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Saturday, 8 October 2011

Why it's important to check your credit card statements often

Here's a basic piece of advice that I'm sure you've heard many times.
Check your credit card statements often. 
If you're not convinced then take my experience just this week.

After months of putting it off I finally got around to booking a BCAA vehicle inspection for my aging car. I felt that I might as well have an idea of everything that was wrong with it. The inspection went smoothly and I had no complaints (I will write about my positive experience with them in greater detail elsewhere). It was only later during the week after checking my credit card online that I noticed the charge on my card was higher than what I had been quoted. After phoning in to inquire about the charge we discovered that I had been charged the non-member rate by mistake for the inspection. As an owner of a 15 year old car that has died on me before, I obviously had a BCAA membership.

The inspection was completed on Monday and after discovering the mistake on Wednesday and phoning in on Thursday, I had already received my refund by Friday.

In this case it was a small sum but nonetheless it would have been money lost into the abyss. I am certain if I had checked this even a month later I would not have remembered what I had been quoted and not noticed the difference. It is very unlikely that they would have noticed their mistake either as their receipt number matched what I was quoted originally and not what I was charged.

Not only did this habit end up saving me money, but it also saved me time and effort by discovering the problem right away and making it an easy fix. I can only imagine the difficulty I'd face trying to receive a refund on a transaction that occurred months before.

*If you're still not convinced, then consider that it can also help alert you to any unauthorized purchases on your card. If you discover these charges early you can notify your card issuer and they will begin the process of getting a new card out to you as soon as possible so you can resume your spending ways.

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