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How to hide your naughty purchases made on your credit card

You can't delete your transaction history, but here are the steps you can take to keep your purchases private.

Whether you have some purchases you’d rather not share or you’re trying to surprise your spouse, many of us have transactions on our credit card statement that we’d rather keep private. But is it actually possible to hide your credit card transactions once you’ve made the purchase? The short answer is no. For regulatory and compliance reasons, bank statements record all credit card transactions to protect you from fraud. For better or for worse, this means that it’s impossible to hide or delete transactions from your history once they’re processed.

However, there are some simple tricks to help protect the privacy of your future purchases. Read on to find out how.

What shows up on my credit card statement?

Firstly, you may be needlessly worried if you think that someone who sees your monthly statement will know exactly what you’ve bought. What shows up on your statement is in fact only the merchant’s name, not a description of the transaction. For instance, if you buy an embarrassing combination of items at the grocery store, no one will be able to differentiate the individual products by looking at your credit card statement.

Check out our guide on how to read your credit card statement for more info.

The two most Googled questions on this topic

Will the bank judge my purchases?
No, you have nothing to worry about as long as your purchases are legal.

How do I delete my transaction history?
Unfortunately, you can’t.

Tips to protect the privacy of future purchases

While you can’t remove or conceal credit card transactions, here are some ways you can shop with more privacy in the future:

  • Use PayPal. PayPal is an internet payment solutions provider that processes online payments for consumers free of charge. By signing up for an account and keeping your credit card details on PayPal, you can make online payments via PayPal without giving out those credit card details to merchants. Aside from the convenience and ease of a quicker checkout, PayPal also offers some degree of anonymity on your credit card bill. All transactions processed via PayPal will show up simply as “PayPal”. Be aware though that your PayPal account will show up the list of merchants you have transacted with, so you may want to keep your PayPal password extra secure.
  • Use Google Wallet. Similar to PayPal, Google Wallet lets you make purchases by logging into your Google account. This eliminates the need to provide merchants with your credit card details, and all transactions paid in this manner will show up on your statement as “Google”. If you were to delete your Google Wallet account, your transaction history would also be deleted with it. That said, Google Wallet is currently only available to people with a debit card or bank account in the United States.
  • Use a gift card. Getting a gift card could also obscure your purchasing patterns. You’ll load the card with funds at the time of purchase and no one can track how you’re using it thereafter. Note however that buying a gift card with your credit card may constitute a “cash advance”, which would incur a cash advance fee and attract a higher cash advance interest rate without any interest-free days.
  • Opt out of paper statements. If you’re worried about leaving a paper trail because someone can open your mail and read your credit card statements, contact your card provider about receiving electronic statements instead. Apart from enhancing personal privacy, this move is also environmentally friendly and can sometimes help you avoid fees.

If you’re looking to hide a past transaction, this is unfortunately impossible. You’d be better off physically intercepting and destroying the statement if you want to make sure that no one sees it. If you’re trying to cover up expenditures due to embarrassingly mounting debt, you might wish to then consider saving on interest payments with a 0% purchase credit card or consolidating and paying off your debts with a balance transfer credit card.

Compare credit cards

Name Product Reward Cashback Offer Annual Fee Min Income - Singaporean and PR
HSBC Revolution Credit Card
Earn up to 10X Reward points or 4 miles per S$1 spent on qualifying purchases.
Receive up to S$200 cashback. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Oct 2021.
S$0 annual fee
S$30,000
New cardholders will be awarded with up to S$200 cashback, S$50 cashback for one qualifying transaction and S$120 cashback upon S$500 minimum spend. Receive an additional S$30 cashback when you apply online with MyInfo via SingPass. Existing HSBC credit cardholders are eligible to receive S$60 cashback. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Oct 2021.
POSB Everyday Card
Enjoy up to 10% cash rebates on dining and online shopping at selected e-Marketplaces.
Get up to 28% cashback when you apply online and charge a minimum of S$600 within 30 days from card approval date. T&Cs apply.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get up to 28% cashback with promo code ‘MORECASH' when you apply online via digibank or Myinfo with Singpass and charge a minimum of S$600 within 30 days from card approval date. T&Cs apply. Valid until 31 Jan 2022.
UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card
Earn 1.4 miles for every S$1 spent locally and 2.4 miles for every S$1 spent overseas.
Get up to S$300 cash credit when you apply. T&Cs apply.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$256.80 thereafter
S$30,000
Enjoy up to 20,000 bonus miles if you charge S$50,000 to your card in a year. Apply today and enjoy free transfers to Changi Airport.
HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card
Earn 1 Reward point for every $1 on all spend.
Up to 5% cash rebates on groceries, dining and fuel with minimum monthly spend of at least S$600.
S$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
New cardholders will be awarded with up to S$200 cashback, S$50 cashback for one qualifying transaction and S$120 cashback upon S$500 minimum spend. Receive an additional S$30 cashback when you apply online with MyInfo via SingPass. Existing HSBC credit cardholders are eligible to receive S$60 cashback. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Oct 2021.
KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card
Earn 3 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 when you spend with Singapore Airlines, Scoot and KrisShop and 1.2 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 on all other spend.
Receive up to 3,000 miles and up to S$300 cash credit when you apply for a new credit card and spend at least S$1,500 within 30 days from card approval date.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Apply and spend at least S1,500 within 30 days and receive S$300 cash credit and up to 3,000 miles. For first 100 new-to-UOB credit cardmembers. T&Cs apply. Valid until 31 Oct 2021.
UOB EVOL Credit Card
Enjoy a wide variety of discounts and cashback rebates on dining, entertainment, online shopping and travel.
Up to 8% cashback on online and mobile contactless spend.
S$192.60 annual fee
S$30,000
Apply and spend at least S1,500 within 30 days and receive S$300 cash credit. For first 100 new-to-UOB credit cardmembers. T&Cs apply. Valid until 31 Oct 2021.
UOB Lady's Card
Earn 10X UNI$ (or 20 miles) per S$5 spent on a chosen spending category with no min. spend required, and 1X UNI$ (or 2 miles) on other purchases.
Receive up to S$300 cash credit when you apply for a new credit card. T&C apply.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Apply and spend at least S1,500 within 30 days and receive S$300 cash credit. For first 100 new-to-UOB credit cardmembers. T&Cs apply. Valid until 31 Oct 2021.
HSBC Advance Credit Card
Receive up to S$200 cashback when minimum spend requirements are met.
Enjoy up to 3.5% cashback on all purchases with no minimum spend
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year (permanently waived for HSBC Advance banking customers) and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
New cardholders will be awarded with up to S$200 cashback. S$50 cashback for one qualifying transaction and S$120 cashback upon S$500 minimum spend. Receive an additional S$30 cashback when you apply online with MyInfo via SingPass. Existing HSBC credit cardholders are eligible to receive S$60 cashback. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Oct 2021.
UOB One Credit Card
Receive up to S$300 cash credit when you apply for a new credit card and spend at least S$1,500 within 30 days from card approval date.
Up to 10% cashback with some merchants including Grab,7-Eleven and Cold Storage; 6% for Singapore Power Utilities bills; and 5% back on all other retail spending.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Apply and spend at least S1,500 within 30 days and receive S$300 cash credit. For first 100 new-to-UOB credit cardmembers. T&Cs apply. Valid until 31 Oct 2021.
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card
Earn 1.2 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 spent on local purchases, with no cap.
N/A
S$337.05 annual fee
S$50,000
Get a complimentary stay at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa, Luxury Room (worth up to S$460++) when you spend S$5,000 within the first three months and an additional 10,000 KrisFlyer miles if you are new to American Express. T&Cs apply. Valid until 31 January 2022.
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