Having a check on your credit card balance is important, not only because you are about to spend on a large purchase but also because you would want to know about the previous bills as well. Every month, the credit card company, sends a credit card statement, either to your address or to your registered e-mail id which contains the details about your purchases, your credit balance, your available credit limit, minimum due amount, etc. Going through your balance once a month is just not enough especially when you are an over spender.
Checking the credit card balance is a key parameter while trying to manage your credit limit. Whether you have to make fresh purchases or you have to repay the outstanding bills, you have to be aware of your credit card balance and credit card limit. Now, many people get confused between the terms credit card balance and credit card limit. Hence, before going any further with the article, let us first understand that what is the difference between a credit card balance and a credit card limit.
Difference between Credit Card Balance and Credit Card Limit –
Credit Card Balance
It is the amount of credit that you have used on your credit card which includes all purchases done, charges incurred, cash advances, etc. It is that amount that you owe to the credit card issuer company. An amount will appear in positive numbers if you owe a balance to the credit card company but a zero will appear if you do not owe anything to the credit card company.
Credit Card Limit
It is the maximum limit that you can spend through your credit card. It is the total balance that the credit card issuer company will provide you to spend using your credit card. If you purchase anything using your credit card, your overall credit limit will get reduced. You will regain your limit once you pay the credit card bills.
Ways in which you can check your credit card balance
As already said, it is quite necessary to stay updated about your credit card balance, the following are the ways in which you can regularly check your credit card balance –
By using Mobile Banking Application
Every bank has launched its mobile banking application these days. It is quite easy to check your credit card balance via this application. You just have to register to your card issuer’s mobile banking app. As soon as you will log in to the application after registration, you will find all the details related to your credit balance, the outstanding limit of your credit card, etc on your home screen.
To get all the alerts related to your credit card through SMS, you will have to subscribe for SMS notifications. Once you have subscribed for this, the bank will keep sending you notifications in the form of SMS on your registered mobile number related to the outstanding balance every time you swipe your credit card. They will also send you periodic notifications related to your due dates and outstanding balances.
Monthly credit card statement
After the end of your billing cycle every month, your credit card issuer will generate a monthly statement and that will be sent to your registered e-mail id. If in case you had placed a request with the bank to get a hard copy of the statement, it will then be delivered to your communication address registered with the bank. This statement will contain all the details such as credit card balance, available limit, reward points, minimum amount due, etc.
By calling the customer care number
Another way to get an update about your credit card balance is to call the customer care of your respective bank. You will have to enter your credit card number and your PIN number and after that either you can follow the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) to know about your credit card balance or you can speak to the customer care representative to know about the same.
Through Internet Banking
Internet banking is another way through which you can check your credit card balance. All you need to do is to log in to your respective bank’s net banking portal using your customer id and password. The credit card balance will usually be shown under the ‘Cards’ tab on the home page of the net banking portal. Further, if your statement has yet not been generated, you can have a look at the unbilled transactions to have an idea about the balance that you owe to the credit card issuer company.
Through ATM Machine
You can always check your credit card balance by visiting an ATM. You just have to dip in your card into the ATM and then choose the balance inquiry option. You will then be required to enter your pin. After entering the pin, your outstanding balance and available credit limit will be displayed on the screen of the ATM.
Importance of checking Credit Card Balance –
It is important to maintain a credit utilization ratio for a better credit score. Therefore to know how much of the credit limit you have utilized, you will have to check your credit card balance. Also when people start using credit cards frequently, they tend to overspend through their credit cards and start making expensive purchases which in turn would land them in credit debt. The following are a few important points for checking your credit card balance regularly –
It may sometimes happen that you might have paid your bills towards your credit card but you did not cross-check whether it has been successfully submitted or not. So during your next purchase, when you pay through your credit card, your card gets declined because you do not have a credit limit available, and hence you may have to face embarrassment. Then upon checking the credit card statement, you get to know that your bill payment was not successful. Therefore you do not have a credit limit available. If you would have checked your credit card statement earlier, you would not have faced such embarrassment.
You may have heard a lot of cases related to fraud transactions taking place through credit cards these days. Hackers are initiating fraudulent transactions through the credit cards of random people. Hence by checking the credit balance on regular basis, you can keep a track of the transactions that you have done through your card in the billing cycle and can clearly spot if any unauthorized transaction has taken place through your card. You can report to your credit card issuing bank if such a transaction has taken place through your card.
Bank Charges and interest
By checking your credit card balance on regular basis, you can get to know whether the bank has charged you with any undue charges or interest amount on your account. You can always discuss with the bank officials if you find any such transaction in your account.
To have a knowledge of the outstanding balance
If you keep a check on your credit card balance on regular basis, you will have a fair knowledge about the balance that you owe to the credit card company and will help you in paying your credit card bills on time.
To know about the available credit limit
By checking your credit card balance and credit card statements on regular basis, you can have an idea of the credit limit that you have utilized and the limit that is available to you. Once you get to know about the available credit limit, you can plan and strategize your future expenses in a better way.
You may have a credit card cashback
You might have purchased any product through your credit card for which you were entitled to receive cash back after 3 months. With time, you forgot about the same and the cashback was credited to your account. Hence, your credit card balance was reduced after the amount of cashback got credited to your account. Therefore, if you keep a regular check on your credit card balance, you will get to know about these transactions and you will have to pay less bill amount towards the credit card balance or else you will end up overpaying your credit card bills.
Checking your credit card balance once a month may not be enough if you are close to your available credit limit. You need to know about your current balances every time you plan to purchase something. Also, if hackers steal your account information, they might end up with ruining your account by making unauthorized transactions and you would have no idea about it till you see your credit card balance. Financial planning can be done in a much better way if you have an idea of how much you owe to the credit card company and how much limit you still have to use. It is not at all difficult to check your credit card balance. In this article, we have discussed various simple ways in which you can check your credit card balances and protect yourself from any undue charges being charged to your account.