If you don’t pay off your bill in full each month, you can get hit with high interest charges that can make it very difficult to get out of debt. The interest on your credit card is calculated based on your principal amount (aka your balance), plus any accumulated interest you already owe. So you’re pretty much being charged interest on top of interest if you carry a balance from month to month and only make the required minimum payment.
Not paying off your credit card bill on time and in full each month can turn a strategic credit card offer — like spending a certain amount in order to earn bonus rewards points — into an expensive mistake.
“Do not put purchases on credit cards to get rewards points if you aren’t paying off your entire bill monthly,” Harrison warns. “The interest charges will easily wipe out any bonuses you received.”