Banking

Your Billing Address: It’s More Important Than You Think

Your billing address is more important than you think. Not only does it ensure that your bill gets to you, but it helps protect you from identity theft or fraud.

Checking on your billing address, ensures that it’s right, and knowing how to change it is important. If you’re recently moved or aren’t sure that you ever updated your billing address with certain creditors, here’s what you must know.

What is a Billing Address?

Your billing address is the address your credit card company has to mail your bill, send you new cards, or send other important letters or statements. It’s also the address credit card companies use to make sure you aren’t a victim of credit card theft or identity fraud. This happens not only with payment apps, it happens with credit cards too.

Your billing address may or may not be the same as your shipping address. If you live in a condo or apartment or you use a post office box for any other reason, your billing address and shipping address differ.

Your shipping address is the physical address of your property. It’s where you’d receive packages rather than a P.O. Box. A billing address is where you receive your mail – it’s not always your home address.

Why is it Important?

Your billing address is what credit card companies use during the Address Verification Service. The AVS helps prevent fraudulent activity on your card because it compares your billing address to your shipping address. 

If the addresses differ, the credit card company may decline the transaction and/or alert you of the purchase. This stops thieves from taking your credit card and making purchases, sending them to their home while sticking you with the bill. 

Credit card companies use your billing address for other purchases too, such as gas. When you enter your zip code into the machine, it’s checking for a match with your billing address. If the wrong zip code is entered, it could be a sign of credit card theft and the credit card company will decline the transaction.

How to Find your Billing Address

If you haven’t used your credit card for a while and want to check your billing address, or you’ve moved and can’t remember if you changed it, here’s how to check:

  • Log onto your credit card dashboard. In the settings, you can check your billing address. If it’s incorrect, update it so you receive your bill and the credit card company can properly verify your address for any purchases.
  • Call customer service. If you can’t find your billing address online or feel better talking to someone, find the customer service number on the back of your credit card. You’ll need to verify your identity when you call and then the agent can help you update your billing address.
  • Complete the form on your credit card statement. Most credit card companies include a form to update the billing address that you can mail in. Follow the provided instructions to update the information. 
  • Visit the branch in person. If you have a credit card from your local bank, such as Chase, Capital One, or Bank of America, you can visit the branch in person and ask the personnel to help you change your billing address. 

What Happens if you Enter the Wrong Billing Address?

Your billing address is an easily-overlooked crucial step in online security.

When you shop online, you’ll enter your billing address along with your shipping address. Some merchants use the Address Verification System which means they would decline your order if the addresses don’t match.

Not all merchants use it though. You may slip through the cracks or it may get caught down the road. When the merchant tries to fulfill the order, they may see that the addresses don’t match and they’ll cancel your order.

Double Check for the Best Outcome

If you aren’t sure what billing address your credit card company has, check it. Not only will you not get your bills on time, but you also may not be able to use your credit card (at least online).

Missing your bills will damage your credit score and obviously not being able to use your credit card defeats the purpose of having one. Don’t risk late payments as they could make your credit score drop as much as 100 points and not having the right address could put you at risk of identity theft or fraud.

If you aren’t sure what to do, contact your credit card company. They’ll walk you through the process to make sure you’re on board to protect yourself and make your payments on time.