How To Read Credit Card Statement?

how to read credit card statement
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There is one email that makes way into your inbox every month. It is not from your ex-partner, and not even from a lucky draw. It’s the credit card statement! The question is – Do you know how to read credit card statement?

It is quite essential as the statement consists of the money you owe to issuer and the due date. But, there is so much more you need to find out on the page.

You may focus on just 3 important piece of data – credit card balance, minimum payment, due date. That is a great start to have. But, there is a lot more you can concentrate on and formulate a great strategy in maximizing what you get out of your credit cards.

Here is a post that covers all the crucial aspects. You might think you know it all, but we will tell you what you have been missing. This could be really important information that you miss time and again. Why? You feel every other page consists of unnecessary details. Monthly check-ins are the right way of keeping track of your budget. Moreover, you can see whether any fraudulent charges and unauthorized purchases have been made or not.

Let’s dive right into the topic and analyze it deeply.

How To Read Credit Card Statement?

 

As a wise consumer, you must check the interest calculation and the amount you need to pay to the credit card issuer.

To understand the credit card statement, take a look at the following sections:

  • Account information – This includes the last four digits of your card and the open and closing date.
  • Account summary – Account summary consists of all the details related to the credits and payments. This section includes the purchases made, the interest rate charged, the balance transfer, and the fees charged. Please remember that the account summary is perhaps the most important section in the credit card statement.
  • Credit line – This signifies the spending limit of the credit card-holder.
  • Credit line available – The exact amount of credit that is expendable/available to the credit card-holder.
  • Points/Rewards Summary – Are you using a rewards credit card? If yes, then you will earn cash back, points, and miles.
  • Credit score (FICO) – The three-digit credit score should be good. This helps you in the long run when you reach out to a lender.
  • Payment due date – You must pay all your dues by the specified date. If not, then the credit card company shall charge a due-date crossing late fee.
  • Interest Charge calculation – It shows details about the Annual Percentage Rate and the interest charges. The interest calculation can be found in this section.
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What The Payment Information Section Explains You?

 

There is a lot of important information in this section. You will get to know about the monthly bill and the new balance here. As a legit credit card user, you will find the following in the payment section:

  • New balance – The New Balance is the amount you have borrowed from the credit card company. This is the amount you need to pay off by the statement close date.
  • Minimum Payment Due – This is the minimum amount you need to pay by the due date. You can choose to pay more than the minimum amount.
  • Payment due date – You must pay all your dues by the specified date. If not, then the credit card company shall charge a due-date crossing late fee.

What The Account Summary Section Explains You?

Many people wish to know the answer to the following question – How to read credit card statement? The key is to know about the important sections.

The account summary section is a comprehensive overview of your expenditure and the amount you owe. Some of the details mentioned in the credit card statement will be in a different order, but you will find all these things within.

  • Account Number
  • Previous Balance
  • Purchases
  • Payment Credit
  • Cash Advances
  • Balance Transfer
  • Fees Charged
  • Interest Charged
  • New Balance
  • Due Amount
  • Available Credit
  • Days in the Billing cycle (usually 30 days)
  • Opening and Closing Date

That’s not all! There are many more sections to look at. However, the account activity summary is one of the most vital sections in the credit card statement. Do not miss out anything when you skim through it.

Let’s find out what the rewards summary section explains to you. Many people look forward to this section simply because EVERY human being loves goodies!

What The Rewards Summary Section Explains You?

This is the section where you will find credit card rewards, miles, or points summary. If yours is a reward credit card, you will be able to collect points, miles, and cash back.

To understand this section, you would need to find the following pointers:

  • Previous Reward Balance – This shows how many rewards you had before this particular billing cycle.
  • Rewards Earned (monthly) – You will get to know about the number of rewards you earned in a particular billing cycle.
  • Bonus Rewards – In case your card has a bonus reward category, you will get to know about the number of rewards you received through the bonus rewards category.
  • Total Rewards Accessible/Available – This basically refers to the new rewards balance. It also mentions the rewards that you earned in this month’s billing cycle.
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How To Spot Statement Credits in Credit Card Statement?

The reason why statement credit matters is that you get some money back from certain purchases. It is akin to picking up free money right from the table.

If you have ever got any cash back, it is due to the statement credit. Instead of providing money or rewards, the credit card company gives some money in your account.

Statement credit shows on your credit card statement as an account activity category or a list of transactions.

Returns

On returning a purchase item you previously bought, you will get money back to your credit card as statement credit. If you have a higher balance than your statement credit, it will get adjusted against existing balance. So, it works the same for both offline and online purchases. When the statement credit happens, you will see a separate entry in your credit card statement with a negative sign and the amount.

Cash back rewards

Many cards now offer cash back rewards. When you redeem cash back rewards, the rewards appear in the form of a statement credit.

Most of the times, you will have multiple choices to redeem credit card points but if you choose to get it as statement credit, you will most probably get 1 cent per point valuation.

As a result, other redemption methods will be better than statement credit. So, decide only after checking all your options.

If you plan to redeem as a statement credit, the amount of rewards redeemed will show up in your account with its equivalent dollar value. Cash back rewards statement credit is helpful to decrease your card balance.

Sign Up Bonus

Most credit cards have a sign up bonus when you apply for a credit card. There will usually be some kind of purchase that you need to do in the first few months of getting the card. Once you satisfy the terms and conditions for the bonus, it will deposit in the form of a statement credit or miles or points depending on the rewards credit card.

How To Read Transaction History In Credit Card Statement?

Checking the transaction history in credit card statement is easy. Always remember that the credit card statement is a comprehensive data. The account activity will showcase the purchases that have been made in the billing cycle. The date of transaction, merchant’s name, and the amount will be mentioned clearly.

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Let’s say you made purchases at a clothing store mid-month, it will reflect in your credit card statement. If you find that any of the transactions are not done by you, one can dispute the transactions. You have 60 days to file the dispute. Make sure you have supporting evidence that the transaction was not done by you at any given point of time.

Any suspicious transaction can be spotted in the account activity section.

How To Spot Fees and Interest Paid in Credit Card Statement?

The account summary section will have the details about the interest and fees.

Account activity consists of the purchase interest charged, cash advance interest charged, and the balance transfer interest charged.

A brief table in the credit card statement showcases how much you have paid so far in fees and interest. This will allow you to monitor your expenses from next month onward.

Also, it serves as a real motivation to pay your credit card debt.

Concluding Thoughts

Just make sure that you become a good reader of credit card statements. Just like anything, once you master the skill of knowing where to look for something, it will take a lot less time.

Credit card statement contains a lot of important details that you cannot overlook. Otherwise, you will have a drop in your credit score in the following month when your statement is cut.

Once you read your credit card statement and find that credit card not helping you reach your goals, you may want to downgrade it to a no fee credit card or cancel the credit card.

We hope that this elaborate post on – How to read credit card statement? – has helped you immensely.

Our goal is to provide you updated and accurate information. Feel free to ask more questions in the comments section. Till then, forward this helpful post to your friends, colleagues, or anyone who is struggling with reading their credit card statement accurately.


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4 thoughts on “How To Read Credit Card Statement?”

  1. Thanks for helping me with reading credit card statement properly. I thought it was easy but I overlooked a lot of information. Good luck on educating more people.

  2. Thanks for writing a comprehensive article on a simple subject of reading credit card statement. While I thought I knew everything, I found that there is a wealth of information that I overlooked.

    1. Thanks so much! Exactly what I thought when I was writing this article. It may seem simple but people can get more information out of regularly reading credit card statement.

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