Money Matters: Credit Card Receipts

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Like most people with credit cards, you often find those slips of paper stuffed in pocket or purse.

Those credit card reciepts are rarely kept nor do we pay much attention to them, but Melody Warnick from says that piece of paper is worth paying attention to and here is why.

1. Receipts are more secure than you think.

Unless a merchant makes a big mistake you won't see your whole credit card number on the receipt. By law only the last 4 or 5 digits of your card number can appear, and your expiration date won't show either.

2. But receipts aren't totally thief-proof.

That incomplete account on the receipt should still be considered sensitive and confidential information.

3. Receipt numbers aren't just gobbledygook.

Those numbers are codes used to process card payments. They include a merchant id number, an approval code, a refernce sequencing number and sometimes a terminal number to identify the cash register.

4. Your receipt & your bill may not always match.

When you get the bill grab your receipts make sure what you signed for is actually what you owe. Pay particular attention to transactions with a tip.

Sometimes mistakes are made. Sometimes they can't read the numbers you wrote aren't clear and the clerk or waiter guesses. The cashier will usually go by the total but not always. If something is off, that receipt is important.

5. It's wise to keep your receipts around.

Keep your receipts for a year or two not only for disputes with the store, but for the IRS. You may also need it for a refund, a warranty or a challenge. After two years shred them, don't just toss them in the trash.

6. You don't have to get a receipt .

If you don't need a receipt, don't ask for one. It's better not to have it than have it thrown in the trash.

It's estimated 9.6 million trees are used to create 640-thousand tons of paper that go into reciepts each year. So if an electronic reciept is offered, you might consider that option.


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