This typically means the balance has been over paid at some point. Due to the excess payment, a credit now exists in the card holder's favor. Typically this will be deducted from the next payment cycle prior to billing the customer.
When a credit balance exists in a customer's account, one of several things may occur. The institution may roll the existing balance forward to cover or reduce future bills. A customer can also request the institution provide them with the credited funds in the form of a check. In order to determine what a particular credit card institution will do with the credit balance, customers may call the customer service phone representatives for specific details.
The policy should also be described in the credit card company's service contract, which customers agree to when they first sign up with the company. If a credit balance refund is requested, it typically takes up to ten business days to receive the requested check.
A customer can build a credit balance on a variety of different accounts, including utility bills, credit cards, phone bills, hospital bills and even store purchases, if the customer later chooses to return a purchased product to the store.