Are payments applied to purchases or cash advances first?

deferred interest credit cards

If you’re considering a deferred interest credit card, it’s smart to make a plan for paying it off before you make the purchase. Divide the purchase price of the item you want to buy by how many months you’ll have to pay it off. Deferred interest credit cards are often easier to qualify for than other credit cards. In order to spot these tricky offers, you’ll need to read the fine print. So long as you pay off the balance within those 12 months, you would have essentially purchased the TV with an interest-free loan. On the other hand, if you forget about the deferred interest expiration date and go past it, you’ll end up owing $1,000 plus 12 months of interest.

  • Even if you have a perfect credit score of 850, you would still get a 26.24% APR.
  • She is featured monthly at credit seminars, podcasts, and in print.
  • However, if there’s still any remaining balance when the deferred interest period ends, that’s when the full force of all those deferred interest payments comes and hits you.
  • If you’re a student who needs buy a laptop, books or other larger purchases and pay them off over time, the Discover it® Student Cash Back is a good option.
  • By contrast, when a financing offer is presented as “0% APR,” it means that during the promotional period, the interest rate that applies is literally 0%.

In those cases, any payments you make above the minimum will be applied to your first purchase. Say you’d like to purchase a television that costs $1,000, but you won’t have enough cash to buy it outright for another two months. You’ll only actually owe interest if you don’t pay off your balance before the 12-month deferred interest period is up. Recently, a major U.S. retailer announced it will no longer offer deferred-interest promotions on its store credit card.

What if you already have a deferred-interest card?

You get the money now, and then you pay it back later but with interest. Our content is not intended to provide legal, investment or financial advice or to indicate that a particular Capital One product or service is available or right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.

If you pay off your balance before the interest-free period expires, you could genuinely enjoy short-term interest-free financing. But if you don’t pay off the total balance by the offer’s deadline, or if you miss a payment, the interest that’s been accruing in the background may be added to your account in one lump sum. With any credit card, if your goal is to save money, you should avoid paying interest whenever possible. If you have other balances on the card that have a higher APR than the deferred interest balance, any amount above your minimum payment will be automatically applied to the balance with the higher APR. This changes in the last two billing cycles in your deferred interest period, when any amount above your minimum payment will be applied to the deferred interest purchases. If you can’t pay off your credit card balance before deferred interest is applied, opt for a balance transfer to a 0% intro APR credit card.

Minimum Monthly Payment + Pay Off

Deferred interest credit cards can be a good idea if they’re used responsibly. Make sure you know when the promotional period ends and how much you need to pay each month to pay off your loan before your deadline.

This Week In Credit Card News: Financially-Stressed Consumers Finding New Ways To Just Pay For Food – Forbes

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In each case, the individual is borrowing $100,000 for 30 years. Purchases of $2,500 or more may be eligible for a 60 months offer with a 17.90% APR. Purchases of $1,000 or more may be eligible for a 24 months offer with a 14.90% APR, a 36 months offer with a 15.90% APR or a 48 months offer with a 16.90% APR. The examples shown are for illustrative purposes only and assume that the amount financed is the only balance on the account. These examples are for illustrative purposes only and assume the Cardholder’s APR is 26.99% and the amount financed is the only balance on the account.

How Does Credit Card Interest Work?

Either option could potentially help you save money on interest fees. In addition, it can be an easy way to start building your credit — again, if you use the card responsibly. As long as you pay the balance off before the end of the promo period, it’s a good way to check off multiple goals at once. You can buy something you need, build credit, and get interest-free financing at the same time. Let’s say you bought that shiny new MacBook for $2,400, and you put it on a deferred interest card at 25.24% APR with a 36-month promo period. Each month you’d still have to make a payment, which would go straight toward the balance of your card, rather than going to pay interest. Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission.

Otherwise, you will be charged interest retroactively (in this example, at a rate of 26.24%) starting from the initial purchase date. If you made these loan payments on a monthly basis, the amount of your payment would have been $45.83 ($1,100 divided by 24 monthly payments). Use it to pay for out-of-pocket expenses not covered by medical insurance, and special financing options are available that you may not be able to get with other cards. Deferred interest is essentially interest you don’t have to pay for a set period of time. For example, if you have a line of credit with a deferred interest rate of 18 months, that means you won’t actively pay interest during that time. Ideally, you would figure out how much you would need to pay each month during the promotional period to have it paid off before making your purchase. Knowing your limits in this way comes in handy when making a significant purchase, such as the television in our example.

Tips for managing deferred interest credit cards

Being extended credit through a credit card is essentially a process of borrowing money. In this case, the credit gives you money all at once that may not otherwise be available to you, especially if you’re making a high-dollar purchase . Once the 18 months are up, that entire amount will be added to your balance, and you’ll start accruing interest in real-time like a regular line of credit. This makes paying off that balance before the deferment period is up, all the more important.

deferred interest credit cards

Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace. Mortgagors could choose a 30-year or 15-year payment, aninterest-only paymentcovering interest but not reducing the principal balance, or a minimum paymentthat wouldn’t even cover the interest due. The difference between the minimum payment and the interest due was the deferred interest, or negative amortization, which was added to the loan balance.


A fully amortizing payment is a periodic loan payment made according to a schedule that ensures it will be paid off by the end of the loan’s set term. A negatively amortizing loan allows the borrower to make payments that are less than the loan’s interest. Deferred interest options are usually provided by retailers on big-ticket items, such as furniture and home appliances. It makes it easier and more attractive for a consumer to buy these items than if they had to pay upfront in full or take out a loan with interest, increasing the cost of the purchase.

deferred interest credit cards

The average credit card interest rate is 13.08%, but store cards rarely have rates below 20%. The bank must apply any amount paid that is more than the minimum payment to the balance with the highest interest rate. Here is a sampling of some popular credit cards offering intro 0% APR promotions that do not involve deferred interest. For a more comprehensive list of cards, check out our Best 0% APR Credit Cards for Long Intro Periods.

Deferred interest allows you to make purchases on a credit card without paying interest on the balance — for a while.

Depending on how you paid down the card when you had the chance, that could be a several hundred or even thousand-dollar slap in the face. CCDC has partnerships with issuers including, but not limited to, American Express, Bank deferred interest credit cards of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. Stay on top of industry trends and new offers with our weekly newsletter. It’s important to understand those differences so you know what you could end up paying for interest.

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