In today's world of identify theft and shady business practices, checking your credit card statements for accuracy is becoming increasingly important. Many people will take a glance at the charges or the minimum amount due, but forget to check other important areas of the statement. This can be an expensive mistake to make. Luckily, learning how to thoroughly check your credit card statements is easy.
Get access to your credit card statement. Your credit card company will send a monthly statement, and some companies also provide online access. Go to the credit card company website and look for the registration link. You will be asked to provide information to prove your identity and enter in the credit card number and expiration date, but the registration process is quick and easy. After you register, simply login to the credit card online banking section of the site and look for the “Statements” link.
Check the purchases and credits. Save receipts from all the charges you made for the month so you can compare the receipts to the amounts showing on your statement. Being overcharged or even double-charged is a possibility, and it is your responsibility to ensure the amount you are being billed for is the exact amount you charged. Make sure the appropriate amount was credited to your account if you returned anything or had charges reversed.
Check the fees. If you carry a balance on your account, you will see a finance charge. Typically there is a different interest rate for purchases than for cash advances or balance transfers. Make sure the finance charge amount is correct. Also, if you were charged any extra fees, for late payments or something else, make sure that these items are correct and dispute any fees you feel are unfair.
Check the APR. APR stands for annual percentage rate and is the interest rate for the account. This number can change frequently, especially if you are late on payments. If you notice your APR increasing, call the company right away to negotiate a lower rate.
Check the minimum amount due and the due date. If you do not have an automatic payment method set up, set one up to ensure you are not late on any payments. If you do not like the time of month your due date falls on, call the company to see if it can change the due date for next month's billing cycle.
Save the statement for future reference. Although online access makes checking your credit card statement easy and convenient, having a hard copy of your statement may come in handy and can also allow for quick reference should the need arise. If you are unsure of how to check your credit card statement online, call the company and ask the representative to walk you through the process over the phone.
Check your credit card statement each month. Not checking it even for one month may cause you to miss serious errors.
- Bankrate.com: Guide to Reading Your Monthly Statement
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Regulation Z § 1026.5 General Disclosure Requirements." Accessed Nov. 30, 2019.
- Wells Fargo. "How to Read Your Credit Card Statement." Accessed Nov. 30, 2019.
- Federal Trade Commission. "Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 Sec C. 171. Limits on Interest Rate, Fee, and Finance Charge Increases Applicable to Outstanding Balances." Accessed Nov. 30, 2019.
- Discover. "What Does It Mean When My Credit Card Payment is Past Due?" Accessed Nov. 30, 2019.
- Legal Information Institute. “15 U.S. Code § 1681c. Requirements Relating to Information Contained in Consumer Reports.” Accessed Nov. 30, 2019.
- Federal Trade Commission. "Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 Sec. 201. Payoff Timing Disclosures." Accessed Nov. 30, 2019.
- Federal Trade Commission. "Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 Sec. 101 Protection of Credit Cardholders." Accessed Nov. 30, 2019.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Regulation Z § 1026.7 Periodic Statement." Accessed Nov. 30, 2019.
Elizabeth Wolfenden has been a professional freelance writer since 2005 with articles published on a variety of blogs and websites. She specializes in the areas of nutrition, health, psychology, mental health and education. Wolfenden holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in counseling from Oakland University.