Banks, credit card companies, and other financial institutions use your billing address to send you important communications about your accounts. Your address can also be used to protect you from identity theft. If your billing information is incorrect, or if you need to change your billing address, you can easily update it online, by mail or phone, or in person.
If you’ve ever found yourself waiting for a new credit card to arrive in the mail only to realize that the credit card company had the wrong billing address on file, you know how important it is to keep your information up to date. Banks and credit card companies need your correct address at all times in order to communicate with you.
But what if you move or change your name? In these cases, it’s pretty easy to update your billing address, so you won’t have to worry about a stranger getting any of your important mail. Let’s go over what billing addresses are and how to update your information when your name or address changes.
What is a billing address?
You’ve probably been asked to enter your billing address on numerous online forms. But what exactly is a billing address? Banks, utility companies, retailers, and credit card companies use your billing address to send you important documents related to your accounts. In essence, your billing address is the mailing address where you want to receive those documents.
Your credit card issuer may also use this address to verify your identity, in order to help protect you from identity theft in case someone steals your card. We will discuss credit card fraud prevention further on, but first, let’s go over what makes your billing address unique.
The difference between a billing address and a shipping address
When you are shopping online or filling out a form, you will often be asked to enter your billing and shipping addresses separately. While your billing address is the address attached to your credit card, your shipping address is where you want to send the items you order online.
Sometimes the shipping and billing addresses will be the same, in which case you’ll usually have the option to check a box on the checkout page saying so. In other cases, you may want your package to be sent to a different address than the one associated with your bills and bank statements, such as when you are sending a gift or temporarily staying somewhere other than your home address (if it’s the same as your billing address).
Is a home address different from a billing address?
Your home address is the physical address where you live. While in most cases this is the same as one’s billing address, it can also be different. For example, some people prefer to have important documents sent to a post office box (or P.O. box) rather than their home address. If you are in the process of moving, you temporarily have more than one address, so you have the option to make either of these your billing address.
What is my billing address used for?
Banks, credit card companies, and other financial institutions will use your billing address to send you important communications. These include utility bills, credit card statements, and new credit or debit cards.
Your billing address will also be used to verify your identity. If you enter your address incorrectly on a checkout page, for example, you may be unable to complete the transaction. Note that this could happen over a factor as small as writing “No.” instead of “#,” so make sure to fill out your forms carefully.
Utility bills and medical bills
You need a billing address to pay for utilities and medical expenses. When a landlord pays the utility bills for renters, the billing address may be different from the address where the utilities are used. Similarly, with medical bills, the person paying the bill could live at a different address than the person receiving treatment.
It’s important you make sure your billing addresses are always correct, since you could face serious consequences for not paying for your utilities or medical expenses on time.
Your billing address can also help protect you from fraud in case someone steals your credit card information. Have you ever wondered why you sometimes have to enter your ZIP code when paying for gas at the pump? That’s because the merchant is using the Address Verification System (AVS) to prevent unauthorized use of your card. A criminal who steals your card is unlikely to know your ZIP code, which makes this an effective method for preventing fraudulent transactions.
Did you know that many credit cards now offer identity theft protection? Use our comparison tools to find a card that’s right for you!
Common mistakes on your billing address
If your billing address is out of date or otherwise incorrect, even if it’s a seemingly small error, it can prevent you from being able to use your credit or debit card. And, of course, you don’t want your neighbors or random strangers receiving your mail.
These are some of the common billing address errors to look out for:
- Your name is misspelled.
- Your last name has not been updated since you got married or divorced.
- The street address contains the wrong address numbers.
- Your street name is misspelled.
- You entered the wrong ZIP code.
- Your street address is missing the second line for the unit number.
How to change your billing address
Maybe you’ve moved to a new home, or maybe you recently changed your name after getting married or divorced. Fortunately, if you need to change your billing address information for any reason, you have many options to do so.
Log in to your online bank account through a computer or mobile device and change the billing address associated with your profile. Since this is an important change, you may be asked to verify your identity by text message or email.
Call customer support
For a billing address on a credit card, you can call the number on the back of the card to request a change to your billing address from a customer service representative. You can also go to your credit card issuer’s website and look for a phone number on the contact page.
Send an address update with your bill
If you receive your credit card statements by paper mail, you’ll usually get a payment coupon with a change-of-address form on the back. You can fill out this form and mail it in with your next payment. Keep in mind that this method will take a little longer to process than an online form or a phone call.
Go to a bank branch
If you have access to a local branch, you can go to your bank and change the billing address for your bank account in person. Though it might be a pain to have to drive to a branch and wait in line, this is probably the best way to ensure that your address change goes through.
Can you have more than one billing address?
Yes, you can. If you run a business, for example, you may want to keep all of your business communications separate from your personal ones. For this reason, you can have a different billing address for your business. However, you can only have one address per account.
Is a billing address the same as a mailing address?
Typically, these terms refer to the same address — that is, the address where you want to receive important communications. If, however, your “mailing address” refers to the address where you want a package to be shipped, then that would be your shipping address.
Is the billing address where you live?
Not necessarily. If you would like your communications mailed to a P.O. box, for example, you could list that as your billing address instead of your home address.
Where can I find my billing address?
Log in to your online account and look under your account information or profile to see which billing address is on file. You can also look at your online or paper statements to find the address.
How do I create a billing address?
You will have to decide where you want information associated with your account to be mailed, whether that is your home address or another address you have access to. Once that’s decided, follow the same instructions as you would to change your billing address.
- Your billing address is the address where you want your bank or credit card company to send you important documents.
- Your billing address may be different from your shipping address, which is the address where you want packages sent.
- Your bank may use your home address or ZIP code to verify your identity in order to protect you from fraud, so someone who steals your credit or debit card wouldn’t be able to use it.
- If there is a mistake on your billing address or you need to update it, you can do so online, over the phone, by mail, or in person.