Get the Finder app 🥳

Track your credit score

Free

Credit card late payment and overlimit fees

If you’ve missed the due date on your statement or maxed out your card, you could be charged a penalty fee. Read this guide to learn more about late payment and overlimit fees, as well as how to avoid them.

Updated

Fact checked

We’re committed to our readers and editorial independence. We don’t compare all products in the market and may receive compensation when we refer you to our partners, but this does not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn more about Finder.

Credit cards come with a range of fees that apply in specific circumstances, including when your payment is late or if you go over your available credit limit. Following government reforms, there have also been some changes to these penalty fees.

For example, most financial institutions have removed overlimit fees for credit cards opened after 2012. Although it is possible to spend past your credit limit, for example $10 or $20, you will usually need to consent to overlimit charges if you want to be able to spend past this amount. Late payment fees, on the other hand, are still very common.

IssuerOverlimit feeLate payment fee
American Express$30
ANZ$20$20
Bankwest$30$25
Bendigo Bank$15$15
Citi$40$30 ($0 for Simplicity)
Commonwealth Bank$10$20
HSBC$30$30
Latitude Financial Services$0$30
Macquarie Bank$30$35
ME$25
NAB$0$15

If you miss a credit card payment, this may be listed on your credit report and can hurt your credit score. If you've missed a payment, you can get a free copy of your credit report through Finder and see if it has had an impact on your credit score.

How to avoid late payment and overlimit fees

Budgeting is a key factor in avoiding these types of penalty fees as it allows you to keep track of your balance and can help make sure you have enough money set aside to at least meet the minimum payment by the statement due date. You can use our free budget planner to get a comprehensive overview of your finances in just a few minutes, or work one out based on your spending and income.

As well as establishing a budget, there are other specific strategies you can use to avoid these fees. We’ve broken them down below.

Overlimit fees

piggy bank and calendar

Overlimit fees have been removed by most banks following the 2012 government reforms. But if you applied for your credit card before mid-2012, and you exceed your credit limit, your financial institution may charge you an overlimit fee.

If you’ve recently opened a credit card account, your bank may not charge you an overlimit fee and may not allow you to spend past your credit limit. You can consent to spending past your credit limit, but in doing so you’re also consenting to overlimit charges.

  • Overlimit example. If you have a card with a credit limit of $5,000 and regularly spend $5,000 per month on your account, there is a high risk that you’ll go over your limit. To reduce the odds, you could consider a credit limit increase or pay for some of those expenses with a debit card instead.
  • Check your balance. If your financial institution does charge overlimit fees, you can download your bank’s mobile banking application, log into Internet banking or call your provider to stay informed about your remaining credit. Either plan your purchases so you don’t exceed your credit limit or make a payment between statement periods so you can avoid spending past your limit.
  • Limit your spending. Some credit cards allow you to set customised spending limits. For example, CommBank’s Internet and mobile banking apps let you set spending limits per transaction. This can help you manage your money and avoid going over your actual credit card limit.

Late payments

If you don’t pay at least the minimum required by the due date on your statement, this fee could apply. It may then be charged for each subsequent statement until a payment is made. If this happens, interest will accrue on both the original balance and the penalty charges. You can set up auto-payments so you never miss a credit card repayment. And if money’s tight, budgeting can help you make at least the minimum monthly repayment each month.

  • Late payment example. You need to budget for at least the minimum payment on your card. So if you had a $5,000 balance, a minimum payment of 2% would be $100 a month or $20 a week. If you know this, you can set aside this amount when you’re paid so you have enough to meet the repayment requirements by the due date on your statement.
  • Autopayments. Autopayments allow you to pay the minimum amount due each month, the entire outstanding balance or a partial amount of your account’s closing balance from a nominated transaction account. You can arrange an autopayment to your credit card by logging into your online banking facility and completing an online autopayment form. Alternatively you can call your financial institution or complete and send in an autopayment form. Autopayments will become active after one statement cycle.
  • Contact your provider. If you’re strapped for cash and the due date on your statement is looming, you could call your credit card provider to explain the situation. In some cases, you may be able to get a one-off extension on your payment without fees or other penalties applying.

What else do I need to know to avoid late payment fees?

Most credit card providers use software to determine when a late payment fee should be charged. But this could mean there are times when a fee applies even if you’ve paid more than the minimum amount for your statement period, as the case study below shows.

Late payment fee charges after repayments

Emilia has a credit card with a statement period that begins on the 1st of the month and ends on the 30th of the month, with her payments due on the 14th of the next month. She is at the start of her statement period for November and has $0 owing on her card. Throughout the period, she makes the following transactions:

DateDescriptionAmountBalance
1st NovemberPayment for last statement$1,000+$0
8th NovemberFlight booking$800– $800
15th NovemberPayment towards balance$800+$0
20th NovemberElectricity bill$300– $300

Emilia doesn’t spend any more money for that statement period and is issued with a statement on the 30th of November. While she still owes $300, she has already made two payments for that statement period, so she decides to wait until her next payday on the 20th of December before paying any more.

When Emilia logs on to her account on the 20th, she finds that she has been charged a late payment fee of $20. She calls the bank and is told that the fee has been charged because she had not made a payment after the due date on the statement period. As she is a loyal customer and thought she was doing the right thing by making two payments during November, the bank reverses this fee as a gesture of goodwill. From then on, Emilia makes sure she always makes at least one of her payments after the due date on her statement to avoid further issues.

How to plan your budget

Spending over your credit limit by a couple of dollars isn’t going to cost you, but financial institutions will still charge when you miss a payment. What’s more, missing credit card payments can impact your chances of getting approved for other types of finance such as a home loan or a car loan. Make the most of smart credit card features such as autopayments to make sure your repayments are always on time.

Pictures: Shutterstock

Back to top

More guides on Finder

  • Bank Australia Commercial Visa credit card

    Designed to help you track business spending, this Bank Australia credit card offers cards for employees and interest-free days on purchases.

  • Brighte Personal Loan

    Looking to renovate your home? Find out more about Brighte's personal loan for home improvements and ways in which it may be able to benefit you.

  • Defence Bank Foundation Credit Card

    This card gives you a way to support a program that matches rescue dogs with veterans in need and enjoy a low interest rate on all your spending.

  • Diners Club Business Card

    The Diners Club Business Card can be used to earn points per $1 with over 35 million merchants – including Officeworks, Qantas and Woolworths.

  • Frequent Flyer Diners Club card

    Diners Club isn’t as widely accepted as other cards, but you can still earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 at major retailers with this card.

  • Diners Club Personal Card

    Diners Club offers a competitive rewards program, travel and shopping perks and can be used at businesses including Coles, Woolworths and Target.

  • Illawarra Credit Union Low Rate credit card

    The Illawarra Credit Union Low Rate credit card gives you simple features, mobile payments and a $0 annual fee in the first year.

  • ebroker Business Loans review

    Whatever your business loan requirement, ebroker may be able to help. With a range of loan options from over 70 bank and non-bank lenders compared on-site, could you find the right loan for your business?

  • Credit cards vs buy now pay later

    Both buy now pay later plans and credit cards give you ways to pay off purchases over time – here's how they compare.

  • Now Finance Secured Personal Loan review

    Get rewarded for an excellent credit score with a Now Finance personalised rate secured personal loan. Rates vary between 5.95% p.a. and 15.45% p.a. Apply today.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

One Response

  1. Default Gravatar
    EricMay 28, 2010

    NOTE on the NAB fees – payments on your credit card are only accepted between the statement issue date and the due date. Any payments made outside this narrow date range are not counted toward your minimum monthly payment!! In my case I am paid fortnightly, which of course does not correspond to any particular monthly date, and I pay roughly half the due amount then. Consequently the NAB will charge me a “late fee” although I have paid more than the monthly fee requested!! So much for “a fairer banking system with more give and less take”!!!

Credit Cards Comparison

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Citi Rewards Card - Exclusive Offer
21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 30 months
$49 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Finder Exclusive
Save on interest with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 30 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a $49 first-year annual fee and Citi Rewards.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
0% for 12 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0
Finder Exclusive. Ends 29 October 2020
Save on new and existing interest charges with 0% interest on both balance transfers and purchases for the first 12 months.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
20.74% p.a.
$249
Enjoy 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 50 bonus Status Credits and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year. Ends 4 November 2020.
Citi Rewards Card - $500 Voucher Offer
21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$99 annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
Get a $500 e-voucher to spend at Myer, JB Hi-Fi or Coles when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, earn points with the Citi Rewards Program.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

Go to site