How Long to Keep Your Credit Card Statements: What You Should Know

By Jacqueline DeMarco · June 05, 2024 · 7 minute read

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How Long to Keep Your Credit Card Statements: What You Should Know

Typically, you only need to keep credit card statements for 60 days, unless they are tax-related. It can be wise to keep copies in the short-term so you can scan the charges and wrangle your budget.

Keep reading for more insight if you’re wondering how long you should keep credit card statements. Different situations may require differ guidelines on the timing.

Why Should You Keep Your Credit Card Statements?

Aside from sharing your credit card statement balance or current balance, your credit card statements contain some pretty helpful information that can come in handy down the road — especially come tax season. If payments are made by credit card, it’s possible to review old statements to look up business expenses (perhaps Ubers taken for work purposes) or other write-offs like mortgage, student loan, or tuition payments that you put on your card.

It can also be helpful to keep credit card statements in case so you can review them for errors or signs of fraud. It’s easy to overlook mistakes when quickly reading a credit card statement while sorting the mail. It can be valuable to take the time to look more closely.

Online vs Hard Copy Statements

If you want to avoid holding onto a lot of paperwork, you also have the option to access online statements for your credit card. Credit card issuers may store this information for a while — though they won’t necessarily hold onto old statements forever.

The length of time your records are stored will vary by financial institution. Some credit card issuers only provide the past 12 months of statements, while others hold onto them for up to seven years. In many cases, five years is a common timeline.

If an old statement isn’t appearing online, the account holder may be able to call their credit card issuer and request a copy of an older statement. Still, there’s no guarantee that this will work; you might not be able to get what you’re searching for. It can also cost money to get a copy of an older statement if it is accessible.

Factors That Determine How Long to Keep Credit Card Statements

Like the rules around keeping financial documents in general, how long to keep credit card statements depends on each consumer’s unique needs. That being said, a good rule of thumb is to keep them at least 60 days, to have time to scan them for signs of erroneous charges or fraud and to reconcile your budget.

If you use your credit card for purchases that might be tax-deductible, then it can be wise to at least hold onto them until it’s time to prepare taxes for the year. (Again, you may not have to keep hard copies since you may be able to download statements from your credit card issuer’s website or app.)

If you do use your credit card statements to help prepare your taxes, you should hold onto them for at least seven years just in case the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) comes knocking with any questions.

How Long Should You Keep Your Credit Card Statements?

It’s worth noting though that consumers may have different needs than business owners when it comes to holding onto old credit card statements. Here’s a closer look.

For Consumers

How long consumers should keep credit card statements depends on how someone uses their statements. In general, it’s wise to keep your credit card statements for 60 days due to credit card rules. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), credit card issuers must receive written notice of any errors within 60 days of them sending the consumer the statement containing the error.

However, it might be smart to keep your statements for longer in the following scenarios:

•   If you use your statements to make deductions on your taxes: In this case, it’s wise to keep statements for seven years. That way, if you’re ever audited by the IRS, you’ll have those statements handy as supporting documentation for deductions.

•   If you decide to dispute charges: If you’re disputing charges on your credit card, it’s best to hold onto the statement in question for 90 days, as that’s how long the dispute process can take.

•   If you want to track your spending: Those looking to learn more about their spending habits and create a better budget may find that holding onto a year’s worth of statements is helpful. That way, they can sit down on January 1 and get a clear picture of how you spent your money in the last year and where you can cut back. This can help with using a credit card responsibly.

•   If you have an extended warranty: It’s also helpful to hold onto statements that contain purchases that came with extended warranties. For example, if you buy a TV with a three-year warranty, the credit card issuer may offer an extended one-year warranty as a cardholder benefit. Keep that statement at the ready as a proof of purchase in case that extended warranty is needed.

For Business Owners

Similar to consumers, business owners can benefit from holding onto credit card statements for at least a year in order to track business expenses. If referenced for tax purposes, it’s wise to keep credit card statements stored away for seven years to help resolve any future tax issues that may arise.

When You Should Keep Credit Card Statements Longer

As mentioned earlier, if you are going to use your credit card statements to help you prove deductions on your taxes, you’ll want to keep your own copies of your credit card statements (whether you save them on paper or digitally) for seven years. This is generally the longest you might need to keep statements for.

Recommended: What is the Average Credit Card Limit

Different Ways to Store Statements

Because credit card statements contain sensitive personal and financial information, it’s important to keep them safe. Here are a couple ways to store them:

•   In a password-protected file on your computer: If you download a digital copy of your statement, you can store them in a password-protected file on your computer.

•   In a safe: If you want to hold onto hard copies, keep them in a locked, fireproof safe to protect them from both theft and damage.

Different Ways to Dispose of Statements

Once you are ready to dispose of your credit card statements, it’s important to destroy the documents so no one can find them and glean information from them. Here are your options to get rid of your old credit card statements:

•   Shredding or cutting them up: Shredding old documents is ideal, but if you don’t have a shredder, you can cut the statement up into very small pieces using scissors. Then, throw away the various pieces into different garbage cans.

•   Deleting all files: For digital copies, simply delete the files fully from your computer — including any backup copies — once you no longer need them.

Managing Online Statements: What to Know

When it comes to online statements, you can easily save those digitally if you don’t like storing paper documents or if you’ve opted to receive paperless statements. All the cardholder has to do is download their statements and keep them stored in their digital files, ideally with password protection.

Recommended: What is a Charge Card

The Takeaway

How long you should keep your credit card statements depends on your unique needs, but 60 days is a good rule of thumb. If you have extended warranties through your credit card issuer, you may keep statements for the length of their warranty in case you need a reference. Or, if you use the statements to help with your tax deductions, it can be a good idea to hold onto them for up to seven years in case any questions arise.

Further, holding onto your credit card statements can help you easily see your spending habits and how well your credit card is serving you.

Whether you're looking to build credit, apply for a new credit card, or save money with the cards you have, it's important to understand the options that are best for you. Learn more about credit cards by exploring this credit card guide.


How can I get old credit card statements?

If you didn’t save your old credit card statements, you can look for them in your online account or can call your credit card issuer to request them. A charge may be involved for this service.

Do you need to keep credit card receipts?

Often, a credit card statement will give you a record of the information you need without needing to keep receipts.

How long should you keep credit card statements with tax-related expenses?

If you use your credit card statements to help figure out tax deductions, you should keep old credit card statements for up to seven years. That way, if the IRS has questions about any deductions, you can have the documentation to back them up.

How can you keep digital credit card statements safely?

If you download a digital copy of your statement, it’s best to store them in a password-protected file on their computer. Once you no longer need the statements, fully delete the files from your computer.

Photo credit: iStock/Rawpixel

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.


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