What Is the Minimum Payment on a Credit Card?
The minimum payment on a credit card is the lowest amount of money the cardholder can pay each billing cycle to keep the account’s status “current” rather than “late.” A credit card minimum payment is often $20 to $35 or 1% to 3% of the card balance, whichever is greater. If the dollar amount is higher than the actual balance charged to the card, then the full balance is the minimum payment. The exact details differ from issuer to issuer, though.
How Credit Card Minimum Payments Are Calculated by Issuer
|Card Issuer||Standard Minimum Payment||Pay Full Balance If Less Than...|
|American Express||1% of balance or $35 (whichever is more)||$35|
|Bank of America||1% of balance or $35 (whichever is more)||$35|
|Barclays||1% of balance or $25-$29
(whichever is more – dollar amount varies by card)
|$25-$29, depending on the card|
|Capital One||1% of balance or $25 (whichever is more)||$25|
|Credit One||5% of balance or $25 (whichever is more)||$25|
|Chase||1% of balance or $25 (whichever is more)||$25|
|Citibank||1% of the balance for the billing period + any interest owed
1.5% of the balance due (whichever is more)
|Discover||3% of balance + past due amount
$15 + new interest and late fees
$35 (whichever is more)
|USAA||$15 + past due amount
1% of statement balance + interest and fees
Overlimit amount (whichever is more)
|Wells Fargo||1% of balance or $25 (whichever is more)||$25|
What Happens If You Only Pay the Minimum Payment on Your Credit Card?
If you make at least your credit card’s minimum payment by the due date, you will avoid late fees and penalty APRs. However, any unpaid balance carried between months begins to accrue interest. Plus, not paying in full gets rid of the card’s grace period.
It can be tempting to just pay the minimum every month. But in the long run, it will cost more money and it could snowball into serious credit card debt if you’re spending more than you can pay off every month. It’s best to always pay your credit card balance in full, if possible.
You should also know that only amounts paid above the minimum are applied to the balance with the highest APR on the card, if you have multiple balances (e.g. purchases, balance transfers, cash advances).
Other Key Things to Know About Credit Card Minimum Payments Other Credit Card Minimum Payment Facts
How do you find out your minimum payment? You can find the minimum payment required by your credit card, along with the due date for that payment, on the monthly statement you receive by mail or email. You can also use WalletHub’s minimum payment calculator.
What happens if you fail to make at least the minimum payment? You will likely owe a late fee, though there’s a good chance the company might waive it if it’s your first time paying late and you ask them. Your issuer could also potentially apply a higher APR to future purchases and extend that APR to all balances if you are 60 days delinquent in making a minimum payment.
How do minimum payments impact your credit score? Paying only the minimum leaves you with credit card debt and a higher credit utilization ratio, which can be detrimental to your credit score. Paying in full will help your score increase much more quickly. But if you can only pay the minimum, paying on time is crucial for your score.
How can you avoid forgetting to make your minimum payments? Most credit card issuers allow you to set up automatic payments each month through your online account. You can choose to pay the minimum due or more.
Do you need to make a minimum payment if you have a 0% APR? Yes, if your card has a 0% APR on purchases or balance transfers, you will still need to make monthly minimum payments despite not accruing any interest.