Available Balance Definition

The available balance on a credit card is the difference between the maximum credit amount and the current balance owed. For example, on a credit card with a maximum credit amount ("credit limit") of $5,000 and a current balance of $2,250, the available balance would be the difference, or $2,750; in other words, an addition $2,750 could be charged to the card before over-limit fees would accrue.

Care should be exercised when approaching a credit card’s maximum credit amount, because periodic finance charges or other fees might unexpectedly cause the account to exceed the credit limit.

The available balance for a bank account is simply the amount of money remaining in the account which can be freely utilized by the account holder. For credit unions, this is usually less than the full account balance as credit unions require a nominal minimum account balance-usually about $25. For example, a credit union savings account with an account balance of $2,050 would have an available balance of $2,025.