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    There is no second thought about the fact that credit cards have been redefining the way we buy and spend for decades now. The features and benefits it offers is immense and continues to grow by each passing year. The huge popularity this product enjoys world over is mainly due to its mobility and “buy now, pay later” concept.

    Routine usage of credit card also calls for constant monitoring and discipline. After all, it's nothing but revolving credit you’re availing from the issuer to be repaid as per the schedule. One of the most common facets of monitoring the credit is knowing the balance. When we say balance, it refers to the current balance owed as well as remaining balance available on the card.

    Importance of knowing credit card balance

    If you’re frequent credit card user, it's paramount to know the balance at regular intervals. Let's explore the benefits of keeping track of the balance on the credit card.

    Helps in knowing how much is outstanding

    Checking your balance will help in ascertaining the balance outstanding which in turn aids timely payment. You can also check unbilled charges and raise a flag with the bank if there are unauthorized transactions. This way, you can stay up to date with card information.

    To know the available balance

    Knowing how much is available helps in deciding the spends. Just like you would do with a debit card, keeping an eye on the available balance will save you from the embarrassment of card being rejected at a shop or online, when you need the most.

    General monitoring and flagging fraudulent charges

    It also helps to keep a track of transactions made during a specific billing period. If there are any unauthorized/fraudulent charges, you can always contact the issuer and raise a dispute in this regard, thus saving you from paying for charges which were not authorized.

    Now that we’ve understood the importance of monitoring the balance, the section below provides details of various ways/resources through which you can keep a tab.

    At the ATM

    By inserting the card in any of the ATMs, you should be able to get details of the balance on the card by selecting the relevant option from the menu. This service is available upon authentication by means of a PIN on the keypad. If you do not have a PIN, explore other options or request for one with the issuer.

    Monthly statements

    The issuer would send out statements after the closure of the billing period as and when they are generated. If you’ve subscribed for a hard copy, it would be sent by regular mail or courier service. Otherwise, they are instantly transmitted to the registered email id, giving immediate access. With most issuers, a password is needed to open the soft copy. This password is generally a combination of personal credentials such as the card number and date of birth.

    The smartest way to check statements is by email. If you’ve not registered for this service, do so at the earliest since there are no additional charges for the subscription.

    Visiting a branch

    Although a time consuming option, balance information can also be obtained from the nearest branch if visiting one is convenient. The representatives have access to the card information on their systems that can be instantly retrieved and communicated after verification.

    By calling customer service team

    Balance information can also be obtained by contacting the customer service wing on the phone numbers provided. After authentication by means of a PIN, critical information pertaining to the card can be obtained either over the IVR or by speaking to the representative.

    By SMS service

    If you’ve subscribed to SMS alerts, text messages are sent out by the systems as and when the transaction is made, providing you details of the charge as reference. The issuer may also send out periodic alerts such as communicating the balance via SMS which will help you in referring to card information whenever you want.

    Internet banking

    Perhaps, one of the most sought after ways to check card information including balance. You can check the balance on the go, across devices. All you need is an id and a password to login. The credentials are generally provided when you sign up for a credit card as it comes in the welcome kit. Otherwise, some issuers also let you register for net banking on their portal. The information provided is up to date and real time.

    With online banking, you can also request for changes to your account and update personal information.

    On the mobile app

    Another preferred way to check card balance is by using the app provided by the issuer on smartphones and other handheld devices. It's convenient, easy and instant. Nearly all banks maintain apps for mobile phone and tablets on platforms such as android and iOS.

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