Do Credit Card Statements Show What You Bought?

by Sam Ashe-Edmunds

When you use a credit card, you get an online or paper statement that includes a listing of the transaction you made that billing cycle, but not a description of the items you bought. The statement’s description of the transaction might make it obvious what you purchased, but doesn’t always provide details such as the exact product or service.

Purchase Details

A credit card statement includes a brief description of each transaction, the date, the name of company with which you did business and the amount charged. Some transaction descriptions may be obvious, while others may require you to think back or even contact the company that billed you. If you purchased an item online or from a small local business, for example, you might not recognize the name of the business when your statement arrives, because the transaction doesn’t tell what you bought.

Other Information

In addition to showing your purchases, a credit card statement lists the total amount you owe based on the type of transaction. For example, your statement might show the total amount you owe for purchases, cash advances and balance transfers. The statement also shows the interest you’ve been charged for those totals and the interest rate for each category. For example, you might pay 10 percent interest on purchases, 20 percent interest on cash advances and 0 percent on recent balance transfers.

About the Author

Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.