How to Avoid Paying Credit Card Interest

Written By Jeff Hindenach
Last updated December 1, 2020

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September 18, 2016

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

One of the main reasons that the country is in billions of dollars of credit card debt is because people are paying hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year in unneeded credit card interest. While late fees and over-limit fees can be taxing, they aren’t the main problem. Compound interest on credit card debt is what is putting the country farther in debt.

The good news is that you can avoid credit card interest if you are smart about how you use your credit cards. Here are the best two ways to completely avoid paying credit card interest.

Many people don’t know this, but you are only charged credit card interest when you have a revolving balance on your credit card. Most people think that making the minimum payment is enough to pay down their debt, but in reality, the minimum payment on most credit cards mostly covers the new interest being charged each month. That means that it will take a ton of time to pay down your debt, since you are only paying pennies each month toward your overall debt.

The best way to avoid paying interest is to pay off your entire balance each month. If you pay the entire balance on your credit card, there is no revolving balance to charge you interest on. If you can’t pay off your entire balance, pay as much as you can, which will lower the amount of interest being charged. Anything you can do to avoid paying the minimum amount will help toward paying off your debt. It’s also wise to look for credit cards with the lowest interest rates.

If your balance is too big to pay off entirely, think about transferring your balance to a balance transfer credit card with a lower interest rate. Many balance transfer cards offer a 0% intro APR for up to a year and a half, which means you won’t be paying any interest on your balance for that entire period. That gives you a year and a half to pay off your balance before being charged any interest.

Make sure to look for a balance transfer credit card with the longest intro APR period, so you have the most time to pay off your balance. Keep in mind that most balance transfer credit cards do charge a balance transfer fee of up to 3% of the balance, so factor that in when deciding whether or not to transfer the balance.

Most 0% intro APR credit cards require a good or excellent credit score, so if you need to raise your credit score, you can look into ways of doing it yourself or you can reach out to one of the few trusted credit repair companies to see if they can help you.

If you are in serious debt and can’t qualify for a balance transfer credit card and can’t pay off your entire balance each month, it might be smart to try and consolidate your credit card debt. Any way you can pay down your debt to make it more manageable will help, and paying as little interest as possible is a good first step in that direction. Sites like Freedom Debt Relief can help you figure out the best way to consolidate or settle your debt. Here’s both our Freedom Debt Relief review and Accredited Debt Relief review to give you a better idea of how it works.

About the Author

Jeff Hindenach

Jeff Hindenach is the co-founder of Simple. Thrifty. Living. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. He has a long history of financial journalism, with a background writing for newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Examiner, as well as writing on personal finance for The Huffington Post, New York Times, Business Insider, CNBC, Newsday and The Street. He believes in giving readers the tools they need to get out of debt.

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