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The Chase Credit Card Late Fee In Plain English

Credit card companies do lots of things that don't seem to make sense. For example, they'll charge you late fees when it's clear you might not be able to pay them. If you could make the payment, you wouldn't be marked as "late" in the first place!

But none of this common-sense logic makes a difference here. The bottom line is that credit card lenders make money from this process. They accumulate more and more fees from this initial late fee so that once you do catch a financial break, you'll owe all that money to the company.

With this in mind, it's important as a credit card user to be ahead of the game. If you are a Chase cardholder, you'll need to understand the ins and outs of the Chase credit card late fee. This way, you can protect yourself from falling into a vicious cycle of debt and fees.

The good news is that we're here to help. We're on your side when it comes to getting through the credit card process as unscathed as possible.  Furthermore, you can actually get these late fees refunded by negotiating directly with the bank or using auto-negotiation platforms like Harvest.  Keep reading for some of our most important pointers about the late fee for Chase credit cards.

How Much is the Chase Credit Card Late Fee?

For some popular Chase credit cards, like Chase Sapphire, the late fee is $39. Other cards at Chase might have tiers of fees, with a smaller fee for below a certain amount and a higher fee above it. This general amount of $39 is actually the highest legal amount a credit card can charge for a late fee, though most companies hover around that range anyway. But this isn't the only cost to consider.

After you get a late fee, you will have to continue to pay interest at the interest rate in your cardholder agreement until you can pay it back in full. If something has been stopping you from being able to pay your credit card minimum in the first place, chances are you won't be able to pay this late fee right away either.

When you get your next bill, Chase will likely add your late fee to the minimum monthly payment, making it larger than usual. This isn't a definite, as we'll explain in the next section, but it is something to consider.  It is strongly recommended that you thoroughly read your credit card disclaimer to find out for sure.

How Does the Chase Credit Card Late Fee Impact Future Payments?

Chase charges you a monthly minimum credit card payment in two possible ways. One possible minimum would be a set dollar value, like $35 for the Chase Freedom card. The other method of calculation is to add together a small percentage of your new balance, the interest charges, and any late fees.

When is the Second Method Used?

The method Chase goes with is always the one that results in the higher minimum. So if the second method of calculation results in a number higher than $35 (or whatever the usual minimum might be on your Chase card), you'll pay according to that method. Because the typical late fee for Chase cards is $39, a late fee will usually mean you have to pay using the calculation rather than the set amount.

This means if you've been used to paying the set amount every month, your next month's bill after a late payment may come as a bit of a shock. It'll be not only your new late fee but also your interest charges and percentage of your latest balance that you'll need to pay off.

A Cycle of Extra Fees

This punishment by fee-raising can kick off a vicious cycle. If you can't make your new minimum payment on the next bill, you'll once again face a late fee. These combined late fees will generate more interest, and they'll make the next payment even harder to make.

In the meantime, this whole process can also affect your credit score and lead to trouble making your normal credit card payments. This could lead to tricky situations where you might feel pressured to take out a loan to preserve your credit score. If you're trying to rent an apartment or buy a car, a low credit score could mean higher security deposits or other fees.

And if your late fees are preventing you from paying off the bill itself, you'll be paying a lot more interest than you would otherwise.  Don't forget also that some credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, come with an annual fee as well.  All of these factors can compound to wreak havoc on your personal finances.

When Would a Chase Credit Card Late Fee Occur?

The Chase late payment fee occurs when you don't make the minimum monthly payment by a certain time and date. The date is usually the same every month, and it's technically the last day of the "grace period" between your credit card bill and the last day it's due. You can make a payment online, by mail, or by money order.

If you make a payment and see that it's been recognized as "posted," don't relax just yet. The payment doesn't go through until it's marked as "credited," and this is what determines whether your payment was late or not.

When you're paying online, you have until 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) on your due date for a payment to count as on-time, but you might get scared if you make that payment after 8:00 pm. This is because payments after 8:00 pm will only go through the next day, not the same day, and you'll receive a late fee—but it won't last! Within one to two days, Chase will remove the fee.

Keep in mind that this timing is all using Eastern Standard Time. If you're in a later time zone (say, if midnight EST is only 9:00 pm your time), you'll need to remember to pay earlier than you might expect.

When Would This Affect Your Credit Report?

As we mentioned earlier, a late fee for a Chase credit card can lower your credit score. But this doesn't happen immediately. Chase only starts reporting payments as past-due once they're at least 30 days past the due date.

If you're in this in-between time period after you've received a late fee but before this additional 30 days, a payment could save you from a bad credit report.

How To Avoid Late Fees

The best way to save yourself from this web of fees and charges is to avoid late fees in the first place. We know this is easier said than done, but there are a few things you can try:

Rid Yourself of Fees Altogether

Knowing about the Chase credit card late fee is the first step in protecting yourself from unwelcome surprises. Remember that even getting one late fee can lead to a slippery slope of extra charges and debt. This is a system carefully designed to generate a substantial amount of fees and interest from JPMorgan Chase customers (and any other credit card issuer) as possible.

If you're finding yourself saddled with Chase late fees that you can't seem to get rid of, we might be able to help.  Our auto-negotiate system helps get refunds automatically and combined with our comprehensive financial health platform, we've figured out ways to keep people and their money together.

About the Author

Harvest helps increase the net worth of the 99% through artificial intelligence and financial automation. To date, Harvest has refunded over $2M in bank fees and interest charges to its members with the ultimate goal of increasing the net worth of everyday Americans by $1 trillion by 2030. Our platform starts with providing immediate relief through bank fee and interest charge refunds, orients a member's financial health with our proprietary PRO Index, and keeps track of net worth over time aided by our suite of financial tools. Check out our 8-step guide on "How to Build Wealth from Nothing" to get started on increasing your net worth.

Disclaimer: Harvest is not providing financial advice. The content presented does not reflect the view of the Issuing Banks and is presented for general education and informational purposes only. Please consult with a qualified professional for financial advice.