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Credit card costs

To help you compare different products, credit card issuers provide a range of information, including on interest rates and charges.

You will receive a monthly statement (unless there is no balance on the account and you have made no transactions). This will show the transactions you made, the amount you owe and the estimated interest you have to pay the following month.

Your monthly statement will also include the minimum you have to pay, your credit limit and how much of it remains available.

Additionally, you will receive an annual credit card statement. This provides a useful snapshot summarising how much you have spent, your repayments and any charges you have incurred over the past 12 months.

If you have been offered an introductory promotional rate, the company will remind you four to eight weeks before this is due to come to an end, so you can assess your choices.

The summary box

Details about a card’s features and charges, including interest rates, can be found in the summary box, which appears on all statements and marketing materials.

To make it easier for you to understand and compare different credit cards, every summary box is in the same format.

The summary box sets out key information such as:

  • Annual percentage rate (APR)
  • The interest rates for different types of borrowing, such as purchases and cash advances
  • The length of the interest-free period
  • The minimum repayment required
  • Any charges that might be incurred

The standard summary box looks like this:

Other information, such as the allocation of payments – which explains how your card company will use your payment to reduce your balance – will be provided in the statement version of the summary box.

To see how the interest on your credit card is calculated, click here.

Credit card companies abide by the Standards of Lending Practice, a voluntary code which sets out what you can expect from your lender. You can find more details on the Lending Standards Board website.

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