Credit Card Charges Show Up 6 Months Later

I was reviewing my credit card statement last week and noticed a charge for $53 from Officemax I didn't recognize. It often is no surprise in our household that I don't recognize a charge since my wife does the majority of the shopping or I have forgotten about a purchase I made, but Officemax is not someplace my wife tends to shop. I quizzed her about it and neither of us could recall any purchases at Officemax for several months.

I started digging through our receipts to see if there was anything that could jog my memory and then I uncovered it. I found a receipt for the exact amount for a purchase at Officemax I made back in May. I immediately suspected some screw up at Officemax and they were double charging me. I then reviewed all my credit card statements since May. It turns out there wasn't any charge on my credit card account from Officemax until now, over 6 months later!

Doing a quick search online I found cases were it took a company up to a year for a credit case charge to show up on someone's credit card account after their purchase. Apparently there is nothing prohibiting this, but it sounds sketchy to me. Anyone else have this happen?

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Comments (6)

I have never had it take that long to have something show up. That seems crazy. Did you end up contacting Office Max and letting them know that this was an alarming situation? I'd be curious to see a follow up post with a possible explanation.

While I haven't had this exact issue come up, I feel compelled to comment (plus this sparked an idea for a post on my blog!).

It is not uncommon for me to see charges to my debit card show up several days and as much as a week after making the payment. It varies by company it seems. In addition, I've been in law enforcement long enough to know identity theft on the form of credit card fraud is rampant everywhere.

That is the reason I track all my transactions in accounting software (I use quickbooks). I picture myself as a mini business and track my finances accordingly. Some software let's you track "just the balance" and if you're not careful, something like the incident described above, or a legitimate fraud case, can really throw off your financials and cause preventable and undue stress.

I don't think there is anything prohibiting it but the company does get fined from the card association for letting the first funds verification expire. Additioanlly, the fees they get charged for settling without another verification is higher.

It's been a little while since I used the rules so it may be out of a date a little.

Why would they do this on purpose though? For tax reasons? Is OfficeMax that profitable? I doubt it. I would suspect they had issues processing a batch of their CC transaction and missed them the first round.

Most likely they had issues processing a batch of CC transactions. Once a card has been approved generally it will only settle later in the day after the batch has been submitted. If the batch is never submitted the approval falls off after 24 hours (in general). This is what leads to the higher fees and penalties from the card associations.

Also of note, this would likely lead to an increase in chargeback processing since not many people would go through the rigor 2Mill did.

The company will get charged per chargeback process (not cheap, maybe $10 each) and additionally the company could be put on a watch list leading to further fines at later dates.

I haven't had this experience, but don't even paychecks have a 90 day expiration date? Seems weird that the card would forget to charge you for a purchase for six months.

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