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Tips to minimise credit card interest

If you want to minimise the amount of interest you pay on your credit card, there’s one simple rule to remember – if you can, always pay the full balance each month. That way, you’ll minimise interest costs.

What is the minimum repayment?

Each time you get your monthly credit card statement, it will include your minimum payment due. Ideally, you should pay off the full amount on your statement. You need to pay at least the minimum payment amount by the payment due date (otherwise you may incur a late payment fee).  

Why you should pay more if you can

Many people just pay the minimum payment due each month without even thinking about it. But unless you pay off your balance in full each month, you’ll pay more interest. 

Remember, the minimum payment is just that – the minimum. You can pay more and should pay the full amount to minimise interest costs. The more you pay, the less you owe. That means you pay less in interest – and it also means you can pay off your credit card sooner.

Here’s an example showing the difference paying a bit more each month can make.

This example uses the Sorted Debt Calculator and is based on a credit card with an outstanding balance of $2,000 and an interest rate on purchases of 13.90% p.a. It also assumes you make no additional purchases or cash advances, aren’t charged any fees and the interest rates don’t change.

Example showing the difference paying a bit more each month can make

Amount you pay each month

How long it will take to pay off your balance

How much estimated interest you’ll pay

$60 (the initial minimum payment)

43 months (approx.)

$542

$120

19 months (approx.)

$235


This example shows that by increasing your monthly repayment from $60 to $120 you could pay off your card balance 24 months sooner and pay an estimated $307 less in interest.

Visit the Sorted website to calculate different scenarios and see how you could pay off your own credit card faster and pay less in interest.

Finding a bit extra

If you’d like to pay off your credit card sooner, it’s worth reviewing your budget to see if there are any areas of spending you could cut back on – even if only temporarily. You could then put any savings towards your credit card payment each month. Remember, every little bit more you can pay will make a difference.

Information in this article refers to personal credit cards, is general in nature only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs.The information may not reflect how interest and charges are calculated under your credit card conditions of use.

By providing this information ANZ does not intend to provide any financial advice or other advice or recommendations. You should seek independent financial, legal, tax and other relevant advice having regard to your particular circumstances.

The information is current as at August 2020 and may be subject to change. ANZ recommends you review your personal credit card conditions of use for information about the terms that apply to you.

Interest rates and fees are subject to change.

Lending criteria, terms, conditions and fees apply to all ANZ credit cards. See Rates, fees and agreements for more information