The Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Your Credit Card Statement

What should you expect from your credit card statement? If you’re a beginner, getting a credit card statement is probably equivalent to getting back your test results. This is the time where you want to see your progress (how much you spend using the credit card) and the actions you need to take to cover any lacking areas (how much you owe the credit card issuer). 

A credit card statement isn’t like your advanced math class. It is essentially just a periodic statement that lists all the purchases, payments and other debits and credits made to your credit card account within the billing cycle. 

But what does a credit card statement look like?

Download to the mock credit card statement here!

A) Account Information

Often the first thing on your credit card statement, this is where you will find your account information such as your name, your account number, the account opening date and the dates covered in this statement period. The billing period usually ranges from 27 to 31 days, depending on the credit card and the issuer.

B) Account Summary

Self explanatory in its name, your account summary is a summary of some of the most important details in your credit card statement. It includes: 

  • Opening balance, or how much you owe at the end of the previous billing period
  • Purchases,  the total amount you spent on purchases, either on products or services, during the current billing period 
  • Fees/interest charge/cash advance is the amount you are charged during the current billing period
  • Closing balance, which is the total once all of these have been added up

Depending on each credit card issuer, the account summary may vary and contain different information. However, the ones listed above are what usually constitutes for the account summary. The information listed are also generalized such as the purchases section. To review your complete purchase list, do check out the transaction description. 

Next is your credit line where you can see the total credit extended to you and the amount of credit still available to you. The balance shown will include the deductions from fees, interest charges and your purchases.

C) Payment Information

This is the part you should focus on the most. The payment information section contains the minimum payment you need to pay and the due date for it. 

  • Minimum payment (Past & Current) is the total minimum amount you owe the card issuer. Depending on each format, some credit card statements separate the past minimum payment and the current minimum payment for better clarity. But the total is still displayed, which is the most important part.
  • Minimum Payment due date is when you need to settle the minimum payment. Look out for this date because this date is the most vital one on your credit card statement.

Some credit card statements also include a late payment warning beneath this section and, in some cases, even the minimum payment warning. If you pay less than the minimum or your payment is received after the due date, you could be charged a late fee or have your interest rate increased.

D) Transaction Description 

The transaction section in your credit card statement includes the transaction amount and date. So, pay close attention as you review everything on the list. Make sure each of the transactions made are valid and true, and in case one of the transactions is suspicious, contact the credit card issuer immediately. Also important to note that they will only list the transactions from your most recently completed billing period.

E) Fees and Interest

After the chronological list of your transactions, there will be a box detailing the amount of fees and interest charged to your account, if applicable. This section will show the amount charged during the statement period, as well as year-to-date. If you did not incur any fees or interest, this box will show $0.

F) Points or Rewards Summary 

If applicable, the statement will also include any rewards or points earned or redeemed for your reviewing. 

To conclude,

Credit card statements are important for you to review and maintain your credit card account. It’s long and tedious but going through each line on your credit card statement is essential to great money management skills.

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