Credit card statements

Credit card statements can be confusing. We’ll help you understand what to look for with our simple guide.

Credit card statements can be confusing. We’ll help you understand what to look for with our simple guide.

Alex Hasty
Insurance and finance expert
3
minute read
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Last Updated 6 APRIL 2022

What is a credit card statement?

A credit card statement summarises all the activity on your credit card since the last time your bill was issued. It’s important to understand your statement so that you can recognise any payments that look unfamiliar, unauthorised charges or errors. It’s your responsibility to flag any errors or signs of fraud to your credit card provider.

What do I need to look out for on my statement?

When you get your statement, there’ll be a few things that you need to look out for:

  • Summary of activity: shows your outstanding balance, available credit, payments, purchases, cash advances, fees, balance transfers and any interest charges.
  • Payment due date: this is the date that your credit provider will need to receive your minimum payment by.
  • Minimum payment: this is the amount you’ll need to pay by the payment due date to avoid any late payment charges.
  • Transactions: shows a list of transactions made since your last bill. Each entry on your statement will show the date of the transaction, the amount paid and the place the transaction was made.
  • Fees: it’s important to check for fees and to report any that appear incorrect to your provider.
  • Changes to your interest rates: to understand your balance and repayments, look for any changes in your interest rates and fees. If there are any changes you don’t understand, it’s important to get in touch with your provider.

How can I access my credit card statement?

Most credit card providers will issue a statement once a month, although some might not send a monthly statement if your balance is zero. 

If you have an online account, you can choose to receive a paper statement in the post or a paperless statement electronically. If you choose to go paperless, you should get an email telling you when your statement is ready to view. You can then view or download your current and past statements when you log into your account via your credit card provider’s website or app. 

How do credit card billing cycles work?

A credit card billing cycle usually ranges between 27 and 31 days, depending on your credit card. Your billing cycle will start with whatever balance was left unpaid at the end of your last bill. Any transactions made during this time, fees and charges will be recorded on your statement. It’s important to check your account during billing cycles to look out for any transactions or charges that you don’t recognise.

How do I report credit card fraud?

If you notice any unusual activity on your credit card statement, you need to contact your credit card provider. If you can’t find the number on your credit card statement, try the provider’s website or look on the back of your card.

Top tip

It’s a good idea to hold onto receipts and order confirmations so you can check them against your credit card statement when it arrives.

How long do I have to pay after getting my credit card statement?

Once your credit card statement has arrived, it will state your payment due date. You’ll typically have 21-25 days to make your minimum payment. Credit card providers have a legal requirement to send you your credit card statement at least 21 days before your payment due date.

How do I pay my credit card bill?

You can either pay your balance as a one-off payment or set up a direct debit with your provider. There are three direct debit options:

  1. Pay the balance in full: pay off the money you owe in full every time you pay your bill.
  2. Make the minimum payment: if you make the minimum payment you won’t have to pay a late payment fee, but usually you’ll be charged interest on your outstanding balance.
  3. Pay a set amount: if it’s above the minimum payment, this can reduce your monthly interest.

If you don’t make the minimum payment on time, you could be charged a fee. It could also have a negative impact on your credit score.  

Compare credit cards

If you’re currently looking for the right credit card for you, then we can help you compare cards from some of the market’s leading providers.

Frequently asked questions

How can I make a credit card payment?

You can make a credit card payment at any time, you don’t have to wait until the due date. Credit card payments can be made over the phone, online or via your provider’s website or credit card app. 

You can choose to:

  • Pay off the balance in full – this is the most cost-effective way to use your credit card, as you typically won’t be charged interest. 
  • Pay the minimum amount – this is the very least you must pay to avoid a penalty fee. Unless you have a 0% credit card and are within the interest free period, you’ll also pay any interest due on the outstanding balance.

Can I pay more than my credit card statement balance?

There’s no harm in paying more than your credit card balance – it just means the credit card provider now owes you money, rather than the other way around. 

If you’ve overpaid your credit card bill, it will show up as a negative balance on your statement. You can use up the credit as you spend on your credit card or, if it’s a large amount, you could ask your provider to transfer the money to your linked bank account.

While there’s nothing wrong with a negative balance on your credit card, it does mean that money is just sitting there when it could be put to better use in your current account. 

Can I dispute charges on my credit card statement?

If you see any unexpected charges on your credit card, you should contact your provider. For example, if you’ve:

  • been charged the wrong amount for an item
  • been charged for a payment you didn’t make
  • been charged for an item you didn’t receive
  • not received a refund for an item you returned
  • not received a statement and have been charged a late payment fee.

Your provider should explain how you can dispute a charge and, if necessary, make a formal complaint. If your complaint can’t be resolved within eight weeks or you’re not satisfied with the outcome, you can take your case to the Financial Ombudsman Service. The FOS is a free, independent service that resolves financial disputes fairly and impartially. 

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