Having a credit card can help smooth your cash flow and take advantage of features like Awards points. To be sure you’re making the most of your credit card, it’s important to understand the components that make up your balance.


On a credit card statement, you’ll see your purchases for that statement period. Credit cards usually come with an interest-free period of up to 55 days on purchases. This is the time in which no interest is charged on a new purchase, provided you pay your closing balance in full by the due date each month. If you don’t, you’ll be charged interest at the purchase rate. Interest-free cards generally come with a 0% purchase rate, meaning you won’t be charged interest on your purchases , only a monthly fee.

Cash advances

If you use your credit card to make a cash withdrawal, transfer funds from your credit card or make a cash equivalent transaction (such as using your card for gambling, buying lotto tickets or foreign currency), you’ll be charged interest on the funds used at the cash advance rate. There’s no interest-free period on cash advances so the interest begins to accrue immediately, and you’ll also be charged a cash advance fee. Cash advances are blocked on certain types of credit cards.

Balance transfers

A balance transfer is when you transfer a balance owing on a personal credit issued by another bank or a store card to your CommBank credit card. With CommBank there’s no fee charged to make the transfer and a special interest rate may apply from the date the transfer is made for an introductory period. After this introductory period ends, any amount still owing is then charged at the cash advance rate.

Instalment plans

An instalment plan is a feature to help you repay all or part of your credit card balance in regular monthly repayments over a set term. Interest is charged on the portion of your balance that you enrol into an instalment plan, for a set period of time. When you apply to set up a plan, we’ll quote you an interest rate that is fixed for the term of the plan.


Examples of fees include an annual fee, monthly fee, late payment fee or international transaction fees. Check out this list of standard fees and charges for personal CommBank credit cards.

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Things you should know

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. Applications for credit cards are subject to approval. Full terms and conditions will be in our Letter of Offer. Fees and charges apply.