Unfortunately, many credit card users don’t have a real appreciation for—or interest in—their credit card statement, and may even throw it in the recycling bin unopened. Yet, understanding your credit card statement can play a crucial role in managing debt and ensuring you’re not the victim of fraud.
Here we break down the basics of credit card statements and which details to look out for when you review your statements each month.
Simply put, a credit card statement is a record of all your transactions for your statement period. Transactions can include everything from purchases to returns to recurring payments.
Aside from your transactions, a credit card statement also has important additional information, including:
Your credit card statement is issued once a month. You can choose to receive a paper credit card statement by mail or an e-statement via email.
It may be possible to request a change in your statement issue date—say, if you want to coordinate the dates with other debt payments—but the decision is up to your credit card provider. Still, it never hurts to ask.
While it doesn’t make for scintillating reading, reviewing your credit card statements will help you stay on top of your money flow and catch any fraudulent charges. Here are some key things to look out for:
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Sandra MacGregor has been writing about personal finance, investing and credit cards for over a decade. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications like the New York Times, the UK Telegraph, the Washington Post, Forbes.com and the Toronto Star. You can follow her on Twitter at @MacgregorWrites.