Does a Creditor Have to Notify You Before They Charge Your Credit Card?

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You might have opened your credit card statement to find charges you know you didn't authorize. While there are some things, like recurring payments, that private companies can charge you for, creditors cannot charge your credit card without your authorization.


When you sign an authorization agreement allowing a company to charge your credit card, you are often giving them permission to correct any errors. For example, if XYZ Co. finds it accidentally charged you $5 when you should have been charged $45, it can legally make a change to collect the right amount due.

Recurring Charges

You may have accidentally agreed to allow a creditor to charge your credit card on a continual basis. When the company collects your credit card information they may put in the fine print that you are agreeing to pay on a continual basis. Always read fine print carefully.

Collection of Outstanding Debt

Creditors cannot charge your credit card without your authorization. Credit card companies generally don't accept other credit cards as payments anyways. And creditors/collection agencies must go through the proper channels--court--before they can collect without asking. But they are more likely to collect from your bank account or garnish your wages than charging your credit card.