payment means that he paid the credit card company so you would subtract that from the credit card balance. Remember, credit card is money that is LOANED!!! (that is what CREDIT means) That means it must be paid back. When you pay a low payment and charge (add) to the credit card, your balance will be higher (which means you now owe more than you did before. (as in Mike's case here). Mike started with $49.50 (pretty low balance), but then spent $123.35, finance charge of $5.00 (certain percentage, varies from credit card company to credit card company) then only paid $25, so his new balance is much higher $152.85.