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A guide to credit card statements

Credit card statements contain lots of useful information including how much you’ve spent, how much you owe, and when you’ll need to pay it off.

If you find credit card statements confusing, we’ll help you understand what to look for with our simple guide.

Credit card statements contain lots of useful information including how much you’ve spent, how much you owe, and when you’ll need to pay it off.

If you find credit card statements confusing, we’ll help you understand what to look for with our simple guide.

Written by
Alex Hasty
Insurance comparison and finance expert
Last Updated
3 JULY 2023
5 min read
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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 provides you with an itemised list of how much you spent over the past month. It also lets you know how much you owe in total, the minimum payment you must make, and when you must pay it by.

It also shows you what interest you’re being charged and how much of your credit limit is still available to spend.

It’s your responsibility to flag any errors or signs of fraud to your credit card provider, so it’s important that you understand your statement.

The information on your credit card statement will help you recognise any payments that look unfamiliar, unauthorised charges or errors.

What do I need to look out for on my credit card 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.
  • Credit card 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.

What is the statement balance on a credit card?

The statement balance is a snapshot of what you have spent and the payments that have been made during one billing cycle (the time between receiving one statement and the next). Your statement balance won’t change until your next billing cycle.

Your statement balance shouldn’t be confused with your ‘current balance’ which shows the total charges and payments at any given time. The current balance will change every time you make a transaction.

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 provider.

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.

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 credit card 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 long should I keep credit card statements?

You should keep each credit card statement for a minimum of 60 days. This will give you time to report any errors on your statement. After that, credit card companies aren’t legally obliged to deal with billing disputes.

However, you might want to keep them for longer as proof if you used your credit card to buy an extended warranty or for tax-related purchases.

If you have an online credit card account, you should be able to access historic statements should you need them. This can save on a build-up of paperwork at home.

If you no longer need your paper statements, make sure you shred them. Don’t just rip them up and throw them in the bin, as your personal information may still be legible.

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: making the minimum payment usually means 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

What is a credit card statement name?

A credit card statement name is the name of the retailer or business that identifies where you made a credit card purchase. It should be as clear as possible so you can easily recognise where you shopped.

It’s important to go through each name on your statement. If there’s a name you don’t recognise, it could be an unauthorised charge.

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. In this case, the balance on your statement will have CR next to it.

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. It could be put to better use in your current account.

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.

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.

The content written in this article is for information purposes only and should not be taken as financial advice. If you require support on the products discussed here, please speak to your bank/lender or seek the advice of an independent professional financial advisor. We also have more information on our Customer Support Hub.

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