Everything You Should Know About Your Credit Card Billing Statement

ByG. Dautovic
May 31, 2022

Your billing statement is one of the most important documents you will receive each month. It not only shows your account balance and recent activity but also provides essential information about your account terms and conditions. Our article will explain everything about your credit card statement and its features. 

What is a Credit Card Statement?

A credit card statement is a document that credit card issuers send to their customers every month, summarizing the charges made to the account during that period.

The statement also provides other important information such as the current balance, minimum payment due, and rewards earned. Understanding your billing statement can help you keep track of your spending, avoid late payments and spot any potential fraudulent activity.

What Does a Billing Statement Look Like?

Here are a few things to keep in mind when reviewing your monthly credit card billing statement:

Account Balance: This is the total amount you owe on your credit card for the current billing period. It includes any new charges, payments, and interest charges posted to your account during the period. 

An account balance differs from a statement balance, which is the balance on your account after considering any payments, interest, or credit issued since your last statement.

Minimum Monthly Payment: This is the minimum amount you must pay by the due date to keep your account in good standing. The minimum monthly payment is typically a percentage of your account balance, plus any interest and fees accrued.

Due Date: The statement of a credit card includes the date by which your minimum payment must be received to avoid late fees and penalties.

Credit Limit: This is the maximum amount you are allowed to charge on your credit card in a given billing period.

Available Credit: This is the difference between your credit limit and your current account balance. It represents the amount of credit you have available to use.

APR: This is the annual percentage rate charged on your outstanding balance. It is important to note that the APR can vary depending on the type of purchase you make (e.g., cash advances have a higher APR than purchases).

Grace Period: This is the period of time during which you can avoid paying interest on new purchases. If you carry a balance on your credit card, you will start accruing interest charges at the end of the grace period.

Rewards Points: This is the total number of rewards points you have earned through your credit card. These points can typically be redeemed for travel, merchandise, or cash back rewards, and the credit card bank statement always shows them.

Fees: This section lists any fees that have been charged to your account during the current billing period. This can include annual membership fees, late payment fees, and cash advance fees.

When Will You Get a Billing Statement?

Your monthly billing statement summarizes your credit card activity for the billing period. The statement includes information on all of your transactions, your current balance, and any fees that may be due. Your credit card issuer will typically send out your statement around the same time each month. 

According to the Fair Credit Billing Act, credit card billing statements must be sent at least 21 days before the due date to give you time to pay your account on time and avoid finance charges if a grace period applies.

You can also choose to receive a credit card statement, which you can access through your online account. If you opt for paperless statements, you'll still receive a notification when your report is ready for viewing.

What To Do If Your Billing Statement Has Errors?

If you find a billing mistake, you have sixty days from the date of receipt to dispute it with the credit card company.

Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, the credit card issuer must investigate the error and correct any mistakes on your credit card statement. You also have the right to withhold payment on the disputed amount until the investigation is complete. However, you still need to pay any portion of the bill that is not in dispute.

You can typically do this by calling customer service or sending a secure message through your online account. Once the issuer investigates the error, they will correct any mistakes and send you an updated credit card statement. If you have already paid the incorrect amount, you may be refunded for the overpayment.

What Transactions Are Not Listed on Your Billing Statement?

Some transactions may take longer to process and appear on your account activity. For example, if you make a purchase using your credit card and the merchant doesn't immediately submit the transaction for payment, it may not appear on your current billing statement.

Additionally, transactions made in foreign currencies will be converted into US dollars and will appear on the billing statement for a credit card in the currency conversion section. The exchange rate used to convert foreign transactions may be different from the rate in effect at the time of the transaction.

Finally, keep in mind that your credit card company may only send one billing statement per month. So, if you make a lot of purchases with your credit card, you may see some of those transactions carried over to the next month's statement.

When You Will Not Receive a Billing Statement?

Your credit card issuer may choose not to send you a monthly billing statement under certain circumstances. For example, if your account has a zero balance or if you have opted to receive electronic statements instead of paper ones.

If you do not receive your credit card bill, you should contact your credit card issuer to find out why. It is essential to keep track of your account balance and payments, even if you are not receiving monthly statements. You can typically check your account balance and activity online or by giving customer service a call.

Will Your Credit Card Issuer Send You a Billing Statement if Your Credit Card Is Closed?

If your credit card is closed, you will not receive any more credit card statements on that account. Once your account is closed, you will no longer be able to use the card or make any charges.

However, if you have a balance on your account when it is closed, you will still be responsible for paying it off. 

Your credit card issuer may choose to send you a final statement when your account is closed, or they may not. If you do not receive a final statement, you can still request one.

Bottom Line

Your credit card billing statement is an important document that can give you insights into your spending patterns and help you keep track of your payments. Be sure to review it carefully each month and report any discrepancies to your credit card company right away. By understanding everything included in your statement, you can better manage your finances and avoid costly mistakes.

FAQ

When will I receive my first credit card billing statement?

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Your first credit card statement will typically be issued about a month after opening your account. However, some issuers may send you a statement sooner if you have already made charges on your card. If you don't receive your first statement within a month of opening your account, contact your credit card issuer to find out why.

Do you need to keep old credit card statements?

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You don't necessarily need to keep old statements, but it can be helpful to hang on to them for a year or so. This way, you can reference past purchases or track your spending habits over time. Plus, if you ever have any disputes with a credit card company, you may need to provide a credit card statement to support your case.

How can I get my billing statement?

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To get your billing statement, you can either log in to your credit card account online or call customer service. Your billing statement will show all of your recent activity, including purchases, payments, and any fees that may have been charged. You'll also see your current balance and available credit limit.

About author

I have always thought of myself as a writer, but I began my career as a data operator with a large fintech firm. This position proved invaluable for learning how banks and other financial institutions operate. Daily correspondence with banking experts gave me insight into the systems and policies that power the economy. When I got the chance to translate my experience into words, I gladly joined the smart, enthusiastic Fortunly team.

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