Descriptive Billing

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Descriptive Billing'

A type of credit card billing that includes the date, merchant's name, contact, telephone number etc. of each transaction. Descriptive billing replaced country club billing, which existed in the 1970s, where the actual credit card slips were physically included in the bill. Country club billing is obviously more expensive for the credit card companies, and descriptive billing has become the norm.

BREAKING DOWN 'Descriptive Billing'

Descriptive-billing practices are governed by Regulation Z, which states that if the credit card slips are not included in the bill, the credit card company must supply "the amount and date of the transaction and a brief identification of the property or services." Reg Z also states that the creditor "may omit the address or provide any suitable designation that helps the consumer to identify the transaction when the transaction (1) took place at a location that is not fixed; (2) took place in the consumer's home; or (3) was a mail or telephone order."

Some consumer advocates dislike the use of descriptive billing, because the customer cannot view the slip where he or she actually authorized the transaction. But with credit card purchases now commonly made online and by phone, providing physical evidence of customer authorization would often prove difficult at best.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Credit Card

    A card issued by a financial company giving the holder an option ...
  2. Regulation Z

    A specific Federal Reserve Board regulation that requires debt ...
  3. Bank Reconciliation Statement

    A form that allows individuals to compare their personal bank ...
  4. Bank Statement

    A record, usually sent to the account holder once per month, ...
  5. Transferable Points Programs

    With transferable points programs, customers earn points by using ...
  6. Luhn Algorithm

    An algorithm used to validate a credit card number.
Related Articles
  1. Credit & Loans

    How To Dispute A Credit Card Charge

    Follow these steps if you've been ripped off or spot an error on your bill.
  2. Credit & Loans

    Take Control Of Your Credit Cards

    The plastic in your wallet doesn't have to hurt your finances. Learn how to manage it responsibly.
  3. Credit & Loans

    How Credit Cards Affect Your Credit Rating

    The average American household has four cards, but does that mean more is better?
  4. Credit & Loans

    How Credit Cards Built A Plastic Empire

    A decade before Mastercard or Visa existed, the first credit card company was introduced.
  5. Options & Futures

    6 Major Credit Card Mistakes

    Avoid these pitfalls to keep your credit score healthy and your debt under control.
  6. Credit & Loans

    Expert Tips For Cutting Credit Card Debt

    Managing your debt could mean the difference between spending $45,000 or saving $184,000.
  7. Savings

    How Volatile Exchange Rates Affect Your Vacation

    Those ever-changing fluctuations can make a difference in anything from your hotel room to an ATM transaction.
  8. Credit & Loans

    Can Corporate Credit Cards Affect Your Credit?

    Corporate cards have a hidden downside. If the company fails to pay its bills, you could be liable for the amount and end up with a damaged credit rating.
  9. Investing News

    What Is The New Credit Card Chip Good For?

    Under current U.S. credit card requirements, credit card issuers are required to issue chip cards as of October 1, 2015. Instead of swiping your card as you do now, you will slide the card into ...
  10. Credit & Loans

    5 Ways to Maximize Your Credit Card Points

    How to get the most bang for your rewards buck.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the difference between "closed end credit" and a "line of credit?"

    Depending on the need, an individual or business may take out a form of credit that is either open- or closed-ended. While ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the best way to start to rebuild your credit after a bankruptcy?

    Bankruptcies can be devastating to your credit score. Even worse, a bankruptcy will be listed on your credit report for between ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What were the primary financial crimes involved in the ZZZZ Best case?

    ZZZZ Best was a company started by Barry Jay Minkow that claimed to be a carpet cleaning business. In fact, it was a Ponzi ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can a creditor sue me for a delinquent account?

    If a credit card account becomes delinquent, the creditor can sue the debtor for the balance as soon as the delinquency occurs. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do I transfer my credit card history from one country to another?

    It is currently not possible to transfer your credit history to another country if you relocate. The credit metrics used ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are some examples of simple interest loans?

    Two good examples of simple interest loans are simple interest car loans and the interest owed on lines of credit such as ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Alligator Spread

    An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market ...
  2. Tiger Cub Economies

    The four Southeast Asian economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Tiger cub economy indicates that ...
  3. Gorilla

    A company that dominates an industry without having a complete monopoly. A gorilla firm has large control of the pricing ...
  4. Elephants

    Slang for large institutions that have the funds to make high volumes trades. Due to the large volumes of stock that elephants ...
  5. Widow's Exemption

    In general terms, a widow's exemption refers to the amount that can be deducted from taxable income by a widow, thereby reducing ...
  6. Wedding Warrant

    A warrant that can only be exercised if the host asset, typically a bond or preferred stock, is surrendered. Until the call ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!