Credit Card Minimum Payment Interest Cost Comparison Calculator

Credit Card Interest Rate Comparison Calculator Sign

This calculator will first calculate the amount of interest you will end up paying if you continue making only the minimum monthly payment on your credit card.

Next, the calculator will perform the same calculations on rates that are 1-4% lower so you can see how much you would save if you could get your rate lowered -- either by calling the credit card company or by transferring your balance to a lower rate card.

Finally, the calculator will also show you how much you could have earned had you paid cash for the purchases and invested the avoided interest charges - for all five interest rates.

If you're not sure what is meant by foregone interest earnings, I suggest you visit the Learn tab before using the calculator.

Read more ...

Also on this page:

Credit Card Interest Rate Comparison Calculator

Calculate minimum payment interest cost comparisons between your current rate and rates that are 1-4% lower, and compare the opportunity costs of each.

Learn More

Selected Data Record:

A Data Record is a set of calculator entries that are stored in your web browser's Local Storage. If a Data Record is currently selected in the "Data" tab, this line will list the name you gave to that data record. If no data record is selected, or you have no entries stored for this calculator, the line will display "None".

DataData recordData recordSelected data record: None
Balance:Current balance:Current balance:Current balance:

Current balance:

Enter the current balance on your credit card. Enter as a dollar amount but without the dollar sign and any commas. If you have added any charges to your card since your last statement, be sure to include those as well.

$
% rate:Percent rate:Annual interest rate :Annual interest rate percentage:

Annual interest rate:

Enter the annual interest rate you are being charged on the credit card. Enter as a percentage, but without the percent sign (for .1799 or 17.99%, enter 17.99).

%
ROI %:ROI percentage:Percent return on investments :Percentage return on investments :

Percentage return on investments :

Enter the annual percentage return you feel you could earn on your investments. Enter as a percentage, but without the percent sign (for .06 or 6%, enter 6).

%
Current age:Current age:Current age:Current age:

Current age:

Enter the lowest allowable minimum payment dollar amount. Enter as a dollar amount but without the dollar sign and any commas.

Enter your current age. The calculator will use this figure to calculate the opportunity cost of carrying a balance on a credit card and only making the minimum monthly payments.

#
Retire age:Retirement age:Age you plan to retire:Age you plan to retire:

Age you plan to retire:

Enter the age you plan to retire at. The calculator will use this figure to calculate the opportunity cost of carrying a balance on a credit card and only making the minimum monthly payments.

#
Interest Rate Comparison
Tap the text for a description of each column.
%%RateRate

Interest rate:

The first line in this column is your current annual interest rate, followed by 4 rates that are each 1% lower than the previous rate.

###
of
Pmts
Number
of
Payments

Number of Payments:

This column shows the number of minimum monthly payments you will make before the balance is paid off, for the corresponding interest rate listed in the far left-hand column.

Int
Cost
Int
Cost
Interest
Cost
Interest
Cost

Interest Cost:

This column shows how much interest you will end up paying if you make only the declining minimum monthly payments for the corresponding interest rate listed in the far left-hand column.

Int
Save
Int
Save
Interest
Savings
Interest
Savings

Interest Savings:

This column shows how much interest you could save if you lowered your current annual percentage rate to one listed in the far left-hand column.

Lost
Val
Lost
Val
Foregone
Value
Foregone
Value

Foregone Value:

This column shows how much your investment could have grown to if you had paid cash for your purchases and invested the avoided interest charges. Note that earnings are calculated starting with your current age and ending either when the credit card is paid off, or when you reach retirement age, whichever is longer.

Opp.
Cost
Save
Opp.
Cost
Save
Opp.
Cost
Savings
Opp.
Cost
Savings

Opportunity Cost Savings:

This column shows the reduced opportunity cost of lowering your current annual percentage rate to the one listed in the far left-hand column.

      
      
      
      
      

If you would like to save the current entries to the secure online database, tap or click on the Data tab, select "New Data Record", give the data record a name, then tap or click the Save button. To save changes to previously saved entries, simply tap the Save button. Please select and "Clear" any data records you no longer need.

Help and Tools

Learn

What forgone interest earnings are and the danger of failing to account for them.

Foregone Interest Earnings

Have you ever stopped to consider that when you spend a dollar on interest charges, not only are you forever giving up the right to spend that dollar on anything else, but you are also giving up the right to earn compounding interest on that dollar ...

... for the rest of your life!

I refer to this loss as "the opportunity cost of foregone interest earnings."

Of course, the concept of foregone interest earnings applies to every dollar you spend on interest charges (or anything else that has a dwindling or non-existent resale value) during your lifetime.

These foregone interest earnings can add up to hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars.

The rich and those who are on their way to becoming rich understand the principle of foregone interest earnings (opportunity costs), whereas most people who are not rich do not. The latter group keeps sending their potential future wealth to the rich -- mostly in the form of interest payments.

The Tsunami Effect

I'm sure you've heard the term "ripple effect," which is a term often used to describe the ever-expanding consequences of an event, action, or decision. Of course, the term is coined from the ever-expanding ripples that are created by dropping an object into a pool of water.

When you make a one-time purchase of a non-appreciating, inexpensive product or service, the result is a small ripple effect throughout your financial future.

However, when you make repetitive expenditures for non-essential products or services that have a dwindling or non-existent resale value, the results are similar to what happens when two geological plates shift on the bottom of the ocean floor.

A small, almost undetectable underwater shock wave is sent out in all directions. But by the time this shock wave reaches land, it can form a huge wave that springs from out of nowhere and hits with devastating force. In this case, the "Ripple Effect" results in a "Tsunami Effect."

As the calculator will attempt to show, charging up balances on credit cards while making only the declining minimum monthly payment can have the same devastating impact on your financial future as a Tsunami has on the shores it hits. And while it's too late to erase mistakes from your past completely, it's never too late to attempt to minimize the damages.

Get Paid to Lower Your Rates

As you will see from the calculated results, the time you devote to researching and studying ways to lower your current interest rates can pay huge dividends down the road. Even achieving a 1% drop in your APR can save you thousands of dollars in foregone interest earnings -- thereby reducing the size of the financial Tsunami your past actions may have created.

Then, if you are successful at lowering your interest rates, the savings (earnings, i.e., "a penny saved is a penny earned") can be used to speed up the repayment of high APR debts, thereby further reducing the negative impact on your financial future.

Remember, money invested in paying down high APR debt will bring you a guaranteed, tax-free return equal to the debt's high APR.

Adjust Calculator Width:

Move the slider to left and right to adjust the calculator width. Note that the Help and Tools panel will be hidden when the calculator is too wide to fit both on the screen. Moving the slider to the left will bring the instructions and tools panel back into view.

Also note that some calculators will reformat to accommodate the screen size as you make the calculator wider or narrower. If the calculator is narrow, columns of entry rows will be converted to a vertical entry form, whereas a wider calculator will display columns of entry rows, and the entry fields will be smaller in size ... since they will not need to be "thumb friendly".

Show/Hide Popup Keypads:

Select Show or Hide to show or hide the popup keypad icons located next to numeric entry fields. These are generally only needed for mobile devices that don't have decimal points in their numeric keypads. So if you are on a desktop, you may find the calculator to be more user-friendly and less cluttered without them.

Stick/Unstick Tools:

Select Stick or Unstick to stick or unstick the help and tools panel. Selecting "Stick" will keep the panel in view while scrolling the calculator vertically. If you find that annoying, select "Unstick" to keep the panel in a stationary position.

If the tools panel becomes "Unstuck" on its own, try clicking "Unstick" and then "Stick" to re-stick the panel.