How to avoid unwanted credit card charges

Woman holding credit card statement

Recurring subscriptions, overcharges, free trial offers — unexpected charges that show up on your credit card statement — cost individuals more than $350 each year. But you don’t have to be among the masses losing money on these often overlooked charges. Here's what you can do.

Track your transactions 

That forgotten magazine subscription could be on auto-renew. Or your free trial offer has turned into regular monthly payments. Whatever the reason, the resulting charges are costing you extra money you could use elsewhere.

First, get into the habit of closely examining your bill. Don’t wait until the end of the month to match your statement charges against receipts. If you can, set aside a few minutes each week to log in to your credit card account online and view your recent transactions one by one.

As soon as you see an unexpected charge, take action. Get rid of them by making sure you’ve canceled unwanted subscriptions and free trial offers. If the company is taking too long to close your account, contact your card issuer to have the charges blocked. And next time you sign up for an offer or subscription, add a reminder to your calendar to alert you a week before the expiration date. This will give you ample time to cancel before charges hit your card.

Use Compass, LGFCU’s online money management resource, to track your transactions in real time. This way you can spot unwanted charges faster and take action.

Use account alerts for your card

Check to see if your credit card comes with alerts. This way you'll receive a text or email if a purchase exceeds pre-set spending limits or if the card was not present for a purchase, for example. Compass also includes an alerts feature so you’re the first to know about potentially fraudulent transactions or large expenses. Be sure to check with your service provider about potential fees.

Consumers pay millions in unexpected charges every year. Keep a closer eye on your statements and you'll likely keep more money in your pocket.

The advice provided is for informational purposes only. 

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