Credit Card Guides

This Article Is All About The Credit Card Guides You Through Card Terms And Language

You need credit card guides to better understand your credit card and how it works, to show to use your credit cards. Why? Because it is important that you understand some basic credit card terms. These terms are listed in no particular order, except that some are grouped to make more sense:


APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate. This is basically the interest rate that you are charged – how much you will pay to be extended this credit. APR can vary from 0% to 20% and even higher on a credit card. APR is an important factor, especially if you plan to carry a balance. A 0 interest rate credit card is a great option, but this is not the only number to consider so read on.


This refers to the U.S Prime rate, a commonly used interest rate by most U.S. banking institutions.

Variable Rate:

This means that the interest rate will change, usually based on the federal prime rate plus a certain percentage. Sometimes, you get a fixed rate, an APR that doesn’t change, other times you get a variable rate.

Over the Limit Fee:

The Credit Card Act of 2009 made these fees, that is fees for going over the limit on your credit card, illegal unless the card holder specifically agrees to the fee. If you learn nothing from credit card guides remember this one tip: Never agree to this fee.

Annual Fee:

This is the fee that you are made to pay on some credit cards each year. The fee will be added to the card when it is issued to you and then automatically added to your balance each year on your anniversary date. The Annual Fee is an important consideration when you apply for a card. Also, keep track of when your annual fee will be applied each year or it could make you go over your credit limit.

Late Fee:

The fee charged for not making a payment by the listed due date. Usually, you have 21 days from the close of the statement to make a timely payment. After that late fees often result. After 30 days late you will usually be reported late to the credit bureau.

Credit Limit:

The amount of credit that has been extended to you, that is how much you can owe on your credit card at any given time.


How much you currently owe on your credit card.


Your current balance plus any interest that accrues between the previous billing period and the time of pay-off.

Minimum Payment:

This is the minimum amount that you must pay towards your balance in any given month. According to Fox Business, as of 2012 it was common for a minimum payment to be 1% of the balance, plus interest. It is important to note that if you have a balance on a card and this is the minimum, it could take you years, even decades, to pay off the balance and cost you untold amounts in interest.
Grace Period: The period of time between when your monthly statement closes and when you will be charged interest on your purchases. Most credit cards have a grade period of 21-30 days.

Closing Date:

The last date in a statement billing cycle. This is usually the date that the bill is mailed out and that the grace period begins.

Due Date:

The date that your payment is due. The Credit Card Act of 2009 requires banks to allow you to pay on this date (or the day after this date in the case of some mailed payments) without penalty. Any later than that and you will be considered “late” and subject to a late fee.
Take the Time to Read Credit Card Guides Armed with an understanding of credit cards, and reading credit card guides like this, you can manage your credit and credit score better.

Fox Business (over limit fee).

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