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How to Check Your Credit Card Balance

Janine DeVault

Jun 30, 2022 6 min read

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How to Check Your Credit Card Balance

Keeping your credit utilization rate under 30% is a good rule of thumb to follow, especially if you’re working to build your credit score. Regularly checking your balance is a great way to avoid overspending, accruing excess interest, and prevent a dip in your credit score.

Thanks to telephone banking, credit card apps, and paper statements, there are many easy ways to check your current credit card balance.

Here’s what you need to know. 

What is a Credit Card Balance?

Your credit card balance is the dollar amount of your available credit that you have spent and now owe to the credit card company. Your balance includes everything you’ve spent in the current billing cycle, the balance left over from the previous billing cycle, and any applicable interest and fees. 

Remaining Balance

You aren’t required to pay your balance in full every month, but you must meet the “minimum payment” amount to keep your account current. However, when you carry a balance on your credit card month over month, the amount you owe accrues interest, which means you’ll pay back more than you originally spent. To avoid this, monitor your spending and create a budget that enables you to pay your credit card balance in full each month. 

Why is it Important to Check Your Credit Card Balance?

Checking your credit card balance regularly is a healthy financial habit to develop. It can help you control your spending, keep a healthy credit utilization rate, and reviewing your statement will help you spot any fraudulent charges and report them in a timely manner.

Customer Service Number

Your credit utilization rate makes up 30% of your overall credit score, so keeping it within a healthy range is a great way to protect your credit rating. It’s recommended that you never spend more than 30% of the credit limit available to you. Going over that 30% threshold will cause your credit score to drop (until you pay your balance down again). Monitoring your credit card balance will keep you aware of your credit utilization rate and adjust your spending habits to match. 

Checking your statement will also help you spot any unexpected or fraudulent charges. With so many low-cost subscription services out there, it’s easy to sign up for something and then completely forget about it. Reviewing your statement might reveal a subscription you’d completely forgotten about or thought you’d already canceled. 

You should also keep an eye out for fraudulent charges. The sooner you spot and report these, the easier it will be to have them reversed and removed from your statement. 

Credit Card Balances

Some credit cards charge fees when you exceed your credit limit, and monitoring your balance can help you avoid them. If your credit card has a low limit, it’s easy to run up the balance quickly, even if you only use it for everyday expenses. Checking your balance will help you see how much you have left to spend and know whether you need to make a payment to avoid going over the limit. 

3 Ways You Can Check your Credit Card Balance

These days, it’s simple to check your credit card balance, even in between monthly statements. You can use your online account, a mobile app, or contact your credit card company directly to find your most recent balance. You can also review your balance on a paper statement each month.

Online Account or Mobile App

If you’ve opened a credit card through your bank, you can check your account balance using your online banking login. If you’ve opened a credit card through a separate institution, you’ll need to visit their website and create an account to log in and view your balance.

Negative Balance

Most banks and credit card companies also offer mobile apps you can download to your phone or tablet, making it super easy to check your balance on the go. This can be really helpful when you’re out and about and want to check how much room you have left to spend on your card! 

Typically, all you need to create an account is your credit card number and an email address. You will also need to create a secure password to log in. To keep your account secure, use a different password than you do for your other online logins. Also, avoid storing your password in your computer’s browser as it could be a security risk if your device is stolen.

Call the Credit Card Issuer

Another way to check your credit card balance is by contacting your credit card company over the phone. The contact number should be printed on the back of your credit card, but you can also find it on their website.

Customer Service Representative

Usually you can check your balance through an automated system, but you will be asked to provide your credit card number to locate your account. You may also need to set up a telephone banking PIN or answer a couple of security questions to confirm your identity.

Once the phone system has located your account and verified that you are the account holder, it will provide the option to check your balance. You can request to speak with an agent if you have additional questions.  

Paper Credit Card Statement

Paper credit card statements are a bit old-fashioned now since it’s so easy to log in to your account and check your balance online, but they still have their place. Your credit card company will issue a monthly statement outlining your charges line by line, along with any interest and fees owed. 

Credit Card Statement

Some companies now favour paperless statements, which means they’ll make them available to download through your online account instead of mailing them to you. You should be able to request a paper statement by mail in your account settings. If not, make a habit of downloading your statement each month.

It’s wise to go over your statement line by line each month so you can keep an eye out for fraudulent charges. This practice also helps you evaluate how you’re spending your money and identify ways to adjust your budget or reign in your spending, if necessary. 

How to Transfer Your Credit Card Balance to Another Card?

A balance transfer is when you move your credit card balance from one card to another, usually a balance transfer credit card. Balance transfer credit cards are cards that offer no interest for an introductory period (usually 6 to 18 months). 

Credit Card Payments

If you regularly carry a balance on your credit card, moving it to a balance transfer card can be an excellent way to save money, but only if you plan to pay it off within the 0% interest introductory period. However, there is usually a small fee (usually 2% or so) on the amount you transfer, so do the math to make sure the transfer is really worth it.

Transferring your balance from one credit card to another is very simple. First, you must apply for and be approved for a balance transfer credit card. Once approved, you’ll be asked to input some account details, and your balance will transfer over.

Balance transfer credit cards can be really powerful for saving money on interest while working to pay off debt. Plus, when you open a new credit card, your credit utilization ratio decreases, so it could lead to a nice bump in your credit rating! 

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The Bottom Line

Staying on top of your credit card balance is integral to using your card responsibly. It will help you monitor your spending, spot fraudulent charges, and make it easier to keep your credit utilization within a healthy range, which is vital if you’re working to build your credit score. You might even be able to set up customized alerts within your credit card app to let you know when you’re within a certain amount of your credit limit, helping you control your spending and avoid over-limit fees.

Janine DeVault
Janine DeVault

Janine is a writer who focuses on topics such as credit education, money management, and renting best practices for tenants and landlords. Janine loves to travel and has lived in Canada, the US, and Mexico.

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