This calculator will help you to compare the long-term costs of credit cards that have varying interest rates, annual fees, introductory rates and compounding intervals, so that you can find the best credit cards. Simply enter a balance amount, a payment amount, and the offer terms for each card, then click the "Compute" button. Please note that fixed payments (the same amount for all payments) are used to compare the costs of the cards, so if you ever pay less than the entered payment amount, your actual costs will vary from the results of this calculator. If you have bad credit or miss payments additional fees & higher rates my apply.
The top card for any individual may depend on aspects other than interest rates & fees, particularly for card holders who pay off their balance in full each month. Those who like to travel may prefer airline miles, whereas a person who rarely redeems points would be better off getting a cash back rewards card.
Note: If a card has no introductory offer, leave both the introductory fields blank for that card (as opposed to entering a zero in both fields).
Compare All Credit Card Offers
Credit cards represent one of the most commonly used forms of revolving credit. Terms and conditions vary across cards, and even though the industry is regulated by watchdog agencies, there is a wide range of products from which borrowers chose.
Credit card comparison calculator looks at various charges and fees, as well as prevailing interest rates on credit cards, giving consumers an apple-to-apples comparison of terms attached to each card. By lining up credit card offers in this fashion, it is easy to identify hidden costs associated with some cards.
Annual Percentage Rate
APR, annual percentage rate, is one of the primary tools used to compare credit card terms. The number represents the percentage rate applied to credit card interest during a twelve-month period. Actual calculations use daily periodic rate and other indexes to determine billing amounts, but APR provides a valuable consumer standard for comparing credit vehicles.
While this number is expressed as a single-digit rate for most installment loans, credit cards carry double-digit rates extending toward twenty-percent. The way various credit products are structured and used determines rates, which are higher on cards because there is less collateral and more risk for lenders.
Revolving Credit Versus Installment Credit
Credit cards operate on revolving terms, which are different than installment loans issued for major purchases. Car loans, for example, extend credit to buyers for periods ranging between two and seven years. Interest on vehicle loans is relatively low compared to credit card rates because money borrowed is backed by real property as collateral. If payments are not timely, lending contracts give financing companies the right to repossess vehicles to recover their losses.
Mortgages are similar to car loans, in that they extend well into the future, carrying low single-digit interest rates. Big-ticket loan repayment is amortized, or spread-out, over time until repayment is complete. Because mortgage repayment may take up to thirty years, the required period payments are structured to remain equal, resulting in uneven distribution toward interest and principal.
To help consumers budget for repayment, amortized mortgages split payment obligations into equal parts. Early payments are applied to the overall interest burden, reducing risk for lenders and keeping repayment on pace. Payments falling near the end of an installment loan's life are principal-heavy, addressing the outstanding loan balance directly.
Credit cards operate under revolving terms, which carries a different set of requirements than installment loans. Ongoing purchases are made with revolving credit cards; posted to individual accounts as they are made. Interest is waived for a portion of each billing period, allowing consumers to pay the short-term loans back without any additional interest charges. At a certain point, the grace period expires, requiring interest to be added to purchases that have been made. Paying the entire card balance each month wipes the slate clean for the start of the next billing period, but amounts not paid roll-over into subsequent payment periods. The “revolving” amounts are subject to interest until the entire card balance is paid-off. Comparing cards with the calculator ensures the best terms for borrowers.