Statement Closing Date vs. Payment Due Date

Definitions and Differences Between Two Important Credit Card Dates

Young woman looks over her credit card statement
Photo:

Ezra Bailey / Getty Images

If you have a credit card, there are two very important dates you’ll want to keep track of—the statement closing date and the payment due date. Learn the differences between these two dates, why each one matters, and how to stay on top of your credit card bills.

Key Takeaways

  • Your statement closing date is when you receive your credit card statement.
  • You generally have 21 days after your statement closing date to pay your credit card bill.
  • Your payment due date is your deadline for making an on-time payment.
  • If you don't pay your balance off in full by your payment due date, you will need to start making interest payments. 

Statement Closing Date vs. Payment Due Date

It’s easy to confuse your statement closing date with your payment due date. In short, your statement closing date refers to the last day of your billing cycle. Your payment due date is the deadline by which you need to pay the credit card issuer for the billing cycle if you want to avoid paying interest. 

Statement Closing Date Payment Due Date
Last day of the billing cycle The date by which you need to pay the issuer
Usually occurs 20-25 days before payment due date You must pay your balance off by this date to avoid interest charges

Statement Closing Date

The statement closing date refers to the last day of the billing cycle. Generally, this date occurs 20-25 days before you owe your payment. On your statement closing date, you’ll be able to prepare to pay your credit card bill because the issuer will: 

  • Calculate any monthly interest charges owed and your minimum payment
  • Post your credit card statement (your bill) to your online account, or mail it to you if you don’t do paperless billing

Payment Due Date

Your payment due date is the date your issuer expects to receive payment in full if you don’t want to pay any interest. On your statement closing date, you should receive a credit card statement that shows your total balance, your minimum payment amount, and when your minimum payment is due. 

Your minimum payment refers to how much of your balance you need to pay to stay in good standing with the issuer. If your minimum payment is less than your balance, you’ll pay interest on the remaining balance—unless you’re in a promotional APR period. 

Grace Periods for Major Issuers

The period between your statement closing date and payment due date is known as your grace period. Credit card companies give you a grace period so that you have time to pay your balance in full before any interest charges kick in.

Note

The law doesn’t require a grace period, but many credit card issuers choose to offer one. If they do, legally those issuers have to send their customers their credit card statements at least 20 days before your payment due date. To avoid confusion, confirm that your credit card issuer offers a grace period and, if so, how long it is. 

The following table includes the grace periods of six major credit card issuers:

Issuer Grace Period
Capital One A minimum of 25 days from the end of the billing cycle
American Express At least 25 days from the end of the billing cycle
Chase A minimum of 21 days from the end of the billing cycle 
Discover A minimum of 25 days from the end of the billing cycle (or 23 days for billing periods that begin in February)
Citi May last up to 23 days from the end of the billing cycle
Barclays A minimum of 20 to 23 days from the end of the billing cycle, depending on the card

When Is the Best Time To Pay?

The best time to pay off your monthly credit card statement is before or on the payment due date. Paying your credit card bill late not only leads to pricey interest payments but could also decrease your credit score.

Paying your credit card bill before your payment due date helps you lower your credit utilization rate (which is good for your credit score). You’ll also avoid late fees. Paying early can also save you money if you have a balance on your credit card from past billing cycles. The sooner you pay that balance off, the sooner you can stop paying interest.

Note

To make sure you never miss a payment, set up automatic payments for your entire balance or just the minimum payment required on your due date. Just make sure you always have enough funds in the bank account you link to pay your bill.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Should I leave a small balance on my credit card to help my credit score?

Leaving a balance on your card will not help your credit score, but paying your card off each month can.

Should I make my credit card payment early, before the due date?

If you carry a balance on your card, making your payment early can reduce the amount of interest you'll pay. It can also lower the balance amount that your credit card company reports to the credit reporting agencies.

Can I make more than one payment per statement period on my credit card?

You should be able to make as many payments as you want to your account during each statement period.

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Sources
The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Barclays US. "Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard Terms and Conditions."

  3. Citi. "Credit Cards: Home, Credit Cards, Advantages, Grace Period."

  4. Discover. "Discover It Cash Back Credit Card Important Information."

  5. Chase. "Chase Sapphire Preferred Pricing and Terms."

  6. American Express. "Blue Cash Everyday Credit Card Terms, Conditions, and Disclosures."

  7. Capital One. "Venture Miles Rewards Credit Card."

  8. Experian. "Will Paying My Credit Card Balance Every Month Help My Credit Score?"

  9. Capital One. "What to Know About Paying a Credit Card Early."

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