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What does 55 days interest-free really mean?

Learn how you can save on interest charges when you have a credit card that offers up to 55 days interest-free.

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You can use a credit card with interest-free days to make purchases without being charged interest for a set period of time in your billing cycle. To make use of this interest-free period, you usually have to pay your credit card balance in full by the due date on your statement each billing cycle.

Read on for answers to the most common questions about interest-free days, key factors to be aware of when using an interest-free card and available 55 days interest-free credit cards on the market.

What does “interest-free days” mean?

This term refers to a period of time in your credit card billing cycle when you can make purchases without being charged interest. Interest-free days begin on the first day of your statement period and end on the payment due date. For example, if you made a purchase on day 1 of a statement period, you could have 55 days to pay it off before interest is applied to the balance. A purchase made on the second day of that statement period would get 54 days interest-free, and a purchase made on day 30 would give you 25 days to pay it off before interest is charged.

Keep in mind interest-free days are only offered if you pay off your balance in full each billing cycle.

Other key definitions you need to know

When you’re learning about interest-free days, you’ll often come across a number of other terms that relate to this feature. Here are three major ones to take note of:
  • Statement period/billing cycle. The statement period usually runs for 30 days, or from when your last statement was issued to when the next one is issued.
  • Statement issue date. This is the date on which the bank issues your monthly credit card statement.
  • Payment due date. The date by which you must pay the balance to avoid late charges/fees. If you want to get interest-free days, you’ll usually have to pay your full balance by this date.
  • Purchase rate. The interest rate charged on purchases. Interest-free days help you avoid this cost.

Comparison of 55 days interest-free credit cards for 2021

Name Product Interest Free Period Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Reward
American Express AIR MILES for Business Card
up to 55 days
N/A
N/A
$180
Earn 1 AIR MILE for every $10 spent at eligible AIR MILES Sponsors and 1 AIR MILE for every $15 spent elsewhere
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES when you spend at least $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months
Business Platinum Card from American Express
up to 55 days
N/A
N/A
$499
Earn 1.25 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 50,000 Membership Rewards points when you charge $7,000 in purchases to your Card in your first three months of Cardmembership.
American Express Business Gold Rewards Card
up to 55 days
N/A
N/A
$250
Earn 2 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases at select American Express merchant suppliers in Canada (choose 3 suppliers), and earn 1 Membership Reward point for every $1 spent on eligible purchases elsewhere
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months
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Compare up to 4 providers

Answers to the most common questions about interest-free days

What else do I need to know when using a credit card with interest-free days?

You can use a credit card with interest-free days to save on your account costs when you meet specific requirements. Here are the key details to keep in mind so you can make use of your interest-free days:

  • Minimum monthly payments. You usually can’t get interest-free days for purchases if you only pay the minimum amount required on your statement, as most credit cards only offer this benefit when you pay your balance in full by the due date.
  • Eligible purchases. Interest-free days are only available for “eligible purchases” made on your card. While this usually includes everyday spending at the grocery store, gas station, restaurants and so on, exclusions typically apply for cash advance transactions, government payments and some bill payments. Check with your credit card provider for details on what is considered an “eligible purchase” for your card.
  • Dates vary. Don’t expect all your credit cards to come with similar billing cycle dates and due dates. These dates can vary from one card to the next, even when issued by the same card provider.
  • Balance transfers. Usually, if you have a debt on your credit card from a balance transfer, you won’t be eligible for interest-free days on new purchases. If you want to transfer a balance and make purchases without interest, you could also consider a card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers and a low purchase rate.

Compare credit cards with 0% interest on balance transfers

Making use of interest-free days

Let’s assume you have a credit card that offers 55 interest-free days and its billing cycle begins on the 1st of each month and ends on the 30th. Given the 55 interest-free days, the due date on your credit card statement would be the 25th of next month. So, if you were making purchases in June, here’s how it would look:
  • 1st June. First day of the statement
  • 30th June. Last day of the statement
  • 25th July. Due date of your payment for June

In this case, the 55 interest-free days begin on 1st June and end on the 25th July when your payment is due. So, here’s how your interest-free period would work as you make purchases throughout the month:

  • You make a $200 purchase on 1st June. You don’t have to pay any interest towards this purchase until 25th July, which gives you 55 interest-free days.
  • You make a $100 purchase on 20th June. This is the 20th day of your billing cycle, so you don’t have to pay any interest towards the purchase until 25th July. This means you get 35 interest-free days.
  • You make a $150 purchase on 30th June. This is the last day of your billing cycle but the purchase won’t attract any interest until 25th July, giving you an interest-free period of 25 days.

When your statement is issued for June, you’ll owe $450. As long as you pay this in full by the 25th July, you won’t be charged interest on your purchases and can continue to enjoy interest-free days for the next billing cycle.

Diagram: How do interest-free days work?

Interest-free days can be tricky to visualize, so check out our handy diagram below to understand how it works. As well as showing the interest-free period (in green), we also show when purchases are made, when the statement is issued and what happens if you pay less than the full amount for a billing cycle (the middle one in this case).

interest free days cc diagram


Credit cards that come with 55 interest-free days give you the ability to make purchases and not pay any interest towards them as long as you make timely repayments. These cards can come with a number of other features as well, so it’s important that you choose a card that suits your needs and spending habits. Keep in mind that just about every credit card issuer provides cards with interest-free days on purchases, so it is in your best interest to compare as many as possible before making a decision.

More questions about credit card interest-free periods

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