In this article, we are going to see what credit card billing statement is and the information it contains. I am trying to provide educational blogs so that we can all eradicate credit card fraud. I have (in other articles) discussed ways to avoid credit card Fraud and at one point mentioned credit card billing statement so I find it necessary to discuss what billing statement is.
What is a Credit Card Billing Statement?
Basically, a billing statement is a report showing your recent credit card transactions, due payments and other important information relevant to your credit account. Credit card companies are legally required to send you a Credit Card Billing Statement every month. A billing statement can be sent to your registered physical address or to your email address depending on the option you chose. Usually, the billing statement sent to you online is called paperless billing statement because it is a soft copy. Each bank has a billing cycle which is the period from the beginning of a reporting period to the last reporting date. For instance, the end of a reporting period marks the start of another reporting period.
What is in the Credit Card Billing Statement?
A billing statement has diverse categories of information that will show you your account standing and all transactions you have made. The most common categories you will find in billing statements, irrespective of the issuer, are discussed below. Remember the format and arrangement of these categories may vary from one credit card issuer to another.
Account overview section shows general information about the billing statement. The common info shown in this section include, but is not limited to: the name of the credit card issuer, the last four digits of the account or card number, the billing period and page number.
The Balance Summary section provides a quick overview of the billing period’s activities. The first thing you would see is previous balance which is the dollar amount from the previous billing period. You will also see total amount of payments, total amount of purchases and charges made during the billing period, summation of processing fees, cumulative amount of interests charged, and the new credit card balance. Note that this section only shows the total amounts and not the amounts for individual transactions.
This section provides ways in which you can contact the credit card issuer. It shows all contact numbers, website and issuer’s mailing address. Generally, this section has contact information for your credit card issuer. Remember you can always call the number printed at the back of your card as discussed in the article about credit card transaction notification system.
Available Credit section shows the Total Credit Limit allowed by the issuer and the Credit balance Available . The Total Credit Limit is the amount which your credit card issuer does not allow you to exceed. The Available Credit is the amount of credit that you have not used. This shows up as the balance in your credit and if you exceed this limit, you might incur interest charges and over-the-credit fines.
The Payment Information section shows you the minimum dollar amount that you must pay each month before the due date. This amount may change depending on the transaction history of your account. Making this payment after the due date may lead to fines and interest. If you are subsequently late in making these payments, they may affect your Credit Limit and Credit score.
Payment Address provides an address to use when mailing your payment. Some customers mail checks to the credit card issuer. It is important to mail them to this address.
Late Payment Warning
This is a section that shows all warnings and charges you may incur if you make the payments after due date. For example, you will see a dateline and a warning stating what will happen if you miss the dateline.
Minimum Payment information
Every month, you are required to pay a certain amount which can either be the minimum amount possible or an amount that is higher than the minimum pay. The minimum Payment information shows how long it would take you to pay off the balance if you opt to pay the minimum amount due. The section also shows other amounts you can make, how much it will take you to pay off the balance and how much you will save.
This section offers contact information for credit card counseling services.
Changes to your account or any other informational messages relevant to your account are in this section of the billing statement.
If you are part of the reward program, then this section will show the rewards or points you have earned.
Transaction Records, Fees and Interest
This section shows all the transactions recorded during the billing cycle. Transactions include purchases and payments you made using the credit card. Transactions are often sorted by the date they occurred. Beside each transaction, fees and interests will be shown.
There may be other sections depending on the credit card issuer. For example, Wells Fargo has a section dedicated to news on special offers and other information related to their products and services. Remember your credit card issuer is legally required to give you a billing statement. I may not exhaust everything in this blog but remember the comment section is open and I check it daily in case you leave a question. Thank you for reading.