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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 $1 spent on qualifying purchases.
Receive up to $200 cashback. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Dec 2022.
$0 annual fee
$30,000
New cardholders can choose from a Samsonite Prestige 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale (worth $670) or $200 cashback upon $500 minimum spend. Plus, receive up to $150 cashback when you apply for supplementary cards. Existing HSBC credit cardholders are eligible to receive $50 cashback. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Dec 2022.
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card
For every $1 spent, earn 1.2 KrisFlyer miles on local purchases, 2 KrisFlyer miles on overseas spend in June and December, Singapore Airlines and KrisShop and 3.2 KrisFlyer miles on Grab.
N/A
$337.05 annual fee
$50,000
Get 16,400 KrisFlyer miles upon annual fee payment and first transaction within 30 days from card approval. An additional 15,000 KrisFlyer miles when you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of Card approval. Valid until 30 Sep 2022. Also, earn 3,600 KrisFlyer miles based on the $3,000 spend above (based on 1.2 KrisFlyer miles per $1 spent locally). T&Cs apply.
Citi Prestige Card
Deals and discounts in more than 90 countries. Also, get six complimentary golf games across Asia
Up to 20% cashback at selected merchants
$535 annual fee
$120,000
Receive 120,000 ThankYou Points (48,000 Miles) when you pay the annual fee ($535) and spend $800 within two months. T&Cs apply. Valid until 31 Oct 2022.
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 $600.
$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and $192.60 thereafter
$30,000
New cardholders can choose from a Samsonite Prestige 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale (worth $670) or $200 cashback upon $500 minimum spend. Plus, receive up to $150 cashback when you apply for supplementary cards. Existing HSBC credit cardholders are eligible to receive $50 cashback. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Dec 2022.
American Express Platinum Credit Card
Up to 50% off your food bill for unlimited visits at hotels around Singapore
N/A
$321 annual fee
$80,000
Get $100 CapitaVoucher upon payment of annual fee and first transaction within 30 days from card approval. An additional $100 worth of CapitaVouchers when you spend $2,000 within the first 3 months of card approval. Also, receive 2,500 Membership Rewards points from your base earn rate for the $2,000 spent. T&Cs apply. Valid until 30 Sep 2022.
Citi Cash Back+ Credit Card
Get up to 14% fuel discounts at Esso and Shell and 1.6% cash back on eligible retail purchases.
1.6% cash back on selected retail purchases
$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and $192.60 thereafter
$30,000
Receive 10% cash back (up to $300 cash back) on up to $3,000 spend in the first 2 months. T&Cs apply. Valid until 31 Oct 2022.
HSBC Advance Credit Card
Receive up to $200 cashback when minimum spend requirements are met.
Enjoy up to 3.5% cashback on all purchases with no minimum spend
$0 annual fee for the first 1 year (permanently waived for HSBC Advance banking customers) and $192.60 thereafter
$30,000
New cardholders can choose from a Samsonite Prestige 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale (worth $670) or $200 cashback upon $500 minimum spend. Plus, receive up to $150 cashback when you apply for supplementary cards. Existing HSBC credit cardholders are eligible to receive $50 cashback. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Dec 2022.
American Express True Cashback Card
Enjoy 1.5% cashback on all purchases with no minimum spend or cap. Plus receive up to $80 CapitaVouchers when a minimum spend of $250 is made in the first month.
Earn 1.5% cashback on all eligible spending with no minimum spend or cap
$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and $171.20 thereafter
$30,000
Apply today and get a 3% cashback bonus when you spend $5,000 in the first six months.
Citi Cash Back Card
Get up to 20.88% fuel discounts at Esso and Shell, 6% cashback on dining and 8% cashback on groceries.
6% cash back on dining, 8% cashback on groceries and petrol transactions. 0.25% cashback on other retail purchases, capped at $80 for all transactions per statement month.
$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and $192.60 thereafter
$30,000
Get a welcome gift of $300 cash back when you spend $800 in the first two months. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Oct 2022.
Aspire Corporate Card
Enjoy exclusive perks and discounts with Aspire's extensive range of partners, redeemable at anytime
1% Cashback for qualified spend of above S$5,000. T&Cs apply
$0 annual fee
N/A
A corporate debit card for SMEs and Startups with no annual fee and low FX fees. Enjoy 1% cashback on marketing and SaaS spend. T&Cs apply.
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