As any credit card holder knows, every month you’re issued a monthly statement for your card. Many receive their statement in the mail, while some cardholders have opted for the eco-friendly paperless route. In many cases, these statements get a cursory glance before being tossed in the trash, and many others simply ignore them. However, it’s a mistake to ignore your credit card statements, as they provide information on your spending, transactions, potential fraudulent activity, and possible hidden fees.
The next time you’re tempted to just toss that statement in the trash instead of looking it over, consider these reasons why you should be keeping up with these monthly statements:
- Do you know how much you’re spending per month? While it’s true that many cardholders can itemize each purchase spent, it’s still incredibly easy to overlook your charges, especially when using your credit card only involves a few simple steps. Unless you’re a math pro and keep an itemized list of every transaction you make, you’re likely going to need to go over your monthly balance to ensure you’re not overspending or making costly mistakes.
- Staying on top of the identity theft risk. Even if you’re incredibly safe with your credit card and your personal information relating to your card, it’s still possible to experience some degree of identity theft. According to recent studies, more than 15 million Americans experienced identity theft in 2018. While it’s easy to conflate this kind of theft with having your account wiped out, criminals have gotten savvier by stealing small amounts over time, making it somewhat undetectable unless you’re reading over your credit card statements every month.
- Weeding out unwanted or unnecessary transactions. You may have your card linked to something that incurs a monthly charge – a streaming service or account upgrade, for instance – that you no longer interact with or use. It’s so easy to sign up for “pro” accounts through apps and sites that provide a service that you may be overlooking how many of these regular monthly charges you incur. Reading over your credit card statements can help you weed out what you no longer use, so you can cancel subscriptions and apps if need be.
- Spot out possible billing errors on your card. In 2019, mistakes can still happen when it comes to billing. Perhaps you’ve accidentally been double-billed for a service or monthly subscription, or experienced technical issues with charges. If you’re checking your credit card statement on a regular basis, you can arrange a refund before it’s too late.