It appears that JavaScript is disabled within your browser.
To view the full site experience, you should ensure that you have JavaScript enabled by following these easy instructions.
Start of menu

What is Credit Card Interest?

What is Credit Card Interest?

We’ll help you decipher the jargon around Credit Card interest so you really understand how it works.

Credit Card Interest Explained

What is Credit Card interest?

When you use your Credit Card, you are borrowing money – It is important to remember that if you don’t pay off your balance in full by the due date shown on your statement, you will be charged interest on all purchases shown on that month’s statement and interest will applied to your account.

The amount of interest you may be charged is impacted by:

  • Whether you pay your Credit Card balance in full or make a minimum payment.

  • The amount you spend and the interest rate on your purchases.

  • When you receive your statements, the details of your purchases and the amount of interest you have been charged will be clearly displayed.

How do you receive an interest grace period for purchases?

Interest will not be charged on purchases and you will have an interest grace period for purchases of 21 days from the closing date on your statement to the payment due date if every month we receive payment in full by the due date. Payment in full means payment of the total new balance shown on your statement which is made up of all charges to your account (including purchases, funds advances, balance transfers and Amex cheques, fees and other charges) up to the closing date.

If we do not receive payment in full by the payment due date, the grace period on your next statement will be extended to up to 25 days. The specific due date will be shown on your statement. Interest will be charged on any previous balances during this period. The grace period will revert to 21 days on the next statement after we receive payment in full.

If the due date falls on a weekend or Canadian federal or applicable provincial holiday, if we receive payment in FULL by the next business day, you will still have an interest grace period for purchases as set out in this section.

How do we calculate interest and when is it added to your statement?

Interest on purchases: Any interest on a purchase is charged from and including the day it is made (also referred to as the transaction date on your statement), or from and including the first day of the billing period in which the purchase is first charged to your account, if that is later, until the day we receive payment in FULL and credit your account.

For additional details please refer to the Cardmember Agreement included in your welcome package.

How are Charge Cards different from Credit Cards?

Charge Cards differ to Credit Cards as they give you the financial flexibility of no pre-set spending limit on purchases1. However, no pre-set spending limit on purchases doesn’t mean unlimited spending.

You must pay your balance in full each month – if we do not receive payment in full of any change by the closing date of the next statement after the statement on which it first appears, it will be considered delinquent and interest will be charged.

Useful terms

  • Statement period: The dates for which your statements are issued and report transactions for. Generally, your statement period will be every 30 days, and actual dates can vary slightly from month to month.

  • Interest: This is a type of charge incurred as a result of borrowing money and not repaying in full within the indicated timeframe. Interest is usually expressed as an annual percentage rate, also known as an interest rate.

  • Closing balance: The amount you owe at the end of a particular statement period.


Frequently Asked Questions

Does American Express offer a no interest rate Credit Card?

No. However, if you’d like to avoid interest and pay your bill in full, you should consider alternative lending options such as Charge Cards (which may be subject to other fees and charges) or a low interest rate Credit Card such as the American Express Essential™ Credit Card.

Can my Credit Card interest rate fluctuate?

From time to time, we may review the interest rates set on any of our products. You will be notified well in advance if the interest rate of your Credit Card is changing.

What is the usual American Express® Credit Card interest rate?

The preferred rate for purchases is 19.99% and funds advances is 22.99%. If you have Missed Payments, the applicable rates for your account will be 23.99% and/or 26.99%. See the information box included with the application for the definition of Missed Payment and which rates apply to charges on your account and other details.


Credit and Charge Cards Explained

Has talk of interest, annual fees, rates and percentages left you feeling confused?

Our simple Credit and Charge Card guides are a great place to start.

How to apply for a Card

Learn More

What Card fees am I expected to pay

Learn More

How to pay off your Card

Learn More

What is Credit Limit

Learn More

What is Credit Score

Learn More

What is a Charge Card

Learn More

Using your Card Abroad

Learn More

Where is American Express accepted

Learn More

How Credit Cards and Charge Cards work

Learn More

American Express Benefits


Your security and protection are our priority. Our technology has been designed to give you peace of mind when using your card

Learn More about Fraud Protection


Access to our customer service is available 24/7 by phone, text or email.

Learn More about Customer Service


Contactless is the quick, easy and secure way to make payments - Simply touch your American Express Card on the reader, wait for the beep and you're done. What's more, with Amex pay and Apple PayTM you can even pay with your phone.

Learn more about Contactless Payments

Explore Our Credit Cards

American Express Offers a range of Credit Cards with different rewards and benefits tailored to your lifestyle and interests.


1. Having no pre-set spending limit on purchases does not mean unlimited spending. Your purchases are approved based on a variety of factors, including your credit history, account history, and personal resources. Proof of resources and security may be required.