Individuals typically receive a credit card bill at the end of their billing cycle. This bill lists all the purchases that were made with that credit card during that period, as well as any balance carried over from the previous statement.
A credit card statement includes the following information:
- Previous balance. The amount carried over from the previous credit card statement
- The amount of credit used this month to make purchases
- Cash advances. The amount of credit used this month by writing checks against the credit card account or making ATM withdrawals
- The payments that you made to the sponsoring financial institution this billing cycle
- Finance charge. The finance charge that is applied to any credit that exceeds the grace period or to any cash advances
- New balance. The amount that you owe the financial institution as of now
- Minimum payment. The minimum amount that you must pay
The credit card statement details why your new balance differs from the balance shown on your statement in the previous month. The difference between the previous balance and the new balance results from any new purchases, cash advances, or finance charges, which increase your balance, as well as any payments or refund credits, which reduce your balance. The statement also shows the method of calculating finance charges.
When you receive your account statement, you should always scrutinize it for errors.
There could be a math error, a double charge for a purchase, appropriate charges due to someone else using your credit card, or an incorrect amount on a purchase.
If there is an error on your credit card statement, you should still pay for the charges that are correct in a timely manner. To resolve the error, contact the credit card company and provide them with your account number. You should be able to find the phone number of the customer service department on the credit card statement or on the back of the credit card. Identify the error, and explain why you believe there is an error (such as an inaccurate purchase amount, or a purchase listed that you did not make).