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Credit card reconciliation — How to reconcile a credit card statement

Always check the figures in your credit card statement.

Updated

Taking your credit card statement at face value and just making the required payment can be a big leap of faith on your part. Mistakes are made even by large banks, and fraud takes place when you least expect it. Because of that, you shouldn’t assume that what your statement says is always accurate.

Before your next statement arrives, learn how to reconcile it for accuracy and what steps to take should you find something out of place.

Why would I need to reconcile my credit card statement?

Reconciliation is nothing more than the process of verifying you actually made the purchases you are being charged for. Reconciling your statement will catch any of the potential errors made by your credit card company or by a merchant, along with any fraudulent activity on your credit card. This will allow you to avoid paying for something you did not purchase or receive.

What is required?

Reconciling your credit card statement will be easy if you have three important elements:

  • Current statement. A copy of your recent statement may be mailed to you, or you can retrieve it online as a paperless statement if your account is set up with online banking.
  • Current receipts. You should save any and all receipts for transactions made with your credit card. This includes those for the purchases and withdrawals you made during that statement period.
  • System for reconciliation. This could be as simple as a pencil, paper and calculator, or a software program designed for accounting purposes. One of the easiest and most effective systems of reconciliation is to enter the data into an Excel spreadsheet.

How to reconcile a credit card statement

  1. Sort your receipts. Keep your credit card receipts in a separate compartment in your purse or wallet so they aren’t accidentally lost or thrown away. If you’re using a software program or an Excel spreadsheet, consider entering receipts as you get them throughout the month. Sort receipts by date to make it easy to mark them off your statement.
  2. Match your receipts to your credit card statement. With your receipts in date order, it should be easy to go through the listed items on your credit card statement and mark each one you have a receipt for. Once you have gone through every receipt, there should be no unmarked items left on the statement other than any fees and interest charges.
  3. Notify your bank. If you do note an error on your credit card statement, notify the issuing bank immediately. The sooner you contact them, the more likely they will find the reason for the error and correct it. Be specific about what type of error it is. If you suspect fraud, make sure that you indicate this so the bank can take the necessary steps to ensure that no other fraudulent purchases are made with the credit card.
Disputed items may not be cleared from your statement immediately, as the bank will likely need to conduct its own investigation first. How long that will take dependents on the type of error.

Credit card comparison table

Credit card reconciliation is important in fixing errors, but you need the right credit card to begin with.

Name Product Filter values Minimum deposit required Purchase APR Annual fee Recommended minimum credit score
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
See terms
See issuer's website
See terms
300
Use the CardMatch tool to find cards you're likely to qualify for with your credit score, without a hard pull on your credit.
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit
N/A
17.99% to 23.99% variable
$0 to $99
300
Earn 1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion.
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards
N/A
17.99% to 23.99% variable
$0 to $99
300
Earn 1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion.
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card
N/A
24.9% fixed
$0 to $99
580
The Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card is specifically designed for those with less than perfect credit.
Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card
You may be asked to make a deposit for a secured card
25.9% to 29.99% variable
$75 to $99
580
Made for people with poor credit who want an unsecured credit card. It can help you build credit, but watch out for high fees and interest.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Every dollar of your credit card balance counts, especially if you are going to be charged interest on it. Review your credit card statements carefully every month to ensure each dollar you are sending as payment is actually going towards a purchase you made.

If you’re looking for a credit card with additional security features, compare your options until you find the right card.

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