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How to Change Your Credit Card Billing Address

Learn how to change your credit card billing address with your card issuer and find out what happens if you provide the wrong billing address.

Online shopping is fast and convenient, especially for those with a busy, hectic life.

If you can’t get to the store, you can shop online and have a package delivered to your front door—it doesn’t get any easier. All you need is a credit card or a debit card for the transaction. 

Retailers will request specific information to make sure you are who you say. This helps prevent online fraud. You might think, though, that the billing address provided at checkout has to match the billing address tied to your credit card or debit card. 

But does the billing address actually matter? Here’s a look at why billing addresses are important. And what can happen when entering the wrong address?

How to Change Your Billing Address

Changing your billing address with your bank or your credit card company is easy.

It only takes a couple of minutes.

The fastest way to update your information is to change it online. 

For this to work, you must have signed up for online account management. If so, log into your account. From here, locate the “account profile” tab, and then choose the option to edit billing address.

You can also edit your billing address over the phone by calling customer service. Use the phone number located on the back of your card. 

You might receive a random email requesting that you update your billing address. If so, ignore it. 

These emails may appear legitimate, but it could be a scam from someone phishing for your information. 

When updating your address over the phone, you’ll first provide information to verify your identity.

If you receive paper statements, you can also update your billing address through mail. Your statement will include a change of address form. You can fill out the form and mail it back to your bank or credit card company.

What is the Billing Address?

The billing address is the designated address attached or connected to your credit card or debit card. If you receive paper statements, your bank will send these letters to the billing address on file.

Every bank will ask for an address when you open the account.

Entering your card’s billing address when shopping online can provide an extra layer of protection. It can also limit fraud. More so when a retailer’s online shopping portal has an address verification system.

Anytime you buy something online, you have to enter a billing address and a shipping address. These can be the same addresses or two completely different addresses.

Retailers allow different addresses because an online buy doesn’t have to ship to your home. The item might be a gift, in which case, you can ship it to the recipient.

So if the shipping address doesn’t match the address tied to your credit or debit card, you shouldn’t run into any problems. 

But what if the billing address doesn’t match your billing address on file? Maybe because you didn’t update your account or entered the wrong information? 

You could have a problem with the transaction—but this isn’t always the case.

What Happens If You Enter the Wrong Billing Address?

Again, providing a billing address when shopping online can add another level of protection.

But, the reality is:

Entering the wrong billing address doesn’t mean that a retailer will cancel or deny your transaction. 

The outcome depends on how the retailer handles these types of discrepancies. Some retail systems don’t use an address verification system.

Let’s say you enter your credit card or debit card number and provide the wrong billing address. There’s a good chance that your transaction will process without hassle.

If an order is cancelled

There is, yet, always the possibility of having your purchase flagged. In which case the retailer might cancel or deny the transaction.

If your transaction gets denied or cancel, it’ll happen shortly after you submit the order.

You’ll likely get an email stating that the retailer couldn’t process your purchase. The email may or may not include the reason.

If it doesn’t, contact the retailer and speak with customer service. They’ll likely say the cancellation was due to a discrepancy with the billing address.

But what if you place an online order using the wrong billing address and you receive a confirmation email?

This indicates that the retailer “did” process your order. Using the wrong billing address didn’t matter in this situation.

What Factors Help Verify Identity With Online Shopping?

But although using the wrong billing address may or may not make a difference when shopping online, it’s important to recognize the factors that do matter.

When making an online purchase, it is imperative that you double-check all information entered before submitting your order. This includes making sure that you’ve entered every digit on your credit card or debit card accurately. 

Forgetting a number or inverting two numbers will cause the retailer to deny the transaction.

It’s also important that you enter the correct expiration date when shopping online.

You should also enter the correct CCV number, which is the Card Verification Value. 

This will be either a three or four-digit number. If using a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover, you can find this three-digit number on the back of the card. But if you’re using an American Express, it will be the four-digit number located on the front of your card. 

As a general rule:

These are three pieces of information that the majority of retailers use for verifying your identity when shopping online.

So if you enter a credit card number and expiration date, but can’t provide a three or four-digit CCV number, the retailer might deny the transaction. 

Requiring these pieces of information help lower the risk of online shopping fraud and protects your identity.

Why Is It Important to Keep Your Billing Address Up-to-Date?

Even if your favorite online retailer doesn’t deny a transaction due to a wrong billing address, it’s always important to keep your billing information up-to-date. 

So if you move, notify your bank and credit card companies as soon as possible. This ensures that your statements and other billing information goes to your correct address. 

Putting off updating your address means that important information could go to your old home and end up in the wrong hands.

Keep in mind, too, that your credit card company or bank may routinely send a new debit card or credit card about every three years.

Updating your billing address ensures that you receive updated cards in a timely matter.

Final Word

Keeping your billing address up-to-date is crucial for protecting your personal information and ensuring that you receive letters and other information from your bank or credit card company. 

That said:

In the likelihood that you enter the wrong billing address when shopping online, there’s a good chance that the retailer will continue to process your purchase without hassle.

But other retailers might not, so keep your billing addresses up-to-date and accurate.