Your credit card bill will show your total current balance on your credit card, the minimum payment you have to make and when it's due, among other pieces of information. If your interest rate or other card terms are changing, that information will be listed as well.
Total Current Balance
You'll generally receive a bill from your credit card company every month. The bill will include the total balance on the card at the end of the previous billing cycle and tell you the date by which you need to make a payment. If you don't pay on time, you will be charged a late fee as well as interest, and your credit rating can be affected.
The total balance includes any purchases you made on your credit card during that cycle as well as any unpaid balance, fees and interest from previous billing cycles. If you've taken out any cash advances on your card or transferred a balance from another card, those transactions will also be listed on your bill, along with any associated fees.
If you pay your balance in full at the end of the month, you won't be charged any interest. If you have the funds to do so, this can save you a lot of money in interest over time.
In some cases, your bill may indicate that the credit card company actually owes you money. That can happen if you have overpaid a previous bill, if you've received a refund for a purchase or if the credit card company made a mistake at some point. If you are owed money by the credit card company, you can generally ask them to send you the money by check or simply keep it on your account to pay for future purchases.
List of Transactions
In addition to showing how much you've spent, your credit card bill will itemize each transaction you've made. It's a good idea to review this list to make sure you recognize all the transactions and that the amounts appear to be correct.
If you see a charge that looks to be incorrect or potentially fraudulent, contact your credit card company right away. If you recognize the transaction but think the amount is wrong, you can also contact the merchant to inquire.
Your credit card bill will also tell you the minimum payment you must make that month and how long it will take to pay off your balance if you continue to only make minimum payments.
If you pay only the minimum, your account will remain in good standing, but you may end up paying a substantial amount of interest over time.
Steven Melendez is an independent journalist with a background in technology and business. He has written for a variety of business publications including Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, Innovation Leader and Ad Age. He was awarded the Knight Foundation scholarship to Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.