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Citi Cash Back Card Autopay?
Old 03-15-2019, 05:21 PM   #1
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Citi Cash Back Card Autopay?

Does anyone have experience with the autopay feature on the Citi cash back card?

I signed up for a new Citi card last month and am trying to figure out how to autopay the CURRENT balance IN FULL on the 28th of each month (statement comes on the 4th).

They have an option to pay the "balance", but from what I can tell that pays the balance from the last statement, not the balance currently on the card.

I thought I figured out how to trick it by entering a fixed autopay larger than what my balance would ever be. For example, I entered $4500 for an autopay amount. However, it looks like this calculates how much to pay at the time I set it up. I came back a few days later when the balance had grown, and the autopay amount was still showing what it calculated earlier, not the current balance.

Either I'm missing something, or this autopay is useless and I'll have to do it manually.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:26 PM   #2
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There probably isn't a way. I haven't seen that on other cards. You don't need to pay the current balance to avoid interest. You just have to pay the last statement balance. That's what I do. It's simple to set up , and also gives me some free float on the purchases since the last statement. Far from useless, in fact it should be exactly what you want. Why pay for current purchases before they are due?
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Citi Cash Back Card Autopay?
Old 03-15-2019, 05:28 PM   #3
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Citi Cash Back Card Autopay?

Iíve had a card for a very long time thatís branded Citi, but has an AT&T logo. Itís been set for autopay and works. It does pull the full last statement balance from my checking account on the scheduled date, no fees, charges, interest.

I view it as being able to float a loan on purchases made since the last closing date. They get picked up on the next statement (and so on).

Itís my least-used card as itís not strictly a cash back but some weird ďpointsĒ deal that I never use. I keep it alive for merchants who wonít take Discover or AmEx.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:50 PM   #4
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You don't need to pay the current balance to avoid interest. You just have to pay the last statement balance.
It just feels wrong. Any other bill I get a statement that says I spent "X" amount of dollars, so I pay them "X" amount to get my balance back to zero. Done.

The credit card statement says I spent "X" amount, but it autopays what I spent last month, still leaving a balance on the card. That's just weird to me, even if it does avoid interest charges.

I configured the autopay again to see if I can adapt mentally, but I have a feeling it will drive me crazy still seeing a balance after making a payment.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:01 PM   #5
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It's not wrong, it's what they expect. That's why they set up Autopay for the amount on your statement, not the current balance. Just look at the "Amount due" and ignore the current balance. Or use a debit card.

The only time I pay more than the amount due is if I have a large purchase coming that may exceed my credit limit with other purchases on it.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:08 PM   #6
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I hope I can properly explain this cautionary tale about paying statement balance in full. First, this applies to AMEX but I don't know if it applies to other credit card policies.
Every month I apply my rebate to the card balance, and then pay remaining statement balance. I schedule that payment near end of billing cycle while I earn a tad of interest ion my MMA. Anyway, over the course of the month I generally have 1 or 2 purchase returns that posts as a credit to the account. These credits are considered "payments" towards the balance.
One month I had no credits at all, other than the rebate. Well, AMEX doesn't consider the rebate a payment. So when I had scheduled my payment of statement balance less rebate, AMEX still showed a balance due. I discovered this before the billing cycle ended, so no harm no foul, and more importantly no interest assessed
I now pay the full statement balance, above and beyond the rebate.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:24 PM   #7
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Another way to look at it. If you've ever had a mortgage or car loan, did you pay the monthly amount due, or did you look at the balance due and try to pay the whole thing? It's different but really amounts to the same thing. You only owe the amount the lender says is due by the contract you have with them.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:21 PM   #8
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Another way to look at it. If you've ever had a mortgage or car loan, did you pay the monthly amount due, or did you look at the balance due and try to pay the whole thing? It's different but really amounts to the same thing. You only owe the amount the lender says is due by the contract you have with them.
Yeah, I suppose. It's just an adjustment after manually paying my credit card balance for so many years. I could still do it manually, of course, but I'm trying new things. I'm also making payments from savings now instead of from checking, so that limits how many payments I can make in a month as well. That's gonna drive me crazy too.

I just hate owing anybody, even if they say it's OK.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:21 PM   #9
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Credit cards are just a way to get cash back or other rewards. I'm in the "don't borrow money for consumer stuff" camp, so I pay the balance off every time I buy something. That way I know exactly how much I have spent (i.e. actually spent, as in out of the checking account) all the time.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:31 PM   #10
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I have a Costco VISA by Citicard. And my BofA checking gets the ebill. I have it set up to autopay via bill pay a few days ahead of the due date and I pay my last statement balance. This has been working ever since I got this card more than two years ago I think.

I set it up for a few days ahead because I read some folks ran into delays with bill pay on the citi card. Most cards I have setup to pay one day ahead.

I always take advantage of the float provided by my credit cards. Why not?
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mystang52 View Post
I hope I can properly explain this cautionary tale about paying statement balance in full. First, this applies to AMEX but I don't know if it applies to other credit card policies.
Every month I apply my rebate to the card balance, and then pay remaining statement balance. I schedule that payment near end of billing cycle while I earn a tad of interest ion my MMA. Anyway, over the course of the month I generally have 1 or 2 purchase returns that posts as a credit to the account. These credits are considered "payments" towards the balance.
One month I had no credits at all, other than the rebate. Well, AMEX doesn't consider the rebate a payment. So when I had scheduled my payment of statement balance less rebate, AMEX still showed a balance due. I discovered this before the billing cycle ended, so no harm no foul, and more importantly no interest assessed
I now pay the full statement balance, above and beyond the rebate.
Huh? I get my AMEX cash rewards as statement credit. It specifically says “redeem for statement credt”. This looks like a payment on the statement. When I redeem cash rewards I always reduce my next scheduled statement by the redeemed credit. I have never run into trouble with this. Never showed me owing anything.

Maybe you are talking about something slightly different.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainsoft View Post
Does anyone have experience with the autopay feature on the Citi cash back card?

I signed up for a new Citi card last month and am trying to figure out how to autopay the CURRENT balance IN FULL on the 28th of each month (statement comes on the 4th).

They have an option to pay the "balance", but from what I can tell that pays the balance from the last statement, not the balance currently on the card.

I thought I figured out how to trick it by entering a fixed autopay larger than what my balance would ever be. For example, I entered $4500 for an autopay amount. However, it looks like this calculates how much to pay at the time I set it up. I came back a few days later when the balance had grown, and the autopay amount was still showing what it calculated earlier, not the current balance.

Either I'm missing something, or this autopay is useless and I'll have to do it manually.
Auto payments on the prior statement balance will work and avoid interest and penalties. Anything above that will require manual override.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mountainsoft View Post

I just hate owing anybody, even if they say it's OK.
I view it as taking advantage of the banks, and I really like that. Winning.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:52 PM   #14
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It just feels wrong. Any other bill I get a statement that says I spent "X" amount of dollars, so I pay them "X" amount to get my balance back to zero. Done.

The credit card statement says I spent "X" amount, but it autopays what I spent last month, still leaving a balance on the card. That's just weird to me, even if it does avoid interest charges.

I configured the autopay again to see if I can adapt mentally, but I have a feeling it will drive me crazy still seeing a balance after making a payment.
It’s called float. It’s a nice feature of credit cards. Things that are charged after the statement closes I don’t have to pay for until after the next statement closes. And even then I have more than 20 days to pay after the statement closes and won’t owe interest of penalty.

If you make no new charges on your credit card after statement closes, your balance will be zero after you pay the prior statement balance.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:55 PM   #15
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Huh? I get my AMEX cash rewards as statement credit. It specifically says ďredeem for statement credtĒ. This looks like a payment on the statement. When I redeem cash rewards I always reduce my next scheduled statement by the redeemed credit. I have never run into trouble with this. Never showed me owing anything.

Maybe you are talking about something slightly different.
I know this sounds odd. I'd have to hunt for my old statement where my story occurred, but what I wrote is accurate. The rebate definitely reduces the balance. But some sort of quirk in their billing system only counted actual payments and purchase returns as payments.
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:17 PM   #16
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I know this sounds odd. I'd have to hunt for my old statement where my story occurred, but what I wrote is accurate. The rebate definitely reduces the balance. But some sort of quirk in their billing system only counted actual payments and purchase returns as payments.
I guess I don’t understand what the rebate is. I was never concerned because they explicitly said I was getting statement credit on my rewards redemption.

Maybe you are talking about some initial rebate bonus when you first opened the card and spent X amount? I vaguely remember seeing language that said you had to pay that statement in full.
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:30 PM   #17
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It just feels wrong. Any other bill I get a statement that says I spent "X" amount of dollars, so I pay them "X" amount to get my balance back to zero. Done.

If it helps you sleep at night to see your credit card balance go to zero after each billing cycle, I suggest you get two separate credit card accounts and alternate each month between the two. So use card 1 for January transactions, pay in full in February. Use card 2 for February transactions, pay in full in March, etc. You just need to ask the issuer to set the billing cycle to mesh with the calendar.

I had a roommate in college who didnít want to reconcile his checkbook, but had a habit of bouncing checks. Alternating between two checking accounts solved his problem.

By the way, in one of your posts you said it feels wrong to wait until asked to pay off your account. Donít feel bad for the bank, it is NOT wrong. They are collecting merchant fees on every transaction you charge, even if you pay no interest expense. This is their business model and if it wasnít working in their favor, I guarantee, they would change it.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:20 AM   #18
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Donít feel bad for the bank
Nah, I'm not worried about the bank or how they make their money. I just see the balance as an obligation. I spent the money and now I have to pay it back. Doesn't matter to me what their statement or due dates are, I just see the balance and want to pay it off as soon as possible. Like I said, I don't like owing anything to anyone.

I was the same way with our old mortgage, it drove me crazy seeing that large balance and scraped every dollar we could to pay it off as quickly as possible.

The only balance I want to see is my savings growing larger and larger.

In any case, I'll give the autopay a try for a month or two and see how it works. If I can't retrain myself I'll just go back to paying manually like I've always done. I'm there checking my balance every few days anyway.
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:09 AM   #19
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Ignore the computer and online access to your account, back to when you got a paper bill/statement in the mail. How much did you pay then?? The statement balance or did you keep track of how much you spent since their billing cutoff date on the statement in order to pay the current balance? (I suspect the statement balance). Just because you have visibility to the current balance doesn't mean that is what is owed.


Same thing with water/electric bills. By the time you pay the bill, there are a few more days of service consumed on your "current balance" (pun intended for the electric bill).
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