Credit card receipts
Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Stupid Tip of the Day: Check Your Receipts Against Your Monthly Credit Card Statement

W henever you use your credit card, do you save your receipts? If so, do you check your receipts against your monthly credit card statement?

If you answered no to either question, perhaps you should start engaging yourself in the practice enough for it to become a good financial habit.

One Example — With an Unexpected Twist

Consider the experiences imparted by Doug Woodward — who claims to be a disabled veteran of the United States military living on a fixed income — and his wife in patronizing a local restaurant in Colorado Springs where they were supposedly ultimately charged more than what they originally paid while in the restaurant…

…and this reportedly happened no fewer than three times, with the overcharging apparently occurring when the amount of the gratuity was altered between the time the Woodwards left the restaurant and the time they received their credit card statement.

“We are on a budget like no one’s business,” said Woodward — who alleged that the biggest disappointment was that the server already knew he and another one of his guests are veterans — according to this article written by Taylor Bishop of KXRM-TV Fox 21 News in Colorado Springs. “For us to do this, that was huge, and for her to take advantage of us like that and we even told her that we were vets. We asked about the military discount and so she knew that we were vets.”

Although the corporate office of Texas Roadhouse initially confirmed that — after an investigation was conducted — one of the employees of the restaurant had indeed tampered with the receipt of the Woodwards. The employee in question was terminated; and there would be a full refund of the amount of the bill…

…except that there was one sticking point to this story: after approximately a year elapsed after the second time this overcharging allegedly happened, it happened a third time when they decided to try dining in that restaurant again.

After a year, it happened again?

The three incidents were actually neither serendipitous nor a coincidence: it was actually an alleged scam perpetrated by Doug Woodward, as an updated statement was released from the corporate office of Texas Roadhouse:

“Sadly, we have discovered this was a scam. We have rehired the server, banned this gentleman for life from any Texas Roadhouse and are considering legal action.”


The story may have turned out differently than you might have expected; but that does not detract from the advice that you should always save your receipts of everything which you purchased with your credit card and carefully compare the charges on those receipts to those on the credit card statement. If there indeed is a discrepancy, contact the company which issued your credit card as soon as possible to ensure that you are not held accountable and responsible for covering the overage.

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

  1. As a full time traveller of 4 years now, I get receipts for everything I do, cash and credit card. No matter how large or small. Each day I add it to my budget spreadsheet under the relevant category ( I have 5 ). I then photograph any credit card receipts. I check the credit card statements every other day to see what the AUD conversion is. I then add that to the budget spreadsheet and change highlight colour from red to green. This also acts as check that I have not been charged twice by a merchant which has only happened twice in the 4 years I have been full time traveller ). To some this might sound labour intensive but after setting it up 4 years ago, it’s just part of my day now and keps a check on how much I am really spending.

  2. I always forget to follow up and check but I always write the word of the dollar amount I’m tipping so that it can’t be altered (on the receipt at least)

    So if I tip $11 I write eleven dollars

  3. The “veteran” has deplorable nerve, the restaurant management has no clue, and the server got the shaft. I check posted/pending transactions a couple times a week online for the handful of cards I use routinely. Takes only a couple minutes. Rarely an error, and the few times I’ve disputed a charge I have always gotten a refund. So far.

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