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Could getting your credit card statements online be costing you money?

uSwitch research reveals one in six credit card customers with paperless statments have missed payments and incurred unnecessary fines in the last six months

Paperless billing is the norm for most credit card users, with just over half relying on digital updates to manage their account.

However, research from uSwitch has revealed this online-only approach is not always giving customers a clear view of their finances, putting them in danger of making costly slip-ups and falling further into debt.

Who has the best online service?

Find out which credit card providers offer the best online service according to the 2016 uSwitch Credit Card Awards

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Hard to access

A third of cardholders with paperless statements said that they have been unable to access their online account, and one in ten admitted that they had forgotten their password because they use their online banking so rarely.

Finances worse than expected for a third

When cardholders did manage to login to their online account, 33% found their finances in a worse state than expected, 21% found their credit card balance higher and 12% were surprised by the date of their next bill.

Most worryingly one in six (17%) missed payments and incurred unnecessary fines in the last six months.

Customers not using apps to manage finances

Despite the fact that all of those surveyed used smartphones daily for other reasons, over half never checked their credit card balance through a smartphone app.

For example, more than four times as many people receive daily mobile notifications from social media apps like Facebook (42%) than from their bank (9%).

Consumers need “a helpful nudge”

Half of people surveyed said that they would like to receive a notification from their credit card app about an upcoming payment being due and three quarters agreed that notifications of unusual spending would be beneficial.

Tashema Jackson, money expert at, said:

“Credit card providers are missing a trick when it comes to keeping people informed about their finances. With consumers’ lives busier than ever, a helpful nudge from their credit card app would go a long way towards keeping them in control of their finances.

“Useful reminders at financial pinch-points, such as when a bill is due, could help people manage their finances in a responsible manner. Otherwise, many risk missing out on critical information that could prevent them incurring unnecessary fees and potentially damaging their credit file.”

Who has the best online service?

According to the 10,000 credit card customers who voted for the winners of the 2016 uSwitch credit card awards:

  • American Express won awards for the ‘best mobile website’ and ‘best mobile app’, as well as winning the top prize of ‘credit card provider of the year’
  • Virgin Money offer the ‘best website’, ‘best application process’ and ‘best overall customer service’

Read more…

  • Android Pay – Android Pay is a phone app that allows you to use your Android OS phone as a contactless credit card
  • Apple Pay – Apple’s new ‘Apple Pay’ payment system is a new way of paying with your iPhone. We explain how it works and what to be aware of
  • Personal finance apps – With smart phones you can now manage your finances on the go – but which bank provides the best app to help you keep on top of your money?


  • RussellR

    No need to worry about your card provider doing your work for you – take responsibility for your own finances and use the built in diary on your smartphone. Simple!

    • Bill Aitch

      Do not have a “smart’phone” but use a good ode fashioned 9yo lap-top, once, even twice/day, in order to keep pace with vital communications, online shopping, etc. I also use a cheap Mobi, with Bluetooth H/set, @ £12.50 last year, which replaced a 15yo, of the same make/model. Sadly, the cam is only 1.3 Mp, which is more than adequate for a desktop pic., as also for an A5 print-out. It is slightly grainy at A4. A relatively small price to pay for such durability, dependability, extreme convenience, etc. My next one will also be same make/model, in a few years time, hopefully new, @ £30/. on amazon. My monthly ‘phone bill, including text etc., is an alarming £5, my laptop is only £15/month, and my Digital 220/12/24v TV, complete with DAB, is only a TV licence. It also has USB for AV input/output, as also Bluetooth H/set. The entire gadget cost an alarming £50/., new, from maplins, and has already setrved extremely wel for several years.

  • Rocket

    I have no sympathy. I manage perfectly well.

    • Bill Aitch

      Me too. i have an average memory, which serves me extremely well for most online business. So many “organisations” attempt to assist me with my finances, all hoping for insight into my finances. No of ’em are to be trusted, worst of all the civil-service variety. They are even worse than the army of ambulance chasers, and basically only wish to gain “power of attorney” over us. Even at my alarming age, I still yet run a nationwide charity, which I founded September 2005, and also still yet drive C/D+E (HGV 1/PSV) including ATP/ADR/ADI, up to 2,000 miles/week, mostly nights. I find that most of the afflicted are drinkers, most also smokers. This would certainly account for their inadequate abilities, and most of the relevant problems.

  • Bill Aitch

    I find paperLESS billing makes life so easy. It is by far the best means of home filing, and I have full 24/7 access, on any suitable machine, although, for security reasons, I prefer my own lap-top.

  • EcoGrandma

    I was concerned at the worrying headline ….I couldn’t understand how my card could be costing me money & thought there must be something hidden!
    ….but no… no subterfuge by the credit card companies…just lazy & disorganised people!

    I have no sympathy for people who miss payment dates.
    I have a Direct Debit set up to pay my card off in full every month.
    Problem then does not exist!