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Key things to check in your credit card statement
BS Reporter in Mumbai
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November 12, 2007

When was the last time you took a detailed and unhurried look at your credit card statement? Do you understand every printed detail that appears on your credit card?

Your monthly credit card statement is the best document that will help you understand your monthly spending.

By reading and understanding the fine print of your statement, you will be practicing proper credit card management. It will also help you learn how your credit card programme works.

A small list of things you should be looking at:

Credit Limit: Credit limit is the maximum amount your credit card allows you to borrow, whether as credit against goods purchased or/and cash withdrawn. The card issuing bank can revise credit limit based on your payment track-record.

Available Credit Limit: It is the difference between your credit limit and total amount due. If your credit limit is Rs 50,000 and you have spent Rs 1,500, your available credit limit reduces to Rs 48,500.

Cash Limit: Cash limit sets the maximum money you can withdraw as cash using your credit card. And if you exhaust it, you will not be able to withdraw more cash even though you still have balance in your overall limit.

Statement Date: This is the date on which your bill is generated. This is also the date used to calculate interest rate if you do not pay the full outstanding amount by the payment due date, even though the due date may fall many weeks after the statement date.

Payment Due Date: This is the date before which your payment (cheque or demand draft) should get credited to the bank. To be more specific, this is the last date by which your payment has to be recorded in your bank's computer.

Total Amount Due: This is the total bill amount to be paid - the total unpaid accumulated amount outstanding in your account, including interest and any other charges like late payment fee.

Minimum Amount Due: It is the minimum amount required to be paid to keep your account in a good credit standing. This amount is usually 5 per cent to 20 per cent of your total amount due.

Rewards Point Summary: It  gives an account of your opening balance and the points or credits earned or redeemed. You should not confuse reward points with credit limit or balance outstanding. Reward points and the method of redemption vary from one credit card to another.

Transaction Details: The transaction details will have the date of transaction, place of transaction (where you spend the money) and the transaction amount. This helps you verify the charges credited to your card.

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