. As long as you have enough money in the account to cover the transaction, your payments will never be late. You should be able to set up autopay online or by calling your issuer’s customer service department.
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