Credit Building Tips

What Happens If I Use My Credit Card on the Due Date?

Shaun Connell
August 18, 2023

There are many benefits of having a credit card, including the ability to finance purchases, build credit, and earn rewards. Managing a credit card account can be a bit confusing, though, and understanding when you'll owe the money you spend can feel like a mystery. In this post, we're going to talk about what happens if you use your credit card on the due date.

If you make a purchase on the due date, will the transaction be included in the bill that is due the same day? Is it somehow a problem to use your card on the due date?

Solution icon If you use your credit card on the due date, you won't owe the issuer the money you've spent on the same day. Instead, it will be included as a part of the next billing cycle.

Let's take a closer look at everything you need to know about your credit card account's closing date and due date.

How to Find Your Credit Card Payment Due Date

In order to learn precisely when your credit card bill is due, there are three things you can do to find out your payment due date:

  • Look at the monthly billing statement you received from the credit card issuer
  • Log into your credit card account online
  • Call the credit card company using the number on the back of your card

Using one of these methods, you can figure out what day of the month your credit card payment is due. It can generally be helpful to write your due dates on a calendar to help you remember to make your payments on time if you don't use an automatic payment system. When you miss a payment, it can mean you end up with a late payment mark on your credit report.

What Happens If You Use Your Credit Card on the Due Date?

If you're worried that making a purchase on your due date is going to mean you owe the money on the same day, I've got good news for you.


paying with a credit card on the payment due date

The credit that you use on your due date will be a part of a new billing cycle, as the closing date of the cycle you have a bill for has already passed.

Any purchases you make on the day your payment is due will be included in the next bill you receive. This is because the closing date on your account occurs before your payment due date. Any transactions made after the closing date are automatically a part of a new billing cycle.

For most credit card accounts, your billing cycle will end before the date that your payment is due. This means that any purchases you make on the due date will end up on the current billing cycle, not the one that you owe a payment on.

Can I Use My Credit Card in the Period Between the Closing Date and the Due Date?

You can use your card at any time (assuming you have available credit,) even between the closing date and the due date. After the closing date, any purchases will simply be included in the next billing statement.

Is it time for you to clean up your credit report? Check out our guides to getting rid of derogatory marks, credit repair hacks, removing collections from your report, and removing charge offs from your credit report.

The Difference Between Statement Closing Date and Payment Due Date

Two of the most important dates you'll want to understand as a credit card owner are the closing date and the due date.

Credit Card Statement Closing Date

The closing date is the final day of your billing cycle. Any charges made on this day will appear on your upcoming billing statement. Any charges that are made after this day will be included in the following month's billing statement.

Credit card accounts typically operate on a monthly billing cycle. Your statement closing date is the last day in a billing cycle. When a billing cycle ends, a bill is issued that is due on the payment due date and a new cycle begins.

In most cases, the day that your billing cycle closes will be the same every single month. This is generally the case even when the date falls on a bank holiday, federal holiday, or weekend.

Credit Card Payment Due Date

The payment due date, on the other hand, is the day that you will need to pay at least the minimum amount required in order to avoid late fees, additional interest charges, potential penalties, and possibly a hit to your credit score.

person buying something with a card on the credit card due date

Usually, your payment due date will be the same date every month. This isn't just a suggestion-- it's a firm deadline for making your payment. Beyond sending your payment on the date listed, there is often also a specific time of day when you have to initiate the payment for it to be considered on time.

Many card issuers require that you pay at least your minimum balance by a specific time on the due date. This time will vary depending on the company, but you should be able to find the details of the payment requirements in your cardmember agreement.

It's also worth noting that the time your payment is due on the due date typically uses the time zone where the payment will be processed by the card issuer. This means that the time it's due is based on a time zone other than the one where you are. Make sure you check whether it's EST, CST, MST, or PST so your payment isn't initiated after the required time in the proper time zone.

If your payment is received after the due date and time, it will most likely be credited to the following business day. This can mean you end up with a late payment, which can leave you with additional fees and other penalties. If you do miss a payment, make sure you pay at least the minimum right away to try and avoid the late payment showing up on your credit report. Many card issuers will also waive late fees for customers that have never before missed a payment, so it's worth calling them and asking them if they'll forgive the fee.

Understanding Credit Card Grace Periods

Using credit cards is by no means the cheapest way to borrow money. Interest rates for credit cards are remarkably high compared to other types of loan products, such as mortgages, auto loans, and even personal loans. However, if you pay the full balance of your card every month, you won't have to worry about ever paying interest.

A credit card grace period is a period of time when you might not accrue interest on your purchases. Typically, grace periods only apply to new purchases and not to transactions like balance transfers or cash advances.

The reason you can use credit cards without ever paying interest is because of the credit card grace period. You aren't charged any interest on your purchases during the grace period, which starts on the day your bill is generated, and the day the bill is due.

How Billing Cycles Determine Grace Periods

When you have a credit card, your account operates on a monthly billing cycle. The statement closing date and the payment due date are the two most important dates involved in your billing cycle.

In addition to noting these two crucial dates, your billing statement will show you two  key figures:

  • The statement balance: Your statement balance is the total amount of money you owe to the issuer on the closing date of the billing cycle. Your current balance might be higher than the statement balance listed on your bill due to purchases made on the days following your closing date.
  • The minimum payment: This is the amount of money you are required to pay by the due date. If you don't make the minimum payment on time, you'll likely see a late fee charged to your account soon thereafter and might face other penalties, too.

Using this information, we can gain a deeper understanding of how to use credit card grace periods to our advantage. If you pay the full statement balance listed on your bill by the payment due date, it will initiate a grace period for the next billing cycle. Once this new grace period begins, new purchases you make won't accrue any interest until the due date for that billing cycle.

  • If you are able to pay that next statement balance in full by the next due date, the cycle continues. A new grace period begins, and you aren't charged any interest.

This is something you can do over and over again, allowing you to completely avoid paying interest on your credit card debt. When you can pay off your balance in full every month on time, you can essentially borrow money for free from the credit card issuer for roughly 21 days.

Credit Card Payment Due Date FAQ

If you have more questions about how credit card payment due dates and statement closing dates work, you're in luck. Let's take a look at some of the most common questions we receive about these topics.

Are you worried that you've been the victim of credit card fraud? Take a look at our posts about whether you can track someone that used your card online, if credit card fraud is a felony, and how police deal with card theft.

Can I Change My Payment Due Date?

Every month, your credit card due date will fall on the same date. For instance, if your payment was due on the 2nd of this month, it will be due on the 2nd of every month to come.

Sometimes, though, the date you are assigned as a due date isn't a great financial fit. You might find that you are always a bit short of being able to pay the full statement balance by the due date because of other bills and the payroll schedule at your place of employment.

The good news is that most credit card companies give consumers the option to pick their own due date. If you think it could be beneficial to your personal finances to move your date, take a look at your typical paydays as well as the other bills you regularly have due throughout the month. Choose a day that would work better for you and give the credit card company a call to see if they would be willing to move your due date.

It's worth noting that a change to your due date won't take effect immediately. Instead, it typically takes one billing cycle. Make sure you check your next billing statement to see which date the payment is due to ensure there isn't any confusion.

What Do I Do If the Due Date Falls on a Weekend or Holiday?

Since your payment due date is the same date each month, you might be wondering what happens if it's a weekend or a holiday. Many banks and businesses aren't open on weekends or holidays, which could leave you curious about when your payment is actually due.

If your payment due date falls on a weekend or a holiday, you won't have to shuffle things around to pay early. Credit card companies are required by federal law to accept payments without charging you a penalty if your due date falls on a weekend or holiday.

In fact, credit card issuers technically cannot penalize you so long as the payment is received by 5 pm the following business day. Though this might lead you to believe you have a little extra time to pay your bill this month, the catch is that this rule only applies if the credit card issuer isn't accepting payments at all on that particular day. The reality is that credit card companies are always accepting payments, so you can pretty much assume that your payment is due on the date listed on your billing statement, even if it's a weekend or holiday.

What If I Miss a Payment?

Missing a credit card payment can feel incredibly frustrating, particularly if you simply forgot and let the payment due date slip by.

If you miss a payment, it's a good idea to pay at least the minimum amount as soon as possible. Though you will still probably get hit with a late fee, interest on the balance, and potentially even a penalty APR, paying before thirty days have passed can help keep the missed payment off your credit report.

You'll also want to call your credit card company and explain that missing the due date was an innocent mistake. If you've been a good borrower and this is the first time you missed a payment, they might refund your late fee. It's also possible that they will refund the interest that was charged if you pay off the entire balance.

  • It's worth noting that credit card companies are in no way obligated to waive these fees and interest charges. However, it's always worth a shot to ask.

To help you avoid missing payments in the future, you might consider setting up autopay or at least notifications to help you remember the due date. If you do set up autopay, it's imperative that you are certain there is enough money in the linked account on the payment date so your payment doesn't bounce.

How Does My Statement Closing Date Impact My Credit Score?

Your credit score is calculated based on a complex group of factors. One big factor is your credit utilization ratio, which is a number that represents the amount of credit you are using compared to the amount of credit you have available.

If you paid off your card in full, you might be disturbed to see that your credit score isn't reflecting your low balance. When you look at your credit report, you might see that the balance is still reported as larger than your actual current balance.

The reason for this has to do with when your credit card company reports your information to the credit bureaus. The higher your balances are in relation to your available credit, the higher your credit utilization ratio will be. This can drop your credit score, particularly if your credit utilization is more than 30%.

Credit card issuers commonly report to the credit bureaus at the end of each billing cycle. This means that they tend to report before your payment due date. If you want to keep your credit score as high as possible, it can be worth making payments before the end of the billing cycle rather than on the actual payment due date.

Should I Pay Off My Card in Full Before the Closing Date?

In general, paying off your entire statement balance on the due date is a great habit because it helps you avoid paying interest on the money you borrow. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that your credit score will reflect your good habits. This is because credit card companies often report to the credit bureaus at the end of each billing cycle, at the time of each payment due date.

If you are concerned with keeping your credit score as high as possible, it's a good idea to pay your entire balance before the closing date. This can help ensure that your zero balance will be reported to the credit bureaus. In turn, it should reflect in your credit utilization ratio and credit score.

Knowledge Is Power in Managing Credit

If you're worried that it's somehow a problem to use your credit card on the payment due date, you can rest easy. When you make a purchase on the same day your bill is due, it will simply be included on the next bill you receive. The reason for this is that your current bill is for the previous billing cycle, which pretty much always closes before the payment due date.

Having a credit card can be beneficial in a number of ways, but it can also wreak havoc on your financial life if you don't know how best to manage it. Missing credit card payments, letting accounts go into default, and having debts sent to collections can destroy your credit. Your credit score and report are important for a number of reasons, including helping you borrow money, rent an apartment, get a job, and much more.

Though the world of credit can feel overwhelming at first glance, it's worth taking the time to understand how you can best manage your credit. Through knowledge, you are empowered to shape your future financial opportunities in the way that best supports you.

Are you searching for more resources to help you build credit? Make sure you check out our Credit Building Tips blog for articles, how-tos, guides, and more.

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Written By:
Shaun Connell
Shaun Connell is a personal finance and credit expert with a passion for helping individuals eliminate debt and improve their credit. He's enjoyed writing investing and financial content for over 15 years, with expertise in real estate, debt, banking, credit, and wealth building. His work has been seen by millions on the web.

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