Editor’s note: This post comes from partner site LowCards.com.
Congress has passed many new rules and regulations to help credit card customers, but one of the best consumer protections is offered for free by credit card issuers. Online banking alerts provide instant updates on your account and can be sent by text or email.
“We have busy lives and do not have time to closely monitor our accounts all of the time. These online banking alerts can be a tremendous help in letting you know some important account information about your credit card. They can certainly help you avoid some painful late fees or over-the-limit fees, as well as notifying you of possible fraudulent activity. These alerts give you more control over your account and help you take immediate action,” says Bill Hardekopf, CEO of LowCards.com and author of The Credit Card Guidebook.
Online alerts can let you know your daily account balance, when your payment is due, and when the payment has been posted to your account.
In addition, these alerts can:
- Notify you when your credit card balance reaches a certain level you set. Or when your available credit is less than a predetermined percentage of your total credit limit.
- Make you aware of irregular credit card activity.
- Inform you when a purchase above a set amount is charged to your account.
- Let you know when changes have taken place with your account’s information such as the address, phone number, or email. This may indicate fraudulent activity.
- Some cards allow you to keep track of your monthly point balance.
The alerts are free, but your phone carrier may charge for the text messages. The issuers point out that they can’t guarantee the accuracy or delivery of the contents of an alert and they are not liable for the delays or errors in the content of an alert.
[Editor's note: To sign up for email/text alerts, check your credit card provider's website.]