Your Monthly Statement
Your monthly credit card statement tells you what you owe — and a lot more.
But you can find out a lot more, including all the activity in the account since your last statement, and what you're paying in fees and finance charges, if anything.
AN EYE TO THE STATEMENT
Every credit card statement looks a little bit different, but they all contain pretty much the same information. Make sure you understand everything that's being reported — it's the key to using your card wisely.
It's always a good idea to check over each entry to make sure that every charge is accurate, and that every payment you make shows up for the right amount. It's easy for a merchant to slip up and charge you twice for a purchase, or forget to credit you for something you return. And credit card numbers can easily be stolen, leading to charges that aren't even yours to begin with.
Paying close attention to your statement can also help you evaluate your spending habits and improve them if you want to. Since you can see exactly where your money goes, as well as how much you spend, it's easy to figure out what portion of your card spending is going to discretionary items and what portion is going to necessities. You'll also find a chart showing how much more it will cost you to make only the minimum payment due. It can be substantial.
You can also access your credit card statement online.
Since online records are updated regularly, you can see exactly what's happening with your account whenever you want, without having to wait for a paper statement to arrive once a month. And you can make payments online, which can save you time and make your life a lot easier.
Some cards even go beyond a simple online statement — they can notify you by email when a billing period on your account closes, for example, or when a payment posts to your account. If your card offers extra reminders like these, it can't hurt to take advantage of them.