Keeping track of your own credit card transactions can be a tedious process. Fortunately, you don’t have to do the work yourself. Every month, your credit card company will send you an account statement with all the information you need to know about your credit card account.
Your credit card account statement is important and necessary for maintaining your credit card account, giving it a good reputation, and ensuring that you only pay for the costs that you charge to your account. Make sure you read through it every month so that you know what happens with your credit card account.
What is a credit card account statement?
An account statement is a periodic statement that includes all purchases, payments, and other credit and debits made to your credit card account within the cycle. Your credit card company sends your account statement approximately once a month.
While your credit card statement can be a few pages long and full of information, it is important that you read every line. At the very least, check your balance, minimum payment, and the list of transactions on your account.
What is on the account statement?
Your account overview lists everything you need to know about your credit card account and more. It contains:
- Your balance from the previous billing cycle
- The minimum payment is due
- The payment due date
- Late fee that will be charged if you pay late
- A summary and a detailed list of payments, credits, purchases, balance transfers, cash advances, fees, interest, and other debits in your account
- A breakdown of the nature of the balances in your account and the interest and interest costs for each
- Your credit limit and available credit
- The number of days in your invoice period
- Total amount of interest and costs paid year-to-date
- Contact your credit card company for information
- Rewards earned or redeemed, if applicable
Your credit card statement will include a minimum payment disclosure stating the amount of time it takes to pay your balance if you only make the minimum payment and the total amount that you ultimately pay. It will also include the monthly payment required to pay your balance in three years. This information is useful for figuring out the best way to pay from your credit card balance.
Your credit card account statement also includes a late payment warning that tells you the impact of sending your payment late – usually a late payment and penalty interest increase.
There will be a phone number that you can call if you have problems with making payments would like more information about credit counseling.
When is your account statement to come?
Your account statement will be sent at the end of each billing cycle to the postal address on file with your credit card company.
Law requires that credit card extracts be sent at least 21 days before the due date, so that you have time to make your credit card payment on time and avoid having financial burdens if a grace period applies to your balance sheet.
If you have signed up for paperless billing, which means that you view your credit card statements online instead of receiving a mailed paper statement, you will let an e-mail know that your invoice is available to view online. Paperless statements are simply electronic versions of your post-sent statement. To view your paperless statement, log into your online credit card account and look for a link to your statement.
Many credit card issuers make invoices available online, even if you have not signed up for paperless invoicing. You will probably need a PDF reader to view the paperless version of your account statement. The statement that you download online is an exact version of the one that you had received in the mail.
Make sure your credit card company has your correct mailing or email address so that you receive your credit card statements or email alerts related to your statement.
Do you receive a statement when your card is closed?
You will still receive a monthly invoice on a closed account until you have paid your credit card balance. When you close your account, you are still responsible for making regular monthly payments and you can still have an amount in interest and costs on your outstanding balance. However, you will not be able to incur additional costs on your account.
Check your account statement even if your account is closed to ensure that the transactions are correct and that your payments have been applied correctly.
What to do if there are errors on your account statement?
One of the main reasons for a thorough evaluation of your credit card is to check that everything is correct. If you have a billing address error on the spot, you have the right to dispute with the credit card company. But, you must make the dispute within 60 days that the credit card statement was emailed to you.
Many credit card issuers will resolve your dispute if you just call. However, to protect your rights under the Fair Credit Billing Act, you must send a letter stating your dispute. This way you have proof that you are disputing the billing error if the credit card company does not resolve the problem and you have to complain to a government agency (such as the CfPB) or prosecute your credit card company. It is ok to start the process with a phone call and then follow up with a letter.
All transactions are not listed on your account statement.
Your account statement only contains account activity in your billing cycle. Transactions made before or after the start and end of the cycle will not appear on your account statement. Check the top of your credit card statement for the cycle dates.
You can log in to your online account to have a list of transactions that have been posted on your account since the billing statement was made. You should look for a copy of a previous credit card statement if you need to see a transaction that took place before the cycle for your current credit card statement. To create an online account, go to the website of the credit card company and look for a registration link. Once you set up a username and password, you will be able to log in at any time to view your account details or make a payment.
What if you do not receive an account statement?
You may not receive an account statement if your balance is zero and there was no activity on your account within the previous billing cycle. If your credit card company has your correct address, for example you recently moved and have not given your new address to your credit card company, you cannot receive an account statement.
For new credit card accounts, it may take several weeks to receive your first statement, longer depending on when the first transaction messages appear on your account.
Call your credit card company if you do not receive a credit card statement for a particular month, especially if a payment may be due.