What is a credit card minimum payment?

Find out how a minimum payment is calculated and when you need to pay.

On every credit card statement, you will see a minimum payment. While this may not seem like much compared to your overall debt, this amount could be encouraging you to spread your repayments over a longer period and costing you more interest in the long run.

What is a minimum payment and how is it calculated?

A credit card minimum payment is exactly what it sounds like – a minimum payment you must make on your credit card bill by a certain date.

Your bank or provider will work out this payment sum based on your overall account debt and your card’s interest rate.

At the end of each billing cycle, your bank or provider will send you a bill featuring all your recent transactions. Your statement will include the total amount you owe on your credit card, total transactions made during the billing cycle and your minimum payment for that billing cycle.

Banks and credit card providers set different monthly minimum repayments, which can usually be found in your “summary box”. Under UK rules, any credit cards taken out since April 2011 must set the monthly minimum payment of at least 1% of your balance. The table below serves as an example of how a card provider calculates their minimum payment.

Minimum payment example credit card bill

How can I pay the minimum payment?

You usually have two options to pay off your credit card bill every billing cycle.

  • Direct debit. You can set up a direct debit with your bank where you can specify that you’d like to automatically pay the full balance, a fixed amount or just the minimum payment every month. By setting up a direct debit, you’ll guarantee you will never miss a payment and don’t have to worry about penalty fees and damage to your credit record.
  • Manual payments. You can decide how much you want to pay every month – whether it’s the minimum payment, the full balance or somewhere in between. You can pay your credit card company via standing order or bank transfer. This method gives you greater control over how much you are paying, but you’re more at risk of missing payments so you need to make sure you can keep track of the payment deadline.

Should I pay the minimum payment or a larger amount?

It all depends on what you can afford. At the very least, you should make the minimum payment. However, by continuing to pay only the minimum payment, you will take longer to pay off your debt and are likely to incur higher interest fees.

To avoid paying unnecessary interest, it’s a good idea to pay your entire balance, or something in between the minimum payment and your total debt.

As your outstanding debt reduces with every payment, so does the minimum payment required on every new statement. This means small balances on credit cards could take a long time to repay if you continued to make the minimum payments.

Tom has a £4,000 credit card debt

Admin assistant Tom has run up a £4,000 credit card debt, but can only afford the monthly minimum payments of £65.

If Tom continues to pay off his debt at 18.9% APR with the £65 monthly payments, it could take him 13 years to pay it off. Aside from paying back his debt amount of £4,000, he would end up spending a further £6,121 on interest.

A friend suggested he consider a balance transfer card, giving him a promotional 0% interest rate for 24 months, with a one-off fee of 1.4%. Under this offer, Tom could continue to make the monthly minimum payments of £65, but the interest break means he could pay a lot less overall and pay off his debt faster. The balance transfer offer means he could pay off his debt in 6 years and 7 months and only end up spending a further £1,169 on fees and interest. By transferring his debt to a 0% balance transfer offer, this would save Tom £4,952.

Different types of credit cards explained

Compare cards by type

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Name Product Balance transfers Balance transfer fee Purchases Annual/monthly fees Representative APR Incentive Link
M&S Bank Rewards Offer Mastercard
0% for 12 months reverting to 19.9%
2.9% (min. £5)
0% for 12 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
19.9% APR (variable)
Double points on spend in M&S for first 12 months (2 points per £1). Then earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Santander Everyday Credit Card
0% for 18 months reverting to 20.9%
0% for 18 months reverting to 3% (min. £5)
0% for 3 months reverting to 20.9%
£0
20.9% APR (variable)
Earn up to 15% cashback with your selected Retailer Offers at selected major retailers.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 20.9% p.a. (variable), your representative rate is 20.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
The Royal Bank Balance Transfer Credit Card (eligibility criteria apply)
0% for 18 months reverting to 21.9%
0%
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.9% p.a. (variable)
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable), your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card
0% for 29 months reverting to 21.9%
2.85% (min. £5)
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Discounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
M&S Bank Shopping Plus Credit Card
0% for 20 months reverting to 21.9%
2.9% (min. £5)
0% for 20 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
M&S Bank Transfer Plus Mastercard
0% for 29 months reverting to 21.9%
2.75% (min. £5)
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
The NatWest Balance Transfer Credit Card (eligibility criteria apply)
0% for 18 months reverting to 21.9%
0%
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.9% p.a. (variable)
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable), your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
HSBC Purchase Plus Credit Card Visa
0% for 18 months reverting to 22.9%
2.9% (min. £5) for transfers in first 60 days
0% for 18 months reverting to 22.9%
£0
22.9% APR (variable)
Discounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Santander All in One Credit Card
0% for 26 months reverting to 17.9%
0% for 26 months reverting to 3% (min. £5)
0% for 20 months reverting to 17.9%
£3 per month
23.7% APR (variable)
0.5% cashback after £1 of monthly spend. Cashback paid monthly into card account. Maximum spend for cashback purposes is limited to credit limit.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 17.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £3 per month, your representative rate is 23.7% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
first direct Credit Card
0% for 27 months reverting to 18.9%
2.29% (min. £5) for 3 months reverting to 2.9% (min. £5)
18.9%
£0
18.9% APR (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Purchases Balance transfers Annual/monthly fees Representative APR Incentive Link
Santander All in One Credit Card
0% for 20 months reverting to 17.9%
0% for 26 months
(0% fee)
£3 per month
23.7% APR (variable)
0.5% cashback after £1 of monthly spend. Cashback paid monthly into card account. Maximum spend for cashback purposes is limited to credit limit.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 17.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £3 per month, your representative rate is 23.7% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
M&S Bank Shopping Plus Credit Card
0% for 20 months reverting to 21.9%
0% for 20 months
(2.9% fee)
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
HSBC Purchase Plus Credit Card Visa
0% for 18 months reverting to 22.9%
0% for 18 months
(2.9% fee)
£0
22.9% APR (variable)
Discounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
M&S Bank Rewards Offer Mastercard
0% for 12 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for 12 months
(2.9% fee)
£0
19.9% APR (variable)
Double points on spend in M&S for first 12 months (2 points per £1). Then earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Barclaycard Business Premium Plus Credit Card
0% for 6 months reverting to 14.9%
N/A
£150 per annum
49.4% APR (variable)
0.5% after £1 of yearly spend. Maximum of £400 cashback paid per year. Cashback paid Anniversary into Card Account. If less than £10 Cashback earned in any Cashback Year, it will not be credited to the account and will not be carried forward to the following year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 14.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £150 per annum, your representative rate is 49.4% APR (variable).
Go to site
Tesco Bank Clubcard Plus Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 24 months reverting to 19.944%
21.814%
(3.99% fee)
£7.99 per month
37.7% APR (variable)
1 point per £4 spent (£4 minimum) in Tesco and 1 point per £8 spent (£8 minimum) outside Tesco, must have available credit to earn points. Card can also be used as a Clubcard to collect standard points at 1 point per £1 spent on shopping and 1 point per £2 spent on fuel. Points are converted to Tesco vouchers which can be used towards shopping or exchanged for Partner Rewards.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.944% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £7.99 per month, your representative rate is 37.7% APR (variable).
Sainsbury's Bank Nectar Dual Offer Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 21 months reverting to 20.95%
0% for 21 months
(3% fee)
£0
20.9% APR (variable)
Earn 750 bonus Nectar points each time £35 or more spent on Sainsbury's shopping, up to ten times in your first 2 months, up to a total of 7,500 points, offer available for new customers. Earn 3 Nectar points per £1 spent in Sainsbury's and Argos. Earn 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 20.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 20.9% APR (variable).
MBNA 0% Transfer and Purchase Credit Card
0% for 21 months reverting to 21.93%
0% for 21 months
(2.99% fee)
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Earn up to 15% cashback on purchases through Smart Rewards at popular retailers.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.93% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Lloyds Bank Platinum 0% Purchase and Balance Transfer Mastercard
0% for 21 months reverting to 21.94%
0% for 18 months
(2.99% fee)
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Ulster Bank Purchase & Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 20 months reverting to 21.9%
0% for 20 months
(1.99% fee)
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Purchases Annual/monthly fees Initial credit limits Representative APR Incentive Link
M&S Bank Rewards Offer Mastercard
0% for 12 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
19.9% APR (variable)
Double points on spend in M&S for first 12 months (2 points per £1). Then earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
M&S Bank Shopping Plus Credit Card
0% for 20 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
21.9% APR (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
M&S Bank Transfer Plus Mastercard
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
21.9% APR (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card
22.2%
£0
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
22.2% APR (variable)
New Cardmember offer: Get 5% cashback on your purchases (up to £100) for the first 3 months of Cardmembership. Spend £0 to £10,000 and receive 0.5% cashback on all purchases. Spend over £10,000 and receive 1% cashback on purchases.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.2% APR (variable).
Go to site
American Express Rewards Credit Card
22.2%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
22.2% APR (variable)
As a new Cardmember, earn 5,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend £2,000 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.2% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
British Airways American Express Card
22.2%
£0
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
22.2% APR (variable)
New Cardmember offer: Earn 5,000 bonus Avios when you spend £1,000 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.2% APR (variable).
Go to site
Santander All in One Credit Card
0% for 20 months reverting to 17.9%
£3 per month
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
23.7% APR (variable)
0.5% cashback after £1 of monthly spend. Cashback paid monthly into card account. Maximum spend for cashback purposes is limited to credit limit.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 17.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £3 per month, your representative rate is 23.7% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Royal Bank of Scotland Reward Credit Card Mastercard
21.9%
£24 per annum. Reward or Reward Black Current Account holders: £0 per annum
Min. limit £250, max. limit not specified.
26.8% APR (variable)
1% Rewards earned on supermarket spend and 0.25% at their petrol stations, at least 1-15% Rewards earned at MyRewards retailers and 0.25% everywhere else when shopping at home and abroad. 5 Rewards is £5 when redeemed. Rewards can be converted into money and transferred to a current account, exchanged for gift cards or tickets with some retailers doubling their value or converted into money and donated to one of the RBS Group chosen charities.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £24 per annum. Reward or Reward Black Current Account holders: £0 per annum, your representative rate is 26.8% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
NatWest Reward Credit Card Mastercard
21.9%
£24 per annum. Reward or Reward Black Current Account holders: £0 per annum
Min. limit £250, max. limit not specified.
26.8% APR (variable)
1% Rewards earned on supermarket spend and 0.25% at their petrol stations, at least 1-15% Rewards earned at MyRewards retailers and 0.25% everywhere else when shopping at home and abroad. 5 Rewards is £5 when redeemed. Rewards can be converted into money and transferred to a current account, exchanged for gift cards or tickets with some retailers doubling their value or converted into money and donated to one of the RBS Group chosen charities.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £24 per annum. Reward or Reward Black Current Account holders: £0 per annum, your representative rate is 26.8% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
American Express Platinum Cashback Card
22.2%
£25 per annum
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
27.3% APR (variable)
As a new Cardmember, get 5% cashback on your purchases (up to £125) for the first 3 months of Cardmembership. Spend £0 to £10,000 and receive 0.75% cashback on all purchases. Spend over £10,000 and receive 1.25% cashback on purchases.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £25 per annum, your representative rate is 27.3% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Annual/monthly fees Initial credit limits Minimum income Representative APR Incentive Link
Marbles Classic Credit Card
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit £1,200.
Not specified
29.7%
You could get a credit limit increase after three months. Choose a monthly repayment date that suits you and change it up to twice a year.
Representative example: Assumed credit limit £1,200, representative 29.7% APR (variable), purchase rate 29.75% p.a. (variable).
Please note: you can’t have two Marbles accounts or open a Marbles account within 12 months of opening an Aqua, Fluid or Opus account, issued by New Day
Check eligibility
Aqua Classic Credit Card
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit £1,200.
Not specified
29.7%
Representative example: Assumed credit limit £1,200, representative 29.7% APR (variable), purchase rate 29.75% p.a. (variable).
Please note: you can’t have two Aqua accounts or open an Aqua account within 12 months of opening a Marbles, Fluid or Opus account, issued by New Day
Check eligibility
Aqua Classic Balance Transfer Card
Aqua Classic Balance Transfer Card
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit £1,200.
Not specified
34.9%
Representative example: Assumed credit limit £1,200, representative 34.9% APR (variable), purchase rate 34.95% p.a. (variable).
Please note: you can’t have two Aqua accounts or open an Aqua account within 12 months of opening a Marbles, Fluid or Opus account, issued by New Day
Check eligibility
Tesco Bank Foundation Card
£0
Min. limit £100, max. limit not specified.
£5000
27.5%
Collect 1 Tesco Clubcard point per £4 spent (£4 minimum) in Tesco and 1 Clubcard point per £8 spent (£8 minimum) outside Tesco in each purchase transaction.  Must have available credit to collect Clubcard points. Clubcard points are turned into Clubcard vouchers every 3 months or sooner using Faster Vouchers. Clubcard vouchers can be used in Tesco or with Clubcard Reward Partners to get even more value on dining out, hotel stays and travel.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 27.542% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 27.5% APR (variable).
TSB Classic Credit Card Mastercard
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
Not specified
27.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 27.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 27.9% APR (variable).
Vanquis Bank Chrome Credit Card
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit £1,500.
Not specified
29.5%
Representative example: When you spend £250 at a purchase rate of 29.5% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.5% APR (variable).
Vanquis Bank Aquis Visa
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit £1,000.
Not specified
29.8%
You could get a credit limit increase after your 5th statement and further increases every 5 months, up to £4,000.
Representative example: When you spend £1,000 at a purchase rate of 29.84% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.8% APR (variable).
HSBC Classic Credit Card Visa
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit £1,000.
£6800
29.9%
Discounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 29.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.9% APR (variable).
Bip Credit
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit not specified.
Not specified
29.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 29.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.9% APR (variable).
Amazon Classic Mastercard
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
Not specified
29.9%
Be upgraded to the Amazon Platinum Mastercard if you make at least one transaction a month, make repayments on time and stay within credit limit in the first 12 months..
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 29.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.9% APR (variable).
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Purchases Annual/monthly fees Initial credit limits Representative APR Incentive Link
British Airways American Express Card
22.2%
£0
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
22.2% APR (variable)
New Cardmember offer: Earn 5,000 bonus Avios when you spend £1,000 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.2% APR (variable).