Types of Credit Card APRs

Types of APRs Charged By Your Credit Card

Credit cards are made complex by the fact that they often have several different APRs. These APRs are always listed on your credit card billing statement and on the credit credit card disclosure before you sign up for the credit card. That doesn’t make these APRs any less confusing though. Here are the APRs you can typically expect to see on a credit card.

Regular or Purchases APR

This is the APR applied to purchases and regular transactions made with your credit card. When you swipe your credit card or make an online purchase, you're charged the regular APR.

Balance Transfer APR

This is the interest rate applied to balances transferred to your credit card. The balance transfer APR may be the same as your purchases APR or you may have a promotional APR that applies to balance transfers.

Cash Advance APR

This is the APR applied to cash withdrawn on your credit card. The cash advance APR is also used when you use a credit card convenience check or use your credit card for overdraft protection. The cash advance APR is most often higher than your regular APR and starts applying to cash advance balances immediately.

Introductory APR

Your credit card may come with a low introductory interest rate that lasts anywhere from 6 to 24 months. The introductory rate can apply to regular purchases or balance transfers and sometimes even both. When the introductory rate expires, the regular APR or balance transfer APR is applied to the balance.

Default or Penalty APR

This is the APR that goes into effect if you fall behind on your credit card payments by 60 or more days. The penalty APR may also apply if you exceed your credit limit or have your payment check returned for non-sufficient funds. Refer to your credit card agreement to learn when the penalty rate applies.