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.

Anelda Knoesen
From the Money team
minute read
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Posted 9 JANUARY 2020

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 credit 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 will be a few things that you’ll need to look out for:

  • Summary of activity: this will show 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 will need to pay by your purchase due date to avoid any late payment charges
  • Transactions: this will be a list of transactions made since your last bill. Each entry on your statement will show the date of the transaction, amount paid and 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 have been any changes that you don’t understand, it’s important to get in touch with your provider.

How do credit card billing cycles work?

A credit card billing cycle usually ranges from 27-31 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.

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

Once your credit card statement has arrived, it will state your purchase 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 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 it usually you’ll be charged interest on your outstanding balance.
  3. Pay a set amount: as long as it’s above the minimum payment, you can reduce your monthly interest by paying off more than the minimum repayment.

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.

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