Credit Card interest-free period

Interest is charged on the balance owing and cash advances on your credit card.

When and how much interest you will be charged depends on your credit card type, your credit card statement period and the types of transactions you make with your credit card.

What is an interest-free period on purchases?

An interest-free period on purchases is a conditional credit card benefit when your credit card purchases do not incur any interest.

It covers the statement period plus the number of days until the current payment due date.

How do I get the interest-free period on my credit card purchases?

To get an interest-free period on your purchases, you will need to:

  • Pay your previous statement closing balance in full (i.e. start your current statement period with $0 balance owing)
  • Start your statement period without a transferred balance
  • Pay your current statement closing balance in full by its due date
  • Not make a balance transfer in the statement period

How does an interest-free period on purchases work?

When you have paid your last statement period closing balance in full, you will start your current statement period with a $0 balance owing. When you start your current statement period with a $0 balance owing and without a transferred balance on your credit card, the interest-free period on your purchases will start on the first day of the statement period.

To ensure you receive your interest-free period on your purchases, you will need to pay your current statement closing balance in full by its due date and not make a balance transfer in the statement period. You can find your statement period, closing balance and current payment due date on your credit card statement.

If you miss the full payment for the current statement closing balance by its due date, you will have a balance owing on your credit card and you will lose your interest-free period on purchases. Your purchases in the current statement period will incur interest from the date of purchase. You will also start your next statement period with a balance owing and lose the interest free period on purchases for the next statement period.

Important things to know

Balance Transfer

  • If you have a transferred balance and make purchases on your credit card, your credit card purchases do not receive an interest-free period.
  • You must pay the transferred balance in full and meet other conditions, before you can start to get an interest-free period on purchases. Please refer to the ‘How do I get an interest-free period on my credit card purchases’ section above.

Cash Advances

  • Cash advances are not purchases and have no interest-free period.
  • Cash advances are cash withdrawal(s) or transfer(s) from your credit card account. If you use your credit card for cash advances, you will pay the cash advance interest rate on your withdrawn or transferred amount from the day you make the withdrawal or transfer. 
  • The cash advance interest rate can be higher than the purchase interest rate. 
  • Cash advances are included in your statement as part of the closing balance which will need to be paid in full for you to enjoy an interest-free period on purchases.

How many interest-free days can I get on my credit card purchases?

An interest-free period on purchases covers the statement period plus the number of days until the payment due date. The number of interest-free days depends on:

  1. Credit card type
  2. Statement period
  3. Transaction type
  4. Transaction date

Westpac offers a maximum of 55 interest-free days on the below credit card types:

  • Low Rate Mastercard®
  • Airpoints™ Mastercard®
  • Hhotpoints® Mastercard®
  • Platinum Hotpoints® Mastercard®

Westpac offers a maximum of 44 interest-free days on the below:

  • Airpoints™ Platinum Mastercard®
  • Airpoints™ World Mastercard®
  • hotpoints® World Mastercard®
  • BusinessPLUS Mastercard® with hotpoints®

Business Mastercard® does not have any interest-free period on purchases.

Interest-free period on purchases example

An example using a card that offers up to 55 interest-free days:

Joe’s statement period starts on the 11th of the month and ends on the 10th of the following month. He has no transferred balance and no cash advances on his card. Joe makes his purchase of $1,000 on the 11th May which is the first date of the new statement period. This will give him a full 30-day statement period (from 11th May to 10th June) plus no less than 25 days till the payment for his $1,000 purchase will be due (on 7th July). Joe will now benefit from the full 55 days interest free period on his purchase when he pays the full closing balance on 7th July.

If the purchase is made part way through the statement period, or the full payment is made prior to the due date, then the interest-free period will be reduced by the corresponding number of days.

Joe’s statement period starts on the 11th of the month and ends on the 10th of the following month. He has no transferred balance and no cash advances on his card. Joe makes his purchase of $1,000 on 31st of the month, he would only get 11 days of the statement period (until 10th June) plus no less than 25 days before the payment for his $,1000 purchase is due (on 7th July). In this case he would only benefit from 36 days interest free on his purchase when he pays the full closing balance on 7th July.
If Joe pays the current statement full closing balance on the 2nd July (5 days before it is due), he would only benefit from 31 days interest free on his purchase. He would also enjoy an interest-free period on purchases on the next statement period.

Financial Difficulty or Hardship

If you are in financial difficulty (for example, because of illness, injury or loss of employment), it is important that you don’t ignore the problem.

Contact us as soon as possible if you are having problems meeting your repayments or think that you may experience difficulty doing so in the near future. Depending on your circumstances you may be able to make a hardship application.

There are limits on when and how often you can make a hardship application. You can find out more on the Financial Hardship page.