What Should You Do If Your Credit Card Shows A Negative Balance

Under normal circumstances, your credit card balance will appear as a positive number, and you must pay that balance, or at least the minimum payment due. If you see a negative balance on your credit card statement, you may find it confusing as to whether you owe the lender or the lender owes you.

Credit Balance

If you see a negative number on your credit card statement, it indicates that you have a negative balance and that no payment is currently due. In fact, that negative balance indicates that the credit card company owes you money. A number of things cause negative balances, including a successful chargeback for shoddy merchandise or an overpayment on your previous statement.

No Payment Due

When you have a credit balance on your credit card, you do not have to pay the bill, since you do not owe any money. You should still receive a credit card statement, however, since it is important to track your balance and decide what to do with it. Once you know that you have a credit balance in place, you can decide whether to leave that balance in place and make new charges or request a refund for the negative balance.

Offset New Charges

If you have a credit balance on your account, you can continue to make new purchases with the same card. Each new purchase goes against the negative balance and reduces it, until that negative balance is gone and you once again owe money on the card. It is a good idea to track your purchases carefully and make sure you can pay the entire balance on the card when it comes due.

Making a Formal Refund Request

If you have a credit balance on your credit card account, you can request a refund of that balance by calling the credit card issuer or sending it a letter. In some cases the issuer will automatically issue you a check for the credit balance after a number of billing cycles, but for other issuers you will have to formally request that payment, either by calling the issuer or submitting a letter. If you have a credit balance on your card and do not plan to use it frequently, it is a good idea to close out that balance by requesting a refund check.