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When borrowing money — whether to buy credit cards, cars Banks and credit companies have the right to charge interest on the money you borrow, whether you apply for a loan or take out a mortgage. When you borrow money using a credit card, this interest often comes in the form of purchase APR. Purchase APR is not the only type of interest charged by credit card issuers, but it is the most common interest rate associated with credit cards.

In most cases, this is the rate at which the purchase APR applies. For credit card purchases not paid in full before the credit card grace period ends. However, there are many other factors, such as introductory rates and penalty rates, that can complicate his APR for credit cards a little more.

What is a purchase APR?

The regular purchase APR is the interest rate applied to a purchase unless another APR overrides it. Purchase APR is an important number to remember if you plan to maintain a credit card balance. Because it can make a big difference in the interest you pay over time.

For example, if you purchase $3,000 with a 15% APR card and put $200 into your credit card bill each month, you will pay off the balance in 17 months and pay a total of $343 in interest. If you buy $3,000 on a card with a much higher APR of 25%, the same monthly payment of $200 will take you two more months to pay off your debt, almost double the interest, or $634 in total. .

Other Types of APR

Purchase APR is usually the most important number to remember, as new purchases are the most common type of credit card transaction . However, there are some situations where different APRs apply.

  • Balance Transfer APR. Different APRs may apply to accounts transferred from another credit card (known as balance transfers).
  • His APR for Cash Advance. Money withdrawn as a cash advance may also have its own APR, which is usually higher than the purchase APR.
  • Introduction APR. To attract new cardholders, credit card issuers often offer a 0% annual rate on purchases, balance transfers, or both for a period of time.
  • Annual Penalty Make payments over a period of time, typically about 60 days. At this point, the normal purchase APR will be replaced by a higher penalty APR, which will apply to existing and future balances for at least six months.

What You Need to Know About Purchase APRs

As noted above, Purchase APRs determine the amount of interest you will be charged if you fail to pay off your purchase and maintain your monthly balance.

Usually the APR fluctuates. In other words, the APR of the purchase can go up or down depending on the US prime interest rate. On the other hand, it is also possible to fix the APR. In other words, it is not affected by the prime rate.

Lightbulb Bankrate Insights Credit card debt is getting higher and higher. The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates significantly this year. This means that the APR is likely to be significantly higher than it was in early 2022. Missing monthly payments and claiming his APR for penalties. To avoid this scenario, always make a minimum credit card payment.

Current Purchase APR How to Check

There are two ways to check your current purchase APR:

  • Read your monthly credit card statement. You can find your current purchase APR in the Interest Calculation section of your monthly credit card statement.
  • Check your online account or appYou can also check your purchase APR by logging into your credit card account and verifying your credit card details. You can also use your online account to get your most recent credit card statement.

If your credit card currently offers promotional or referral APRs, you will also see the amount on your statement. Promotional APR lasts longer. Then you're ready to pay interest on any remaining balance after the 0% introductory APR ends. Learning how to read your credit card statement will help you in this process.

With trial interest How much can I save?

Some credit cards offer lower annual interest rates than regular annual interest purchases. In most cases, these credit cards are interest-free for a certain period of time (often 12-21 months).

Let's go back to the example above. If he buys $3,000 with a 0% introductory annual interest rate offer for 18 months on a credit card, the same monthly payment of $200 will be debt free in 15 months. This means you won't have to pay interest on that balance as it will be paid in full before the trial period ends.

The best credit cards with 0% annual rate will help you pay off your balance. Charge (or transfer) your credit card before the 0% introductory rate expires. After the trial period ends, your credit card issuer will begin applying your regular purchase APR to your card balance and any new purchases you charge.


Purchase APR is the interest rate applied to credit card purchases. Other transactions such as cash advances and balance transfers may have different APRs.

Please note that the normal purchase APR will apply if no other interest rate prevails. For example, if your credit card has an introductory interest rate, your regular purchase APR will begin when the introductory interest rate expires. To find your current purchase APR, check your credit card statement or log into your account.