|by Mr Credit Card|
Every year towards the end of January, Chase will have your year end summary statements ready for your viewing. You will actually get a reminder in your email (like I did here). Below are a series of screen shots of the email I got, the log in page and the actual statements.
I think if is very important to view your online summary statements. This is especially so for a cash back credit card like the Chase Freedom, which pays you 5% rebates on rotating categories. And you would really want to find out how they classify certain expenditure at certain places (you may get some surprises).
As you can see below, the first part of the summary statement shows you overall spending broken down by the month of the year. Mine was a little erratic and that is because I also use the Blue Cash and Platinum Card (and also the British Airways Visa). So I’m just trying to max out rebates and sometimes, I just use a card that I feel like.
I would like to show you the next section because it looks at my spending at groceries and drugstores. Chase used to have grocery and drugstore in their rotating categories (but no longer). So it is very important to check who do they consider to be supermarkets and drugstores. Looking at a statement summary will give you a clue since the merchant name is written beside the expense.
One interesting thing I found out was that Aux Petites Delicassi, a place which I go to every Tuesday mornings to buy croissants for breakfast is considered a grocery store! Did I earn 5% cash back last year during the quarter which Chase Freedom paid 5% rebates in groceries? I have to check again because I certainly did not expect them to be considered a supermarket! It really has to do with the code that Visa and MasterCard uses for the interchange fee. And the reason that I did not use my Amex Platinum was because this shop did not accept Amex.
So here is a great example of the benefits of checking your year end statement.
The next section showed my spending on home improvement and landscaping. This occurred in April because Chase Freedom was paying 5% on home improvement in the second quarter last year. I was able to confirm if the stuff that I bought from was considered a home improvement store. I also ordered a Chinese Cable TV because MIL came to town and this was correctly classified as utilities. Dining was the next on the list and I made a mental to go through and just check the diners that showed up on this list. While the Chase Freedom only had dining in their rotating categories for a quarter last year, this is still very valuable information because if you intend to get a card like the Costco (which pays 2% on dining), then chances are that the dining places that were classified as restaurants for Chase will be classified the same way for other cards as well.
One thing to note is that my year end summary for my British Airways Visa is also available, but it is not so interesting to show because all I did was toe meet their spending requirements to get their 100,000 bonus miles and I have used it sparingly since then. I’ll show you my Amex year end statements another day.
Everyone should have gotten their year end summary statements by now. Go through them, check your spending patterns and you may discover a couple of interesting things like I have.