Whether you use your credit card every day or just for emergencies, it is important to check your statements carefully. If you fail to review your credit card statements, you could miss unauthorized transactions; and if you let too much time go by, you cannot challenge those transactions. When you review your statement, you might see a "CR" next to certain transactions. That "CR" means that there is a credit on your billing statement.
If you paid more than the total amount of your credit card bill for the last billing statement, you might see a credit balance on your statement. For instance, if your credit card balance was $300 and you paid $320, you would have a $20 credit balance on your next statement if you did not use your card and incur any new charges. When you look at your statement, you will see a $20 figure, followed by a "CR" to indicate that it is a credit balance. When you buy new products with your credit card, those transactions are applied against the credit balance first. Once that credit balance is depleted, new charges will continue to build up as you use the card.
Returns and Refunds
When you return an item you purchased with your credit card, the merchant refunds the money by issuing a credit to the same credit card. When you receive your next billing statement, you will see the transaction listed, with the amount of the item you returned, followed by a "CR" to indicate that the transaction is a credit. You should check your statement to make sure the amount of the credit transaction matches the amount of the original purchase.
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Request a Check
If you have a credit balance on your credit card, you can contact the credit card issuer and request a check. Some credit card issuers will automatically issue a check if you carry the credit balance for more than one or two months. Others require that you specifically contact the issuer to request a refund for your credit balance. If you prefer, you can use the credit balance to offset any new charges. But if you do want to receive a check, you should contact the credit card company to request that payment.
Track Your Statements
If you returned merchandise or had any refunds during the previous month, it is important to check your statement carefully. Keep your receipt each time you have a return then carefully compare that receipt to your statement. If the money for the return has not yet been credited to your account, contact the merchant right away to ask about your refund status. When you review your credit card statement, you should see the amount of each refund, followed by a "CR," to designate that the transaction was a credit. Check your receipts against the statement to make sure you receive a credit for each return or refund from the previous billing period.