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What makes up your credit card balance?

What makes up your credit card balance?

Understanding the fees and interest attached to your credit card balance can help you manage the amount you have to repay.

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 your credit card statement you’ll see your purchases for that statement period. All CommBank credit cards (aside from the Business Low Rate) 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.

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.

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.

Great Rate purchases

Effective 30 November 2018, Great Rate transactions are no longer available.

A ‘Great Rate’ purchase is unique to CommBank credit cards. It’s a special interest rate that can be applied to a purchase of $1,000 or more for up to three statement periods. Interest is charged from the date of the purchase to the end of that statement period (and for an additional three statement periods) at this special interest rate unless the full amount is repaid prior. At the end of the Great Rate period, interest on any amount still owing is then charged at the normal purchase 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, late payment fee or international transaction fees. Check out this list of standard fees and charges for personal CommBank credit cards.

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.