Most credit card companies in the US do not charge any interest on any purchases if you pay at least the statement balance every month. E.g. you effectively get between 25 and 30+25 days of interest free grace period, depending on where in the billing cycle the purchase was made.

For example, this is what "Quicksilver From Capital One" currently says under #disclosures:

Your due date is at least 25 days after the close of each billing cycle. We will not charge you interest on new purchases, provided you have paid your previous balance in full by the due date each month. We will begin charging interest on cash advances on the transaction date.

However, what happens if you buy something in one statement, but then return it the next one, and the refund posts before the payment due date for the prior statement?

Do you still have to pay full statement balance of the previous statement to avoid being charged interest, even if some purchases have been refunded prior to the payment being due?

What about other account credits or adjustments?

  • 1
    This happened to me. I always pay my balances in full. In this case, I made a big purchase, got my new statement, returned the item and it posted before the due date. I paid for the statement balance minus the return. They charged me interested and expected me to go negative. Makes absolutely no sense. Chase doesn't do this FYI. They apply returns to your statement balance.
    – Marlon
    Commented Aug 31, 2020 at 21:25

2 Answers 2


Generally speaking, if a purchased item has been returned for credit or some other adjustment (e.g. you choose to apply a "Rewards" amount to your account instead of getting a "$8 will get you a $10 gift card for Starbucks") results in a credit to your account that gets posted on or before the due date of your most recent monthly statement, then you can pay the statement balance less the credit by the due date and still have it count as "monthly statement balance paid in full by due date."

  • 2
    Note, however, that if your "minimum due" is less than your statement balance, a refund or credit might not reduce that minimum. For example, if your statement balance is $300 and your minimum payment is $25, and then you return a $20 sweater and send in a $5 payment, you'll probably get a penalty and/or late fee. Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 20:21

Capital One will charge you interest if you pay less than the statement balance, even if the current balance is less.

  • 4
    Do you have a source for this assertion? Some wording in the credit card agreement, maybe? And if this is your personal experience, have you told us all the details? For example, had you paid the previous month's statement balance in full, or does the current statement balance include finance charges because you had not paid last month's statement balance in full by last month's due date? Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 22:37

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