Credit Card Safety how to Check your Statements

Using your credit card is a lot like using your checking account. Your balance needs to be tracked daily after all of your purchases. You do this by knowing what your starting balance is and then adding all of your receipts from the day. Be careful of gas receipts though. Often we forget to get the receipt. Later that day when you balance your books the gas purchase is overlooked. When the new statement arrives there is a big difference and the scramble begins. Checking and rechecking receipts and then going over the statement to see where purchases were made. Only then do you realize you forgot to get a receipt for gas.

Another useful way to keep track of your balance is online. Your credit card issuer may allow you to check your statement online. Check your service terms carefully. Some people get charged for checking their card balance and activity online. If you use financial or budgeting software you may be able to download your account activity directly into it. Again, you need to see if there is a fee for this. If your card issuer does charge you may find you can download your information and manually transfer it to your program. One common format CSV file. The file name will look like this, your_account_info.csv . The CSV at the end stands for Comma Separated Values. Each piece of information is separated by a comma ($19.95,Pete’s Gas Station,10:15a.m.,) and most financial and budgeting software knows how to import it. Once you learn how to do this it can save a lot of time balancing your card.

If you make online purchases then receipts are still important. Most times when you make an online purchase you are taken to a confirmation page. Print this page before you close it. All the information you need is here. If something goes wrong you will have this in your hands as backup. Again make sure you include these in your daily balancing.

One of the biggest reasons for this daily scrutiny is identity theft. It is quite possible for someone to have gotten your information online. Read each transaction on your statement carefully. The more you are on top of your account the easier it is to spot fraud. This can save you money and heartache. Most card companies allow you to dispute charges. If you spot a charge you don’t recognize and do not have a receipt for then call. The less you hesitate to resolve this the more money it could save you.


Get and keep all purchase receipts

If possible check your account online (you will find frauds quicker than waiting for statement)

Balance daily (Not only will this help protect from fraud but will tell you what your limit is)

If there is a problem, fix it ASAP. Dispute fraudulent charges.