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What is a billing address?
In the context of credit cards, a billing address is an address associated with your card’s account that details where you’d like to send your billing information.
Issuers use billing addresses, along with other personal information, to authorize new cardholders and send important billing information.
Billing addresses and shipping addresses have two separate functions, although commonly confused. Credit card statements or other billing information will be sent to your billing address, whereas things like your online orders, packages and other larger materials are sent to your shipping address, often they are one and the same. If you request or apply for a new credit card, it will also be sent to your billing address (unless you request otherwise).
Besides serving as a location to mail information related to your account, billing addresses can help prevent identity theft via Address Verification System — also known as AVS.
AVS works to limit fraudulent charges during the checkout process by comparing the card’s billing address to the shipping address on the purchase. AVS will then send a code to the merchant determining whether or not the addresses match.
Billing address example
Say someone steals your card information and attempts to buy a cell phone and ships it to their residence.
In an ideal situation, the merchant will notice that the stolen card’s billing address and shipping address do not match (not all merchants utilize AVS) and will decline the transaction and alert the card’s issuer.