Let's say I have a debt of $50.

Let's say I don't pay for my credit card debts. Next month they will charge me interest upon the money I should have paid ($50 + interest).

Now let's say I pay more than I should for it, for example $75. Then Next month they will charge me -$25.

Should not they owe me $25 with the same interest they charge from me since I was the one who loaned them some money??

  • 6
    Once upon a time, people used to overpay their credit card to create a negative balance, and the computers would calculate interest and credit their balances at a rate of 1.5% per month or whatever. However, the issuing banks fixed the problem pretty quickly, and nowadays your credit card agreement might even say explicitly that you don't earn interest if you overpay your account. So, while it may seem eminently fair to you that they should pay you interest at the same rate that they want to charge you, it is not going to happen. Life is unfair. Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 16:15
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    +1 Dilip. Your comment is precise. I urge to to turn this into an answer (perhaps with a reference or two about card T&C) Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 17:28
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    They're not going to pay you interest at the same rate that you pay them interest in part because they aren't taking the money as an unsecured dischargable-in-bankruptcy loan and spending it all over town (thus presenting the risk you'll never get paid back.)
    – user296
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 17:36
  • 1
    They will never let you be in this position for long. After a few months they will cut you a check. It is not uncommon to have a credit, that can occur if you return an item between the billing date and the payment date. Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 18:26
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    @ClayKaboom, please read your credit card terms and conditions as already stated above.
    – Victor
    Commented Mar 10, 2012 at 0:14

1 Answer 1


A credit card is essentially a contract where they will loan you money in an on demand basis. It is not a contract for you to loan them money.

The money that you have overpaid is generally treated as if it is a payment for a charge that you have made that has not been processed yet. The bank can not treat that money as a deposit and thus leverage it make money them selves.

You can open an account and get a debit card. This would allow you to accrue interest for your deposit while using your money. But if you find one willing to pay you 25% interest please share with the rest of us :)

  • 1
    You could even try to get an account with debit card and a linked overdraft line-of-credit loan, which would in theory operate somewhat like a credit card. ... Actually, that's a sorta interesting idea from several points of view; lemme open a separate question about that.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jun 13, 2015 at 14:39

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