Your credit card statement contains a wealth of information about your credit card and how you’ve used it. Delivered monthly, these statements detail the amount you owe, accrued interest, payment due dates, and other relevant information.


In fact, nearly all the information you need to know about your card is included in these crucial financial documents. Responsible cardholders carefully review their statements.

Card companies do not need to format their statements in the same way or include exactly the same information, so what you find and how it’s presented can vary from one card to another. Nevertheless, some key information is typically included.

Payment Information

The payment section of your statement shows:

  • The minimum payment due for your most recent billing cycle.
  • The total amount you owe as of the statement date.
  • Your payment due date.

Most statements also include two important payment notices. One discloses the penalties and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) you may incur if you fail to pay at least the minimum payment or more by the due date.

The other explains that if you pay less than the minimum amount, you’ll accrue more interest and may take longer to pay off the balance.

Account Information

The account section, usually at the top of your statement, displays your name, account number, and the billing period covered by the statement. To protect you from fraud, your partial account number might be masked if someone else accesses your statement.

Account Summary

The summary section shows the balance on your card as of the end of the previous billing period, and the total of any payments, credits, purchases, fees, interest charges, cash advances, or balance transfers applied to your account during the period reflected in the statement.

Transactions posted to your account after the cutoff date won’t be included in these amounts until the next month.

The account summary also displays your card’s credit limit and the available credit as of the statement cutoff date.

If your card allows cash advances, the available credit amount for cash advances may also be noted in this section.

Rewards Summary

The rewards section (if your card offers a rewards program) displays any airline miles, points, cash back, or other benefits you’ve earned, both total and for the billing period.

Payment Coupon

In this context, “coupon” refers to the lower portion of the statement that you can tear off and send with a paper check if you’re paying by mail.

The coupon displays your name, mailing address, full or partial account number, payment details, and the mailing address for sending your payment. It should also include the name of the card company, as it should be written on your check.

If you use the coupon, fill in the payment amount in the blank labeled “Amount Enclosed” before mailing.

The design of payment coupons allows them to be inserted into an envelope with a transparent window, showing the card company’s mailing address. This design makes coupons convenient to use and helps prevent errors that might occur if customers write the mailing address on the envelope.

If you pay by phone, online, or through a mobile app, you do not need to use a payment coupon. A useful tip is to write “Paid” and the date on the coupon before mailing your statement, which serves as a reminder that you’ve made the payment, even though the coupon remains attached to your statement.

Account Activity

The activity section of your statement is divided into two parts. The first part shows your payments (or multiple payments), refunds, and any other adjustments in your favor. The second part lists your purchases in chronological order, along with merchant names and amounts.

It’s best to match each transaction with your records to ensure all listed transactions are valid and authorized. Any transactions that don’t match your records could be errors or fraud.

You should contact your card issuer promptly for more information about any transactions you don’t recognize or suspect of being fraudulent. The sooner you report fraudulent activity, the sooner your issuer can cancel your card and issue a new one to prevent further incidents.

Matching your transactions with receipts or other records can also help you stay within budget and save money. Look for impulse purchases, overspending at certain merchants, or recurring charges for apps or other services you no longer use.

Interest Charges

If you pay your balance in full and on time each month, you’ll never have to worry about purchase APRs on your card. If you carry a balance, transfer balances from another card, or get cash advances, check your APR and the portion of your balance to which these rates apply, as well as the monthly financial charges applied to your account. This information should be displayed in the interest charges section of your statement.

Paper or Paperless? Pros and Cons

Many credit card companies offer the option of receiving a paper statement delivered by U.S. mail or an electronic statement sent to an email address. Each option has its pros and cons.

Paper statements may be easier to read and reconcile with your receipts. Use them to track expenses or business expenditures, and file and store them for future reference. However, paper statements can accumulate over time, creating paper clutter that could lead to fire hazards if they pile up enough.

Electronic statements can help reduce paper clutter and ensure your statement isn’t lost or stolen during mailing. For credit card companies, producing electronic statements is also cheaper because there’s no need for printing, envelopes, or postage.

Most card statements are accessible online or through mobile apps, which provide backup systems for both paper and electronic statements.

There’s no clear winner between paper and paperless, so consider the pros and cons and choose what works best for you.


Credit card statements condense a wealth of information into just a few pages. While reading and digesting them might seem challenging, spending time reviewing your statement each month is a wise financial habit.

If your card statement is confusing or lacks key information, you might consider getting a new card that provides these important insights in a well-designed format.

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