Millionaires Don’t Worry About This Credit Card Number

Key points
Only 26% of millionaires consider interest rates the most important factor in choosing a credit card, compared to 40% of Americans with a net worth of under $1 million.
If you pay your credit card’s full statement balance every month, you won’t be charged interest.
Interest rates only matter if you need to carry a balance, in which case you should get a card with a 0% intro APR.
Check out our picks for the best credit cards

When you’re shopping around for a new credit card, there are many factors you can use to compare them and make your pick. Sign-up bonuses. Annual fees. Rewards rates, meaning the amount of cash back, points, or miles a card earns. Spending credits.

Americans at every level of wealth use credit cards, but it turns out that the wealthiest often prioritize different factors when choosing a card. In The Ascent’s recent study on how rich Americans use credit cards, there was one number in particular that millionaires were far less likely to worry about.

Little interest in interest rates
Millionaires pay much less attention to a credit card’s interest rate, or APR (annual percentage rate). When asked about the most important factor in choosing a new credit card, 40% of Americans with a net worth under $1 million chose the interest rate. Only 26% of millionaires said the same. They’re also more likely than non-millionaires to prioritize rewards rates and sign-up bonuses.

Save: This credit card has one of the longest intro 0% interest periods around

More: Save while you pay off debt with one of these top-rated balance transfer credit cards

This makes sense when you consider that you only get charged credit card interest if you carry a balance. If you pay off your card’s statement balance in full every month, the card issuer doesn’t charge interest on your purchases. In that case, the interest rate on your credit card doesn’t matter, because you’re never getting charged interest.

It’s presumably easier for millionaires to pay their credit card bills in full. Since they have more money saved, it stands to reason that they’re less likely to carry a balance.

But interestingly enough, only about a third of millionaires actually followed that habit. Here’s how often millionaires reported that they pay their credit card’s statement balance:

33.07% pay it every month
22.20% pay it not every month, but often
24.80% pay it a few times per year
19.93% pay it almost never
Over 40% are carrying a balance, and getting charged interest, more often than not. For those millionaires that do carry a balance, interest rates should be a priority.

Does your credit card’s interest rate matter?
Even though your credit card’s interest rate seems important, it might not be. If you always pay the full statement balance, your card’s interest rate doesn’t matter. You’ll never be charged interest, so it won’t come into play.

This is a great habit to follow, because you can take advantage of the perks that top credit cards offer, like rewards and building your credit. And you’ll do that while avoiding the drawbacks, namely credit card debt and expensive interest charges.

The only time credit card interest rates matter is when you can’t pay off your balance. In this situation, your best bet is to avoid interest charges entirely with a 0% intro APR card. This type of credit card has a 0% APR for an introductory period, such as 12 or 15 months. The intro APR may apply to purchases, balance transfers, or both.

So, if you have some big purchases to make and you know you’ll need some time to pay them off, get a card with a 0% intro APR on purchases. If you’re currently paying down debt, check out balance transfer credit cards that you can use to refinance that debt at a 0% intro APR.

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