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What Is a Credit Card Receipt?

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  • Written By: K. Kinsella
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 19 August 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A credit card receipt is an acknowledgment given by a vendor, merchant or bank to credit card holders in exchange for a payment or a purchase made with a credit card. Typically, a credit card receipt is a small piece of paper that records the amount of the transaction, the day that it occurred and the name or store number of the merchant or bank that accepted the payment. Credit card receipts usually include an itemized list of the items that were bought, although some vendors offer receipts that show only the total amount charged.

Retail stores and other merchants have point-of-sale (POS) terminals through which credit card transactions are processed. POS terminals normally produce at least two copies of a credit card receipt. The merchant keeps one copy, and the second copy is given to the cardholder. A merchant’s copy typically contains the card number so that the merchant has a record of the account number in case the customer disputes the charge. It normally takes a few days for the merchant’s bank to collect payment from the cardholder’s bank.

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Online retailers usually provide credit card holders with electronic credit card receipts. These receipts appear on the screen after the credit card holder makes an online purchase, and the cardholder can print the credit card receipt to obtain a paper copy of the transaction details. Additionally, many online merchants email a copy of the receipt to the cardholder. Electronic receipts contain the same information as paper receipts and sometimes more.

Banks and credit card issuers encourage cardholders to reconcile their monthly credit card statement by comparing charges listed on their statement with their receipts. If any charges appear on a statement that the cardholder does not recall making, the cardholder can contact the card issuer to dispute those charges. Laws in different countries limit the amount of time that cardholders have to dispute credit card charges. A merchant can validate a charge by producing a copy of the original transaction receipt. In the absence of such a receipt, the merchant usually has to refund the charge because the card issuer assumes it to have been a fraudulent or erroneous transaction.

Businesses and individuals who deduct business expenses from their personal taxes typically keep copies of their credit card receipts to make filing their taxes easier. In most countries, the tax authorities can audit individuals and businesses, and people who cannot validate tax deductions by producing sales receipts can face tax penalties. People can use only an itemized credit card receipt that details the items purchased, because receipts that include only the amount of the charge and not the items purchased do not offer any proof that the charges made were for deductible business expenses.

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