You should receive a monthly credit card statement for each of your active credit card accounts. If you have signed up for paperless statements, you will have to access the statement online; otherwise, it will arrive by postal mail. Regardless of the form, the statement contains critical information about your credit card account.
In its most basic sense, a credit card statement is a bill. It contains many different types of information, but the most important piece for you to act on is the payment. Your credit card statement clearly lists the minimum payment due on your account and the date on which the payment is due. If you do not make at least the minimum payment by the due date, you will have to pay a late fee, and your interest rate could increase to a high penalty rate.
List of Transactions
Your credit card statement contains an itemized list of the purchases and payments you made during the billing period. Read over the list to ensure that it is accurate. It is your responsibility to identify errors on the bill and notify your credit card company. Plus, reading the itemized list is the best way to discover if someone else is using your credit card fraudulently. Save your credit card receipts during the month to make it easier to compare them to your statement.
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Detailed Breakdown of Fees
Your credit card statement lists each of the fees you are being charged on your account. These include late fees, cash advance fees, balance transfer fees and finance charges, otherwise known as interest fees. The statement also shows you how the finance charge was calculated by including the balance on which the charge is based, and the interest rate charged for that type of balance. Reading your bill in full helps you understand the cost of using your credit card.
Notification of Changes
Credit card companies can use your monthly statement to notify you of upcoming changes in the terms of your credit card account. For example, if the interest rate is set to increase soon, the statement will contain a notification. Pay attention to these notifications so you can adjust your credit card use if you do not want to pay the higher interest rates or fees.