Credit Card Guide

What Is Max Late Fee?

13 January 2013 by CreditCardsCo™

A late fee is something that is assessed to your card when you miss a payment. Sometimes, your card could have a grace period after the expiration of which your late fee will come. In most cases, there is a limit to how much your credit card issuer can charge you in late fees.

If you miss a payment on your credit card, the issuer of the card might issue you a late fee. If you have a grace period, you might get a little more freedom, but in most cases there is likely a limit to how many late fees that can be assessed to you.

Credit cards and fees go hand in hand. Fees are designed to keep consumers on track, motivating you, for instance to send in your payment on time in order to avoid a late charge. There are several factors that go into determining how fees are assessed.

If you know that you missed a payment on your credit card, you might start to worry that your credit card company will issue you some kind of a fee. You should know, however, that this is not necessarily always the case as some credit cards have a generous grace period that must expire before your fee will kick in. This serves as a bit of a buffer in case of any mishaps that might have occurred.

Grace Period

Some credit cards have a grace period for receiving your monthly payment. Credit card companies know that there are occasional snags with payment:

  • Lost in the mail
  • Server goes down
  • Other online problems
  • You simply forgot or overlooked the date

While it is always your responsibility to make sure that your bills are paid on time, accidents can happen. Sometimes there are several obstacles that prevent you from making a prompt payment.

This is why some credit cards provide a grace period for making your payment before drastic changes are made to your account. Some cards give you a few weeks while others might give you up to 60 days to make your payment. In most cases, as long as you make your payment, or contact the credit card issuer within a reasonable amount of time you can avoid getting an unnecessary fee.

Maximum Late Fee

If the situation arises that you are going to be charged a late fee, there are regulations in place that prevent credit card companies from seriously overcharging you. Typically, this means that you will be assessed a late fee that can be no greater than your minimum payment. Basically, your maximum late fee cannot exceed the minimum payment on your credit card, which makes it a little bit easier to catch up if you do indeed fall behind.

Optional Charges

The late fee is used as a deterrent for irresponsible credit. If you consistently make your payment on time, you have proven that you are a responsible credit user. This can often earn you a little more leeway than other people who may have difficulty making regular payments. Because of this it is possible to have a late fee waived, simply because you have proven yourself to be a good credit risk. When you are a good credit risk, credit card companies want you as a customer so they will often do little things like waive fees in order to keep you happy!


There is a maximum amount of money that your credit card company can charge you for a making a late payment. You do not have to worry about that, though, if your card has a fair grace period, you make your payments on time, and you are a good credit customer.

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