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Survey Finds Largest Credit Card Issuers Not Doubling Minimum Payments

by Peter Andrew
Survey Finds Largest Credit Card Issuers Not Doubling Minimum Payments


Finds Largest Credit Card Issuers Not Doubling Minimum Payments

Contrary to reports in many media outlets, an IndexCreditCards.com

survey of the seven largest credit card issuers found that none

is doubling credit card minimum payments. In fact, most are

adhering strictly to new federal guidelines or believe that

their current minimum payment formulas are adequate to satisfy

the government’s desire to see credit card balances paid in

a reasonable amount of time.


Guidance from the government’s Office of the Comptroller of

the Currency suggested that card issuers should require their

customers to pay monthly at least one percent of their principal

credit card balances, plus all finance charges and any fees.

The goal was to get balances paid down–under the previous industry

standard two percent minimum payment, customers with high balances

could conceivably “meet the minimum” without even paying off

a full month’s interest, much less taking a chunk out of the

principal balance.


While the government’s guidance led to fears that credit card

minimums might double, information from the seven largest card

issuers (who own an estimated 60% to 70% share of the credit

card market) suggests otherwise:

  • Four

of the top issuers are strictly adhering to the new guidelines

of one percent of the principal balance, plus interest and


  • Two

issuers are making no changes, due to long-standing minimum

payment policies that the companies feel already address the

government’s concerns.

  • One

issuer has thus far made no change to their minimum payment

policy of 2% of the credit card balance.


mid-December we reported that claims of minimum payments doubling

were not accurate; now we have the proof,” said Adam Jusko,

Research Director for IndexCreditCards.com. “Most credit card

issuers are adhering to exactly what the government suggested

or are sticking with minimum payments already above those guidelines.

While some customers will see increased credit card minimums,

the impact will be slight–certainly not a doubling.”


By way of example, a person with a $10,000 credit card debt

and a 19% annual interest rate would have a required monthly

payment of approximately $203.16 using the old 2% minimum payment

standard. Under the new requirements that most issuers are using,

the monthly payment would be $258.33 ($158.33 in interest, plus

$100 of the outstanding balance). This is a difference of roughly

$55 – on a balance and interest rate that exceeds what the average

consumer is carrying.


are the specific minimum payment standards from the seven largest

credit card issuers, in alphabetical order, as reported to IndexCreditCards.com

by representatives from the companies:

  • American

Express – No change in minimum payment formula. To calculate

minimum payments, American Express first takes the highest

of the following figures: 2% of the outstanding balance, or

all current finance charges, or $15. (If current finance charges

is the highest of these three figures, the company uses finance

charges plus $15 as the first part of the minimum payment

equation. This usually ensures that part of the principal

is paid.) The company then adds any past due amounts and any

over-the-limit fees to come up with that month’s minimum payment.

  • Capital

One – No minimum payment changes. Company uses 3% of the overall

balance, or $15, whichever is greater, as the monthly minimum


  • Chase

– Minimum payment equals the higher of these figures: either

2% of the outstanding balance, or 1% of principal plus finance

charges plus fees.

  • Citibank

– Minimum payments equal 1% of the principal balance, plus

all current finance charges, plus fees such as late payment

or over-the-limit fees.

  • Discover

– No minimum payment changes at present. Minimum payment equals

2% of the outstanding balance. A company spokesperson declined

to say whether Discover will make changes to this standard

in the future.

Disclaimer:The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.

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