Your credit card transactions are billed to you in periods of time known as billing cycles. The last day of the billing cycle is your account statement closing date.
Why Statement Closing Date Matters
Your account statement date is significant for a few reasons. This is the date finance charges are calculated and added to your balance based on your credit card activity during the billing cycle.
Monthly finance charges are an accumulation of interest charged daily.
The statement closing date is also the date your billing statement is prepared. All transactions made between the previous account statement closing date and the current statement closing date will be included in that month's billing statement.
Since your credit card statement shows the balance as of your account statement closing date, your current credit card balance can be different if you've made purchases or payments since your account statement closed. Your payment due is the payment printed on your credit card statement.
Account Statement Closing Date vs. Payment Due Date
Your account statement closing date is not your payment due date. You’ll have several days after your account statement closing date to send at least the minimum credit card payment and keep your account in good standing.
Your payment due date should be at least 21 days after your account statement is mailed to you to give you enough time to make your credit card payment.
If you pay your balance in full by the payment due date, you won't have any interest charges on your next billing statement.
Your payment due date will fall on the same calendar date each month, which makes it easier to ensure your payment is made on time. Many credit card issuers will allow you to change your payment due date, with some allowing several changes in a calendar year. This can be useful from a budgeting perspective. For example, you may prefer to have the payment due at the beginning of the month, instead of at the end, so it better lines up with your paycheck and cash flow.
Credit Reporting Date
Many credit card issuers report your account details to the credit bureaus once each month on the account statement closing date. This may be particularly important if you’re trying to keep your reported balances low to improve your credit score or to be approved for a major loan.
The account status, balance, credit limit, and most recent payment amount as of the most recent account statement closing date are sent to the credit bureau, updated on your credit report, and included in your credit score.
If you were late on a previous credit card payment, catching up on your payment before your account statement closing date will save you from having an additional late payment added to your credit report.
Calculating Your Account Statement Closing Date
Knowing your account statement closing date can be useful if you want to pay down your balance before your billing cycle ends. This is especially important if you want to reduce your balance for credit reporting purposes.
Having a low or zero balance listed on your credit report will improve your credit utilization percentage and could improve your credit score.
Your credit card billing statement doesn’t typically include the upcoming closing date, which can make it tricky to time your credit card payments just right. You can calculate it by adding the number of days in your billing cycle to the previous account statement closing date (which is included in your billing statement).
For example, say your previous credit card statement had an account closing date of April 2, and there are 29 days in your billing cycle. Your next account statement closing date would be May 1. All the transactions between April 3 and May 1 will be included on your next credit card billing statement.
The length of your billing cycle may be different for all your credit cards. If you don't see the length of the billing cycle on your credit card statement, you can calculate it by subtracting the dates in your most recent billing cycle.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a grace period?
A credit card grace period is the time between when the billing cycle ends and when your payment is due. You're typically not charged interest on purchases as long as the balance is paid in full by your payment due date. Cash advances usually don't offer a grace period, however.
What is a statement balance?
Your statement balance is the amount you owe on your credit card as of the end of the most recent billing cycle. It may be lower than your current balance if you've made purchases since the end of your billing cycle. You can minimize interest by paying your statement balance in full each month.