man holding credit card

APR, Interest Rates, and Credit Cards: All you need to be aware of

They know how annual percentage rates can be used to help you save dollars.

When you make a loan through credit cards or other financing methods, you generally must be liable for interest payments to your lender. For credit cards, the interest rate you pay on the balance is the annual percentage rate (APR).

You might have noticed this phrase on your credit card bill, but you may not know what it refers to. Contrary to the interest rates, APR is a combination of the cost of the interest as well as the charges you have to pay when borrowing money. 

There are various kinds of APR, and the APR you pay is contingent on your creditworthiness and when you pay off the balance on your credit card.

Continue reading to find out what an APR is and how it functions, as well as ways to reduce your interest payment.

What is the percentage rate of annual growth?

APR is the annual rate of interest. (APR) can be described as the amount which you have to pay to take out a loan. The APR is the cost you pay to keep an outstanding balance on your card in a credit card. 

APR is expressed in terms of an amount and represents what amount you pay for interest and other charges you have to pay for the card throughout the whole year.

Different types of APRs

There are various types of APRs based on the kind of transaction. Here’s a quick overview of the different types:

  • Introduction APR: Many credit cards have intro APRs that are less than the average APR of the card. The introductory APR could be as zero as 0%. However, it’s only for a certain period.
  • Purchase APR: APR applies to purchases you make with your credit card during the month, but don’t make payments by the payment due date.
  • Balance transfer APR The term “balance transfer” refers to when you transfer an account’s balance to another type to benefit from the low rate of introductory. After the initial rate expires, the balance transfer will be subject to its own APR, usually higher than the purchase APR.
  • Cash advance APR The term “cash advance” refers to when you take cash from your credit card balance through an advance. Cash advances on credit cards typically are more expensive than purchases.
  • Penalty APR: If you breach any of the terms on your credit cards, you miss the payment due date and are at risk of a penalty APR more excellent than the purchase APR.

APR vs. Interest Rates: What’s the difference?

Many people use the terms APR and Interest Rate in the same way. However, the APR and interest rate are two distinct things. The APR typically refers to the interest rate, often paired with the other fees associated with financing.

However, in the situation of a credit card. APR and the interest rate are one and identical. Whether a credit card promotes its interest rate in terms of an interest rate, or APR, they’re similar. Other not annual fees, like the annual fee and balance transfer fees, are separate apart from APR.

Fixed Vs. variable APR. How do you tell the differences?

Like other forms of loan, credit cards come with an APR that is fixed or variable.

A credit card with a fixed rate has the exact APR throughout the duration you own the card. This kind of APR can be advantageous, especially when interest rates are low since they allow customers to set a lower rate for the duration of their credit card. It isn’t subject to rates rising in the event of economic fluctuations.

The credit card issuer may modify the APR for an introductory rate card, but it’s more complicated. They must meet specific requirements, which include giving adequate information to the cardholders.

A credit card with a variable rate has an APR, which is linked to a specific index. Usually, that index is the prime rate. If the excellent rate changes, the APR issuers of credit cards will give their customers.

It is possible to get a fixed-rate credit card; most credit cards come with variable rates. If you’d like a fixed-rate credit card, then you’ll need to search elsewhere than the main creditors of credit cards. Instead, consider local banks and credit unions that are more likely to provide fixed-rate credit cards.

How does an annual percentage rate function?

An APR typically applies to balances and purchases you do not pay off. After every statement period, the credit card will issue an annual bill. When your account is due, there is an extended grace period, usually approximately 21 days in which your purchases do not accumulate interest.

Any purchase you make with your card that you do not pay on time and, in the end, time begins accruing interest. To calculate interest, banks employ the daily interest rate. This is the APR divided by the number of days in a year. For instance, if you have an interest rate of 20 percent, your daily periodic rate would be .05479 percent.

To determine what amount of interest you’ll pay, you must divide the rate you pay for your daily period by the number of days within the billing cycle to multiply the rate by the sum of your credit card balance at risk of being charged.

Here’s what APR could cost you

The rates charged by credit cards are among the most expensive of all types of financing. It’s easy to fall into the trap of racketing an excessive amount of credit card debt, not paying your purchases on time, and then having the majority of your monthly payment be used for interest.

According to Experian data, the average balance on credit cards for 2020 stood at $5,315. If you had a credit-card APR that was 16% and only paid the minimum amount, you were to pay more than $6,500 for interest throughout your card. This is more than what you took out.

“Credit card interest can significantly affect a person’s ability to repay the loan when they’re not prudent,” said Shante Nicole, an expert in credit coaching and creator of Financial Common Cents. 

“It’s essential to stay in control of spending, making sure that you have enough cash to pay off what you have taken out at the point when the loan is due and not relying on minimum payments to keep in the water. 

Every month, if when the remaining balance is carried over the due date, and then interest is charged, which could cause a much greater credit than the borrower expected.”

The quicker the time you’re able to pay down your debt, and the faster you pay it off, the less there will be to earn interest which means the less interest you’ll have to pay throughout the credit. 

It is ideal to pay the balance in full to avoid paying interest at all; however, if you cannot make more payments than your minimum amount, lower interest costs.

“Credit cards should be used for purchases you already have money to pay for,” Nicole said. “This means you’re sure that you won’t have to be charged interest. 

If you can borrow money to purchase something, you must pay it back in full by the date due. The balance will not be carried over, and no additional charges are due.”

What’s the best APR?

According to, The average rate for credit cards at the beginning of august 2022 was 16.22 percent. It can serve as a reference point to determine if you’re charged an acceptable rate.

Be aware that although the median rate may be 16.22 percent, that does not mean that it’s the one all people can qualify for. The APR you’re eligible to receive on the credit card or other kind of loan is contingent upon your credit rating.

The top APRs are available to those with excellent credit scores. For those with lower credit scores, the rate is higher, at 25.80 percent. One of the best methods to cut down on the amount you pay in interest, aside from paying the total amount every month, is to increase your credit score.