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I wanted to pay off my credit card, and at the "Select Payment Option" screen at my bank presents the following options:

=============

  • MINIMUM ($163.00)

  • MINIMUM PLUS PAST DUE ($163.00)

  • TWICE PAYMENT DUE ($326.00)

  • STATEMENT BALANCE ($9,340.56)

  • PAY IN FULL ($9,426.81)

  • FULL BALANCE DUE ($9,316.93)

  • CUSTOM

================

So, I'd like to know detailed difference between these 3:

  • STATEMENT BALANCE ($9,340.56)
  • PAY IN FULL ($9,426.81)
  • FULL BALANCE DUE ($9,316.93)

and why their numbers are all different. Aren't these the same things (especially STATEMENT BALANCE and FULL BALANCE DUE)? When I pay my credit cards at other banks, I don't see as many options.

Thank you

4
  • 2
    Have you considered asking the provider?
    – littleadv
    Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 23:47
  • 4
    I have asked the bank. While I am waiting for their response, I asked here as well since that's not against the rules and since bank reps can give wildly inaccurate answers, from my personal experience, so it makes sense to source knowledge from several places. Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 23:57
  • 1
    It would help to know what bank it is and in what country...
    – littleadv
    Commented Dec 14, 2022 at 0:00
  • If you intend to continue to use your credit card after you've paid it off, make sure you pay it off in a way that restores the interest-free grace period (assuming it has one).
    – Brian
    Commented Dec 14, 2022 at 14:28

2 Answers 2

20

You might want to wait for a confirmation from your bank, but my experience with a couple of credit unions was this:

STATEMENT BALANCE ($9,340.56)

This was the total balance as posted on the last statement that was issued to you (a specific date in the past).

FULL BALANCE DUE ($9,316.93)

This is the total balance as posted right now, on the date of the query. It being less than the statement balance shows that you've made a payment, or maybe there was a refund or another type of credit that posted on your account since the statement date.

PAY IN FULL ($9,426.81)

This is what you actually owe. This is the current balance due + interest accrued, but not yet posted. The accrued interest will post at the next statement date. I've only encountered this option with one credit union I used for a loan, never with any of my credit cards.

21
  • Likewise, I've never seen the "Pay in full" option, only "Statement balance" and "Full balance due" options--and sometimes the latter doesn't even appear. (I wanted to pay the card to $0, I could figure out the full balance number but the website wouldn't allow me to pay more than the statement balance.) Commented Dec 14, 2022 at 4:25
  • 2
    I thought about it more and realized that I never actually paid any interest on any of my credit cards, so may be if I carry balance with non-zero APR it would show up? Not worth the money to experiment though :-D
    – littleadv
    Commented Dec 14, 2022 at 4:31
  • 1
    Good point, that might be why I've never seen it, either. Commented Dec 14, 2022 at 4:33
  • 2
    If you do a cash withdrawal and wait one day, you'll get to see it.
    – Nelson
    Commented Dec 14, 2022 at 6:54
  • 1
    @Nelson: Cash advance certainly falls into the category of "Not worth the money to experiment" -- you'd not only owe interest but also fees.
    – Ben Voigt
    Commented Dec 14, 2022 at 15:34
9

@littleadv was very close, but it's a little more idiosyncratic (I have not made a payment yet, and there were no refunds). As I anticipated, my bank's first rep who answered my email was clueless and failed to even mention Full Balance Due despite that being the biggest part of my well-written question to the bank.

I demanded escalation, and here is the response from the second rep:

To clarify the 3 payment options you are inquiring about, the full balance due is the starting statement balance. The starting statement balance is any purchases made during the statement period (10/22-11/21) and other purchases and interest that carried over from the previous statement period (9/22-10/21). The statement balance is the starting balance minus payments made during the period, plus purchases and interest over the period. Pay in full is the option to pay the current amount of interest accrued. Which is the statement balance plus interest accrued since the closing date of the statement period.

So, basically, the crux of the problem is their confusing nomenclature for Full Balance Due. Despite its name leading folks (me included) to believe that it is more significant than the Statement Balance, it's actually less than that -- it's just the Statement Balance, but without the payments and interest that occurred during the statement period.

Here is a visual aid I created for myself:

(It contains no purchases because I haven't made any on that card in a long time.)

visual scheme

I've never seen other banks use Full Balance Due, and I am not sure what its purpose is (especially with the name like that) other then sowing confusion, apparently even amongst the lower-level reps of my bank. With my other banks, it's always just these simple four: Minimum Due, Statement Balance, Pay in Full, and Custom.

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