Have you received notification of your year end credit card summary? If so, don’t delete that email or stuff the paper statement in a drawer with your other unopened mail, or you could miss out on some valuable information about your own finances and spending patterns.

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The year end summary for your credit card is a powerful tool when it comes to preparing for taxes, budgeting and tracking how you spent money during the last calendar year.

Where to Find Your Year End Summary Online

The first step in learning how to read your year end summary is to find your summary online. If you are a Discover cardholder, log in to your account at Discover.com. Then go to Account Activity and select “Year End Summary (Annual)” from the Account Period drop-down menu.

Account Information

Your Year End Summary Statement includes the name, address and phone number associated with the credit card account. You’ll also see a line that includes the last four digits of the credit card account number.

Year End Summary Statement

This section summarizes the total amount of your purchases, cash advances and balance transfers for the year. However, it’s important to note that these figures may not reflect your current balance.

Sorting Your Transactions

Knowing how to sort your transaction totals can turn your year end summary into a useful overview of your spending patterns. Sorting your transactions allows you to see where you’re on track with your budget and which areas may need work.

In addition to providing a high level overview and identifying potential spending issues, your year end credit card summary gives you details on each transaction completed during the calendar year. You may sort your transactions chronologically by transaction date or post date, or by transaction description, amount or category.

For example, sorting your purchases by category may show you that you spent more than you had budgeted on restaurant meals. Or maybe you’ll see that you spent more on restaurant meals than you did on supermarket purchases. Categorizing your transactions by date could show that you spend a lot more on the weekends than you do during your work week. This could be a great way to identify areas where you’re spending a bit too much. Being aware of your spending habits can help you be more mindful of sticking to your budget as you move forward.

Using Your Year End Summary for Taxes and More

Referring to your year end credit card summary can help simplify your life and save time when preparing your income tax returns. The sorting features help you find potentially tax-deductible expenses, like medical bills or moving costs, quickly and easily.

If you’re a small business owner or a self-employed freelancer using one credit card for business expenses, you’ll find it even easier to track your eligible business expense deductions using your year end credit card summary.

Though it may look like just another statement, your year end credit card summary is full of valuable information that can help you at tax time and beyond.

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Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.