I sign up a credit card that has 0%APR for 12 months (plus some cash sign up bonus for spending certain amount in the first few months), and will use it for the purpose of purchasing flight tickets (about 1200~1300 dollars) for an international travel in summer.

I could afford to pay it off completely in the next month. However I am wondering if it makes sense to pay minimum for 11 months and the remaining in the last month to take max advantage for the sign up bonus, or does doing this hurt the credit score by a lot?

  • It depends on what you're doing with the money you could use to pay it off. Is it generating interest/reducing interest ? If not I would just pay it off
    – xyious
    Mar 4, 2019 at 16:54
  • @xyious it will just be in saving account(s) with 2~2.5% interest
    – user67084
    Mar 4, 2019 at 18:18
  • That's still $20, so assuming you don't forget to pay off the credit card (I'm not sure if you could just schedule a payment now for 12 months in advance) you should probably keep it
    – xyious
    Mar 4, 2019 at 18:26

2 Answers 2


It can impact your score. If you keep a $1,200 balance on your credit card and only pay the minimum each month, that $1,200 is only slowing going down. That means that you can count on that $1,200 being part of your utilization score. If that $1,200 balance means that you will be utilizing a large percentage of your total credit lines, then your score will be lower until you bring the utilization number to a more reasonable level.

The good news about the utilization percentage is that it isn't sticky, the the month after you get rid of the debt, and your utilization percentage is good, the portion of your score due to utilization goes back to normal.

So if you don't have a need for any more loans during the period you are slowly paying off the debt, then the temporary lower score isn't a concern.


The banks put the 0% offers out in the hopes that you will get in the habit of making minimum payments and keeping am active balance on your card. It is in their interest for you to form that habit. If you want to increase your credit score, form habits that make the banks money. If you want to become wealthy, form habits that make you money.

  • 2
    This does not really answer the question.
    – Nosjack
    Mar 4, 2019 at 20:21
  • Actually if you want to increase your credit score here you would pay it off to lower the utilization ratio, which is the opposite of what you said... I appreciate the cynicism though!
    – Joe S
    Mar 4, 2019 at 21:48
  • 2
    It is not that simple. Some actions are good for credit score and for you.
    – Aganju
    Mar 4, 2019 at 23:16

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