Don’t be afraid to open your MasterCard credit card bill when it arrives at your doorstep. Don’t just check the bottom number in the bill, there is more than just the ending account balance in your credit card monthly statement.

You might want to get a calculator for this, by the way. A pen and a paper, too.

The first part of the credit card statement is your personal details. Your name, address, return address, etc. The next in line is the portion that details the payment cycling dates and the minimum due payment. You will also see the billing dates, the days in the billing period, credit limits and credit availability. This portion describes the methods of payment and the summary of payment. Changes in the minimum payments and your credit limit will be included here, so it is important to check this first.

The Activity Summary lists the transactions you did using your credit card. The date started from the date of the last issued statement. If you have the receipts with you, try to confirm the amounts from the receipts to the statement. Verify every receipt if possible and check for unauthorized charges. For errors, call your Credit Card Company and request for corrections. Make sure you keep those receipts with you. Look at the list of the fees and interest payments and other transactions regarding your previous balance. If you have paid your due bill, make sure the amount is reflected in the statement. The interest charges, over limit fees and late fees are reflected in the Activity Summary.

The Finance Charge Summary includes information on your annual percentage rates or APRs for purchases. You can get a bit of learning here. Some credit card companies charge rates differently, and this portion will tell you how much you will be charged for the various activity in your credit card. For instance, the interest rate of your advances is different from the percentage. So better check this out. Here’s where you can get your calculator to work, too.

If no everything in the statement is good, contact your credit card company. You can find the customers service numbers in some parts of your monthly statement. Usually at the bottom of the statement. Remember that not all credit card statements are the same. The statements have different formats but basically the same way of placing contents. If you hold several credit cards, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the formats and the way they look before paying the bills. You don’t want to bring y credit card statement over a competitor company when paying.

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