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What does 25 days interest-free really mean?

Learn how you can save on interest charges when you have a credit card that offers up to 25 days interest-free.

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. Use this guide to find answers to the most common questions about interest-free days, compare credit cards with up to 25 days interest-free and learn about the key factors to be aware of when using an interest-free card.

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 25 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 24 days interest-free.

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.

How do I receive interest-free days?

To be eligible to receive interest-free days, you must repay your account’s outstanding balance in full by the due date on your statement. Usually, you’ll need to pay the full balance for the statement prior to the start of that billing cycle as well as the statement issued at the end of it.

Why does it always say “up to 25 days”?

The amount of interest-free days available varies depending on what day of your billing cycle you make the purchase. While you would get 25 days interest-free on purchases made on the first day of the billing cycle, you’d get 22 on the second day and only 1 day interest-free if you made a purchase the day before your statement was issued for that billing period. So “up to” is used to refer to the maximum amount of days you can get interest-free in your billing period.

Compare 25 days interest-free credit cards

Name Product Interest Rate Reward Annual Fee Min Income - Singaporean and PR
DBS Live Fresh Student Card
26.8%
Get 5% cashback from your favourite brands and your favourite music, movies and TV streaming services.
S$0 annual fee for the first 5 years and S$192.60 thereafter
N/A
Get 5% cashback from your favourite brands and your favourite music, movies and TV streaming services.
DBS Altitude Card
26.8%
Earn up to 4 miles per S$1 spend, with no expiry
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get S$200 cashback or up to 38,000 miles when you apply online via digibank or Myinfo with Singpass. T&Cs apply. Valid until 30 Sep 2021.
Get fee waiver for the first year and up to S$192.60 thereafter, with 10,000 bonus miles.
Citi Cash Back+ Card
26.9%
Get up to 20.88% fuel discounts at Esso and Shell and 1.6% cash back on eligible retail purchases.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Receive 4.5% cash back on up to S$5,000 spend (up to S$225 cash back) in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. Valid until 30 Nov 2021.
DBS Live Fresh Card
26.8%
Up to 5% cashback on online and contactless spend (including SimplyGo rides)
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get S$200 cashback with promo code ‘200CASH' when you apply online via digibank or Myinfo with Singpass and charge a minimum of S$800 within 60 days from card approval date. T&Cs apply. Valid until 30 Sep 2021.
POSB Everyday Card
26.8%
Enjoy up to 8% cash rebates on daily essentials such as groceries and online food delivery
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get S$200 cashback with promo code ‘200CASH' when you apply online via digibank or Myinfo with Singpass and charge a minimum of S$800 within 60 days from card approval date. T&Cs apply. Valid until 30 Sep 2021.
DBS Woman's Card
26.8%
Up to 5X DBS Points (or 10 miles) per S$5 spent on online and overseas purchases
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$160.50 thereafter
S$30,000
Get S$200 cashback with promo code ‘200CASH' when you apply online via digibank or Myinfo with Singpass and charge a minimum of S$800 within 60 days from card approval date. T&Cs apply. Valid until 30 Sep 2021.
Citi Cash Back Card
26.9%
Get up to 20.88% fuel discounts at Esso and Shell. 6% cashback on dining and 8% cashback on groceries.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get a welcome gift of S$120 cash back when you spend S$1,200 in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply.
Citibank SMRT Card
26.9%
Up to 5% savings on groceries, online shopping, taxis (including private hire rides), and EZ-Link Auto Top-up/SimplyGo. Plus, 0.3% savings on all other spend
S$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get a welcome gift of S$120 cash back when you spend S$1,200 in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply.
Citi Rewards Credit Card
26.9%
10X Rewards on eligible online and retail purchases, capped at 10,000 points per statement month.
1X Rewards for other retail purchases.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get 30,000 Citi Thank You points when you spend S$3,000 in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. 30 June 2021
Citi PremierMiles Card
26.9%
Earn 1.2 Citi Miles for every S$1 spent locally, 2 Citi Miles for every S$1 spent overseas and 4 Citi Miles for every S$1 spent on food delivery & home entertainment.
S$192.60 annual fee
S$30,000
Get 45,000 miles when you spend S$9,000 in the first 3 months. Annual fee applies.
Citi Prestige Card
26.9%
Deals and discounts in more than 90 countries. Also, get six complimentary golf games across Asia
S$535 annual fee
S$120,000
Get a welcome gift of 62,500 Citi ThankYou Points (25,000 Miles) or Gadget Welcome Gift. T&Cs apply. Ends 30 June 2021.
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Compare up to 4 providers

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 supermarket, petrol 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 dues dates. These dates can vary from one card to the next, even when issued by the same card issuer.
  • 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 purchases and balance transfers.

Making use of interest-free days

Let’s assume you have a credit card that offers 25 interest-free days and its billing cycle begins on the 1st of each month and ends on the 20th. Given the 25 interest-free days, the due date on your credit card statement would be the 25th day of the month. So if you were making purchases in June, here’s how it would look:
  • 1st June. First day of the statement
  • 20th June. Last day of the statement
  • 25th June. Due date of your payment for June

In this case, the 25 interest-free days begin on 1st June and end on the 25th June 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 June, which gives you 25 interest-free days.
  • You make a $100 purchase on 20th June. This is the last day of your billing cycle, but you don’t have to pay any interest towards the purchase until 25th June. This means you get 3 interest-free days.

When you’re statement is issued for June, you’ll owe $350. So as long as you pay this in full by the 25th June, 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 visualise, so you can see this handy diagram 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 25 interest-free days give you the ability to make purchases and not pay any interest towards them as long as you make timely repayments. Such cards can come with a number of other features as well, so it’s important that you choose a card as per your requirement. Bear in mind that just about every credit card issuer provides cards with interest-free days on purchases, so it is in your most interest to compare as many as possible before making a decision.

Frequently asked questions about credit card interest-free periods

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