Keeping track of your credit card balance is essential to responsible spending. Every time you purchase with your card, the amount will be subtracted from your available balance.
If you don’t check your balance often, you could spend more money than you thought or risk getting slapped with a cash advance or over-limit fee because you weren’t aware of how much available credit you had left. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to stay on top of things and avoid these pitfalls. Read on to learn why you need to check a credit card balance. As per SoFi states, “Paying off a credit card balance in full each month can also help keep credit utilization low.”
It Helps You Stay on Budget
Knowing how much money you have left on your card allows you to plan your purchases accordingly, so you don’t spend more than you intended. To benefit the most from this, it’s essential to check your balance every time you make a purchase and before paying your bill to avoid costly mistakes.
Avoid Overdraft Fees
If you ignore your credit card balance, you could exceed your available credit and overdraw your account. Overspending can lead to costly overdraft fees if you have a traditional checking account.
When you use your credit card for a purchase, the bank will automatically withdraw money from your account to cover the cost of the transaction. The bank will cover the difference with your overdraft account if there isn’t enough cash in your account to cover the full amount. You have been permitted to access this line of credit in an emergency, but it could come with hefty fees.
As with credit cards, overdraft accounts are something you should monitor regularly. If you don’t realize there isn’t enough money in your account and make a purchase, you will be charged a fee, and the transaction won’t go through. This can create a whole new set of problems and additional headaches.
Detect Fraudulent Activity
Credit card companies protect their customers from fraud, so they carefully monitor card activity and transactions. Checking your credit card balance will also help you detect fraudulent activity. If you notice any sudden changes or unusual activity on your account, you can report it to the credit card company, and they will take the appropriate action.
Checking your balance can also help you avoid problems with a new card, such as getting a card number mix-up or not receiving your card on time.
Check for Mistakes
As with any financial transaction, mistakes are possible. If you notice an error on your credit card statement, checking your balance will help you identify the problem and report it to the credit card company.
In most cases, they will investigate your claim, contact you, and take action as soon as they are aware of a problem. For example, you could miss a payment and incur late fees if you don’t check your account.
Credit cards are helpful financial tools, but you must pay close attention to your balance and keep track of your spending. Checking your card balance regularly will help you stay on budget, avoid overdraft fees, detect fraudulent activity, and check for mistakes.