In simple words, a credit card billing cycle is the period between billing statements. A billing statement is a monthly report of all your spending during this period, the minimum amount due as well as any other additional charges. Depending on your credit card issuer’s policies, the billing cycle can range from 27 to 31 days.
Let’s understand how a credit card billing cycle works with the help of an example. Let’s say that your credit card statement is generated on the 8th of every month. So, your billing cycle will begin from the 9th of the previous month and go on until the 7th of the current month. All transactions carried out on your card during this period will be reflected in your credit card statement.
Now, let’s explore how credit card billing works. Your billing cycle begins the day your credit card is activated. The outstanding amount will typically be zero, unless you have any upfront charges or joining fees due. In case you choose to transfer balance from an existing credit card account to this card, that amount will be added to your outstanding balance as well.
Your credit card outstanding balance due date will typically be between 15 and 25 days after the generation of your billing statement. The exact date may vary depending on the credit card issuer. Let’s say that your credit card statement was generated on the 15th, then your credit card bill payment will likely be due on any date from 30th to the 10th of that month.
The minimum amount due is the amount that you need to pay in order to avoid being penalised by your credit card issuer. This amount will be calculated as a percentage (generally 5%) of the total amount due.
Let’s take a look at an example to understand minimum amount due:
So, in case you’re not able to pay the entire amount, you can always choose to pay the minimum amount due. However, remember that interest will accrue on the remaining outstanding balance.
Here are some important things to keep in mind about your credit card billing cycle to ensure that your credit card experience is smooth and stress-free:
The billing cycle can vary from one credit card issuer to another and at times, from one credit card variety to another.
Make sure to check your credit card issuer’s policies to understand your billing cycle better.
Ensure that you settle your dues, whether it’s the minimum amount due or the total outstanding balance within the due date. This will help you avoid late payment fees and scrutiny from your credit card provider.
Your credit card usage habits can affect your credit score considerably. Most credit card issuers report your account details to credit bureaus periodically, generally every three months. In case you have missed any payments, this will be reported and will likely drive your credit score down.
The Minimum Amount Due (MAD) can vary depending on the credit card issuer. That said, most issuers set the minimum amount due as 5% of the total outstanding amount for that month. For example, if the total outstanding for that month is ₹10,000, the minimum amount due would be ₹500.
Let’s assume your credit card statement is generated on the 6th of every month. Then, your credit card billing cycle will begin from the 7th of the current month to the 6th of the next month.
You can make payments towards the outstanding amount on your credit card before the bill generation. This payment that you make will be adjusted against the total dues on your card when the credit card statement is generated.
Credit card issuers generate statements by compiling all the debit and credit transactions that have been done through your credit card during the billing cycle for the credit card.
The credit card bill generation date can vary from one credit card issuer to another. Get in touch with your credit card issuer to understand your credit statement better. Alternatively, you can also go on their website or refer to the official credit card brochure. Information about the credit card dues and statement is usually readily available to users.
The best time to pay your credit card bill is on or before the credit card due date. This way, you can avoid penalties and interest, and protect your credit score.
Your credit card billing cycle can affect your credit score. In case you make a late payment or miss a payment, your credit score may plummet.
All information regarding your outstanding amount can be found in your credit card statement. This statement will be sent to you via email once it’s been generated. Alternatively, you can also log into your credit card issuer’s mobile app or website to access this information.
Yes, in case you choose to only pay the minimum amount due, then the balance due amount will attract interest. The rate of interest is predetermined by your credit card issuer. The interest will continue to be levied on the outstanding amount till it is cleared in full.
You can pay your credit card dues on or before the due date, as per your convenience. Having said that, paying your dues well in advance will help you plan your finances better.
As per the recent directives from the Reserve Bank of India, you can change your credit card billing cycle. Get in touch with your credit card issuer via email or by calling their customer support team and request to change your billing cycle. Bear in mind that this change can only be made once.