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How to read a credit card statement

Everything you need to know about your credit card statement.

Updated

It’s important to understand how to read your credit card statement if you want to keep track of your credit card spending, make timely payments and flag any errors. As most credit card providers use a similar layout on their credit card statements, you can use this guide to understand how your credit card statement works and what you need to pay attention to.

Key features on your credit card statement

We’ve outlined the major features of your credit card statement.

  1. Account information. This usually covers your account number or the last four digits of your credit card and your closing date.
  2. Account summary. This is the summary of your payments, credits, purchases, balance transfers, cash advances, fees and interest. You can also find information about your credit line.
  3. Payment information. This section lists all payments you must make to avoid fees and interest. This includes your balance, your minimum payment and the due date.
  4. Transactions. Here you’ll find all of your transactions, payments and interest charges ordered by date.

Depending on your credit card perks, you can have additional features on your credit card statement, such as:

  • FICO score. This can be helpful if you’re trying to build or improve your credit.
  • Rewards. If your card is a member of a reward program, this section will help you find all points or miles you managed to earn during the statement period.

How to manage errors on your credit card statement

How to manage errors

While your credit card statement should usually be accurate, there are some instances where you might spot an error. If these errors go unreported, they could have a negative impact on your credit history and reduce your likelihood of approval when applying for future loans. This is why it’s so important to keep an eye on your credit card statement.

If you do spot an error on your credit card statement, it’s wise to get in contact with your card provider to report and resolve the issue. If you do this soon enough, the errors might not even make it to your credit file. The simple steps you can follow to report and fix an error on your statement include:

  1. If you spot a purchase you’ve not made, contact your card provider immediately.
  2. In some instances, the responsibility to prove you’ve not made the purchase is on you, so make sure you have the relevant receipts and evidence on hand.
  3. If you feel you’ve been a victim of identity theft or if your card has been used for fraudulent transactions, you should also contact the police as well as your provider.
  4. If any such errors make it to your credit report, you’ll have to contact credit reporting bodies such as Experian, TransUnion or Equifax individually to order a copy of your credit report. You can then get in touch with a credit repair agency to help clean up your credit report.

Compare credit cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
$300 after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months (Offer expires 12/10/2020)
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 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Perfect for families: Get up to 6% on everyday purchases and a welcome offer worth $300. This heavy-hitter rewards card has uncontested value. Rates & fees
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
20% at Amazon.com up to $200 back in the first 6 months, plus $100 after spending $1,000 in the same timeframe
20% at Amazon.com up to $200 back in the first 6 months, 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
This everyday cashback card is ideal for Black Friday and holiday shopping with 20% back at Amazon.com up to $200 back in the first 6 months. Rates & fees
Chase Freedom Flex℠
$200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year
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
Get up to 5% cashback in rotating and newly added everyday categories. The refreshed Freedom Flex card has lots of earning potential.
Citi® Double Cash Card
N/A
Up to 2% cash back on purchases (1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay)
$0
Earn up to 2% on every purchase with no annual fee. This is the highest flat-rate cashback card on the market.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
$200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year
5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 5% on Lyft, 3% on dining and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases
$0
This solid 1.5% cashback card gets even better with the addition of up to 5% back in categories like travel, drug stores and dining.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Understanding how your credit card statement works will not only ensure that you make timely repayments and avoid collecting interest, but will also help you spot any errors on your statement and resolve them before they impact your credit file. And if you need help keeping your statements in order, consider switching to paperless statements.

If you’re looking for a new card, be sure to compare your credit card options.

Frequently asked questions

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