Understanding Your Credit Card Statement

December 13, 2019 · 5 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

Understanding Your Credit Card Statement

Your credit card statement might come to you by mail or email. Do you take the time to look at it, reviewing for errors and making sure everything looks right?

Or do you put it in the shred pile, quickly moving on with your life?

If you shy away from your credit card statements, you’re not alone. There’s a lot happening on those pages, between the ultra-fine print and numbers galore.

A credit card statement can also be a source of anxiety: a reminder of money that was spent throughout the month and of possible payments past due.

But, there’s also a lot of important information on a credit card statement.

If you spend a little bit of time learning to read your credit card statement, it won’t be nearly so overwhelming—you may even find it helpful in understanding how to manage your credit. It may be the catalyst you need to pay off your credit card debt.

A credit card statement includes information about rates, fees, transactions, payments, and any changes to the rules and regulations of your card.

Every credit card provider’s statement will look a bit different but will share similarities in the most important sections.

So this is just a high-level overview of some common facets of a credit card bill—including basic examples of what a credit card statement may look like; your statements will almost certainly vary, and may not contain every section outlined here. Think of this article as simply a jumping-off point to learning more about your own credit card bill.

Cash in on up to $300–and 3% cash back for 365 days.¹

Apply and get approved for the SoFi Credit Card. Then open a bank account with qualifying direct deposits. Some things are just better together.

How to Read a Credit Card Statement

Account Summary

This section is an overview of all transactions that have taken place on your credit card account during a billing period. Often, the section begins with the account’s previous balance. Added or subtracted to the balance are additional purchases, interest charges, fees, balance transfers, credits, or payments.

The result is the new balance, which takes into account all of the activity for that billing cycle. The billing cycle’s dates are typically also included.

Note that only activity from the current billing cycle will be reflected on the statement. This means that your statement may reflect different numbers than what you see when you look at your account online.

Your online dashboard will likely display a current balance that includes transactions that happened after the credit card statement cycle closed.

You may also find information on the card’s credit and cash advance limits in this section.

Payment Information

In this section, you’ll find information on what is owed for the billing cycle. If you look at no other section on your credit card statement, you’ll probably want it to be this section.

In addition to the total balance on the card at the end of the cycle—sometimes called the “new balance”—this section will include information on your minimum payment for the month and the date the payment is due.

If you fail to make the minimum monthly payment on time, you may be charged a late fee. Missing a payment might also trigger a higher penalty annual percentage rate (APR), and could potentially negatively impact your credit score.

Paying the balance in full each month typically avoids accumulating interest payments. To do this, you would pay off the full “new balance” amount listed in the payment information section. (You may also have the option to pay the full “current balance,” which includes transactions made after the close of the billing cycle.)

Late Payment and Minimum Payment Warnings

Credit card statements typically have sections that state what happens in the event that a minimum monthly payment is not received by the due date listed.

The late payment warning generally includes information on the penalty APR (if applicable) and the late payment fee.

The minimum payment warning section explains how long it will take to pay off a credit card balance and how much interest you will owe if you only make the minimum payment.

It is possible to pay off a credit card balance by only making minimum payments, but the process can be slow and cost more in the long run when you factor in compound interest.

The minimum payment warning section may include details for an expedited payment schedule such as three years, or 36 monthly payments. This can be a useful comparison if you’re unsure of just how much in interest charges you’ll save by making more than the minimum monthly payment.

Another way to explore interest costs over different repayment periods is by using a credit card interest calculator.

Rewards Summary

If you carry a rewards credit card, the most fun section to review on a credit card statement can be the rewards summary, which details how many points or miles are able to be redeemed for cash or travel.

This section typically contains information on how many points or miles were accumulated over the most recent billing period, along with the number of points that are available to be redeemed currently.

Credit Counseling Notice

Your credit card statement may include information for nonprofit credit counseling. If you are having a difficult time managing your credit, you could consider utilizing this resource.

These programs are typically long-term solutions, however, and may not be able to help if you are in immediate risk of missing a payment.

If you are unable to make a payment, calling your credit card company and asking about your options may be helpful. Credit card companies may have ways to help.

Notice of Changes to Interest Rates and Other Changes

If an action on your account triggers some sort of change to the account, there is usually a section dedicated to explaining this change (or potential change). For example, if a missed payment triggers the penalty APR rate, you must be notified of the change.

Similarly, if there are any other major changes to your account, rates, or fees, you may find more details in this section.

Transaction Charges

This section is a list of all transactions that occurred during a billing cycle including purchases, returns, and any other activity that would affect the running balance on a credit card. Each transaction typically includes information about the vendor, the date the transaction was made, the date it was posted to the account, and the dollar amount.

This section will only include information from the transaction period. Transactions that happened after the billing cycle will be included in the next period’s statement.

You may want to consider making a regular habit of checking your transactions each month for errors or fraudulent activity. If something looks suspicious to you, report the activity to the credit card company.

Fees and Interest Charges

Credit card statements typically have a section dedicated to fees and interest charges. Interest charges are listed by the type of transaction for which they apply.

For example, you may be charged a different interest rate for purchases than for balance transfers or cash advances. Here, you will be provided with the calculation for each.

Credit card statements may also include a year-to-date total of all fees and interest charged.

Managing Credit

Successfully managing your credit card is not something that happens overnight. Learning to read your credit card statement is a great start.

But if you’ve got big goals—like paying off your credit card debt—you may just need an extra boost.

One option to climb out of credit card debt is to take out a personal loan. A low fixed-rate personal loan could be easier to manage than multiple different credit card payments.

SoFi offers personal loans with low rates and no fees (that means no application or origination fees) for qualified borrowers. Plus SoFi knows that navigating your finances and learning credit card jargon can be tough, which is why all SoFi members have access to helpful financial advisors, at no cost.

Ready to take out a personal loan with SoFi? Check your rate today.

You will need to maintain a qualifying Direct Deposit every month with SoFi Checking and Savings in order to continue to receive this promotional cash back rate. Qualifying Direct Deposits are defined as deposits from enrolled member’s employer, payroll, or benefits provider via ACH deposit. Deposits that are not from an employer (such as check deposits; P2P transfers such as from PayPal or Venmo, etc.; merchant transactions such as from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.; and bank ACH transfers not from employers) do not qualify for this promotion. A maximum of 36,000 rewards points can be earned from this limited-time offer. After the promotional period ends or once you have earned the maximum points offered by this promotion, your cash back earning rate will revert back to 2%. 36,000 rewards points are worth $360 when redeemed into SoFi Checking and Savings, SoFi Money, SoFi Invest, Crypto, SoFi Personal Loan, SoFi Private Student Loan or Student Loan Refinance and are worth $180 when redeemed as a SoFi Credit Card statement credit.

Promotion Period: 4/18/2022-6/30/2022

Eligible Participants: All new members who apply and get approved for the SoFi Credit Card, open a SoFi Checking and Savings account, and set up Direct Deposit transactions ("Direct Deposit") into their SoFi Checking and Savings account during the promotion period are eligible. All existing SoFi Credit Card members who set up Direct Deposit into a SoFi Checking & Savings account during the promotion period are eligible. All existing SoFi members who have already enrolled in Direct Deposit into a SoFi Checking & Savings account prior to the promotion period, and who apply and get approved for a SoFi Credit Card during the promotion period are eligible. Existing SoFi members who already have the SoFi Credit Card and previously set up Direct Deposit through SoFi Money or SoFi Checking & Savings are not eligible for this promotion.

New SoFi Checking and Savings customers and existing Checking and Savings customers without direct deposit are eligible to earn a cash bonus when they set up direct deposits of at least $1,000 over a consecutive 30-day period. Cash bonus will be based on the total amount of direct deposit. Entry into the Program will be available 4/5/22 to 5/31/22. Full terms at sofi.com/banking. SoFi Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. Member FDIC.

SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 1.25% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on all account balances. There is no minimum direct deposit amount required to qualify. Members without direct deposit will earn 0.70% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. Rate of 1.25% APY is current as of 04/05/22. Additional information at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.

1See Rewards Details at SoFi.com/card/rewards.
SoFi cardholders earn 2% unlimited cash back when redeemed to save, invest, or pay down eligible SoFi debt. Cardholders earn 1% cash back when redeemed for a statement credit.1
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC), and by SoFi Lending Corp. NMLS #1121636 , a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law (License # 6054612) and by other states. For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.


All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store
SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender