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Should I get paperless online credit card statements?

You can cut back on mail clutter with just a few clicks.

Updated

Opting in to paperless credit card statements online is not only free, but it can make viewing your statements simpler and help you cut back on the amount of “waste” coming through your mailbox.

This guide looks at the differences between online and paper statements so you can make an informed decision about how to manage your account.

What’s the difference between printed and paperless online credit card statements?

Paper and electronic statements look the same, the difference being online statements are sent to your email inbox, not your mailbox.

Printed statementsPaperless online statements
Printed by the credit card provider and sent to you by mailAccessed via Internet banking. Some providers also email your statements via a secured email service
Provides you with a physical copy of your statement for reviewAllows you to easily store statements electronically for quick recall and review
May attract a print statement fee of between $1 and $7 — especially for additional statementsNo cost involved
Can take several days to reach youCan be accessed immediately

How to access paperless online credit card statements

Many financial institutions provide electronic statements as a default service provided after you set up your account online. You can check to see whether you’re registered for paperless statements once you’ve linked your credit card to your online banking account. If you’re not registered, you can do so under your account billing settings.

Follow these four general steps to access your online statements:

  1. Log in to your Internet banking account.
  2. Select the credit card account you want to view statements for.
  3. Select the Statements option for that account.
  4. Click on the statement period you want to view.

You’ll get an automatic email notification when you get a new statement, which should help serve as a reminder to view your statement and make repayments. You can also opt for SMS notifications through your mobile device when you receive a new statement.

In addition to current statements, you can also view past statements online. If you want to download your statements, you’ll need to save the statement as a PDF which you can then view or print.

Other factors to consider

  • Print statement fees. A clear incentive to go paperless is that paper statements can cost a couple of dollars, with additional paper statements costing even more. If you need a physical copy you can always print it at home.
  • Financial management preferences. Paperless online statements allow you to manage multiple accounts from your desktop or mobile device. If paper statements are your preference, log in to your online banking facility or contact a customer service representative to select a paper statement service.
  • Searching for transactions. It’s much quicker to review and search online statements. Paper statements take up space and lack search functionality.
  • Statement history. You can view all of your previous statements when you log in to your online banking account. Follow the prompts to navigate to the statement history section.
  • Recent purchase history. As well as view your transactions when you get your monthly statement, you can view your transactions for the last 30 days when you log in to your online banking account. Internet banking applications feature search functions that let you set custom ranges such as transaction date and size.
  • Security. Thieves can steal your identity using the information on your credit card statement. Cutting the paper trail can prevent this. Online statements are secure if viewed and left on the credit card issuer’s online banking platform.

Compare credit cards

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
2% at US gas stations and select US department stores, 3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
$0
Get 3% cash back on groceries on up to $6,000 annually (then 1%) with no annual fee. This is a simple and effective rewards card. Rates & fees
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
15.99% to 22.99% variable
$95
Earn a huge signup bonus worth $$1,000 with this popular travel card. Combine with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards for even greater value.
Chase Freedom Flex℠
5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter (then 1%), 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
$0
Get up to 5% cashback in rotating and newly added everyday categories. The refreshed Freedom Flex card has lots of earning potential.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
N/A
0% intro for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
$0
An impressive 18 months intro APR on balance transfers and purchases, as well as no annual fee make this one of the top 0% APR cards available.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
$95
Perfect for families: Get up to 6% on everyday purchases and a welcome offer worth $250. This heavy-hitter rewards card has uncontested value. Rates & fees
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Paper and electronic statements serve the same function, but paperless versions will help save you money, the environment, paper build-up and time in the long run. Just make sure you keep your account login and credit information secure.

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