At the end of a credit card billing cycle, every cardholder receives a document containing all the information regarding their transactions, grace period, payment due date, and a lot more things. This document is known as a Credit Card statement. Many people are not aware of its importance and they just look at it once and then throw it. Some of them consider it totally useless that they don’t even have a look at it. But, this is not what should be done with your statement. It needs to be checked thoroughly as it can help you track your expenses and manage them. But, the statement sometimes feels to be too lengthy and boring to be read. It generally happens because cardholders are not much aware of the terms mentioned in it or they don’t know what to look for in it.
This article will help you understand the importance of your credit card statement and also the key points you must check for in it instead of deleting or throwing it out.
Why Do You Need To Check Your Credit Card Statement?
Checking your credit card statement can help you a lot in managing your expenses as there might be some useless spends you are making. When you receive the statement, you must go through all the transactions and check if you are being charged for any service that is no longer in use. For example, you might have taken a free trial period for using software or an app, which has ended now but you are unknowingly paying for it even if it is not in use. Also, sometimes there might be errors in your statements, such as a transaction mentioned twice or some calculation error, which can be fixed easily if you have spotted them. But if you don’t check your statement, such errors will never be spotted and hence you will have to pay for absolutely nothing. One of the most important reasons to check your credit card statement is: any fraudulent or unauthorized transactions will be reflected in it which must be reported to the bank as soon as possible.
What To Look For In Your Credit Card Statement?
1. Account Summary
The account summary mentioned on your credit card statement shows all your transactions made within the previous billing cycle, the interest charged on the past due amount, fees and charges (if any), total due amount. Moreover, the statement close date, available credit limit, days in your billing cycle will also be mentioned in it. It is to be noted that any transaction made after the statement closing date will reflect in your next billing statement and if you need to have a look at them, you can do so by logging into your net banking account.
2. Payment Due Date
The payment due date is one of the most important things to be checked in your credit card statement. It is the date by which you are expected to pay your dues. But, making the payment on the last day, i.e, on the payment due date, can be a bad idea as if you pay using the cheque, it may take around 3 business days to process the payment and hence you will be charged interest and a late payment fee. So, you should always check the payment due date and try to make the payment a few days ahead of it.
3. Total Amount Due
It is the total sum of: the amount that you have spent within a billing cycle, the amount you carry from the last billing cycle, the interest charged on the past dues, and any other charges you need to pay. Basically, it is the due amount that you need to pay on or before the Payment due date. You must check for it in your credit card statement so that you can pay your bill on time without any extra charges, such as interest or late payment fees.
4. Minimum Amount Due
In case you are unable to pay the total amount due, the card issuers give you an opportunity to pay a minimum amount to avoid the late payment fee. the remaining amount is carry forwarded to the next billing cycle, however, interest is charged in the past due amount. So, you should check the minimum amount due so that you can at least pay it and avoid the late payment charges.
5. Grace Period
The period between the end date of a billing cycle and the payment due date is known as the grace period. during this period, no interest is charged on your purchases. You can also find your grace period mentioned in your credit card statement and hence use your card wisely to avoid interest and any extra charges.
6. Late Payment Warning
You will also find a late payment warning in your credit card statement, which would warn you to pay at least the minimum amount to avoid the late payment fee. The late payment charges will also be mentioned under this warning.
7. Available Credit Limit
The credit limit is also among the most important things mentioned on your credit card statement. It is the maximum amount that your card issuer allows you to spend using your credit card. When you start your credit card journey, your credit limit is generally less, but the card issuers may increase it depending on your payment behavior. So, you should also check this section of your card statement so that you keep yourself aware of the credit limit available on your card.
8. Reward Points/Cashback
All the credit cards come with some type of reward points/cashback offers, which the cardholders earn on almost all their transactions. The reward points/cash back you earn during a billing cycle are also mentioned in your statement. So, you can keep track of your reward points and their validity so that you redeem them against the right option before they expire.
9. Bank Charges
Sometimes you might wonder how your credit card bill went higher than you expected. This can happen due to some bank charges, such as late payment fees, interest charges, foreign currency markup fees, cash advance charges, etc. For example, if you withdraw some cash using your credit card, the bank generally charges a cash advance fee of 2.5% of the withdrawn amount. similarly, if you make international transactions, a forex markup fee of 3.5% is generally charged. However, there are some credit cards with a low forex markup fee that can save you a lot in your international transactions.
After going through the above points, we hope that you have understood the importance of checking your credit card statement every time. It is not just a document to be ignored, but a precious document that can help you understand and manage your credit card expenses. Not only this, but you will also be aware of credit card theft or any fraudulent transaction that you have not done so that you can report it to the bank instead of paying for it.
If you have any doubts regarding your credit card statement, feel free to ask in the comment section below. Also, tell us do you check your card statement?