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Old 09-18-2015, 12:10 PM   #21
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Autopay is the only way to go.
Except for all the other ways.

I use autopay for bills that are pretty much the same every month, like cell phone, insurance, and cable/internet.

Any bill that varies month to month (credit cards, electric, etc.) and yearly or semi annual bills (taxes, some of my insurance policies) I prefer to see before I pay, so I pay them electronically, but manually. If I didn't see all the credit card bills every month I wouldn't know what to bitch to/at my wife about.

I also pay everything that I can with my rewards credit cards. When you pay many thousands of dollars of bills per year with a rewards card, you build up the rewards points pretty fast. The only exceptions are the bills with a fee for credit cards. I pay those electronically from my bank account.

I get every bill paperless if possible, since then I have an electronic copy, and if I want to print it out, a paper copy. I don't print many anymore, just keep them on my hard drive and backed up to my two backup hard drives.
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Old 09-18-2015, 12:11 PM   #22
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My credit cards are through my bank. There is an option to autopay on the last day of the billing cycle.
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Old 09-18-2015, 12:16 PM   #23
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Wow. A lot of great replies. Thanks everyone.

I know my CU offers bill pay but I think they charge for it but will have to check to be sure.

When the cards get here I will look at the websites for the issuers and see if they offer automatic payments from my CU account. I didn't know that was possible for credit cards but I have everything else in my life automatically paid from my checking account and it works great for me.

Thanks again. I can see this site will be an invaluable resource in my coming retirement. I've already learned more in the last week than my aging brain can absorb - ha! At least I have about a year to get ready for the big event.
As you can see, situations will vary.

Like you, my CU charges $5/month for bill pay no matter how many bills I pay/month.

I only pay 2 bills by mail per month so I save $47/yr by using 'snail mail'.
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Old 09-18-2015, 12:30 PM   #24
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I use autopay for bills that are pretty much the same every month, like cell phone, insurance, and cable/internet.
I'm down to only two autopay bills. Used to have more as yes, it was convenient. But I saw it was generally the subscription type of vendors (i.e. satellite radio, health/fitness services, genealogy research) that really tried hard to make that part of the transaction. All stuff that one could live without fairly easily if looking to save money. I felt that autopay desensitized me to the act of parting with my hard-earned cash, so I prefer to need to physically (even if only with a few mouse clicks) pay my bills for just about everything now.
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Old 09-18-2015, 01:07 PM   #25
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As you can see, situations will vary.

Like you, my CU charges $5/month for bill pay no matter how many bills I pay/month.

I only pay 2 bills by mail per month so I save $47/yr by using 'snail mail'.
I think I would be looking for a new credit union. When found, I would send a letter to the old CU board of directors to let them know why you pulled your account(s). You own that credit union and can influence the decisions they make to retain you.

- Rita (former president of a Credit Union Board of Directors)
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Old 09-18-2015, 01:56 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
Except for all the other ways.

I use autopay for bills that are pretty much the same every month, like cell phone, insurance, and cable/internet.

Any bill that varies month to month (credit cards, electric, etc.) and yearly or semi annual bills (taxes, some of my insurance policies) I prefer to see before I pay, so I pay them electronically, but manually. If I didn't see all the credit card bills every month I wouldn't know what to bitch to/at my wife about.

I also pay everything that I can with my rewards credit cards. When you pay many thousands of dollars of bills per year with a rewards card, you build up the rewards points pretty fast. The only exceptions are the bills with a fee for credit cards. I pay those electronically from my bank account.

I get every bill paperless if possible, since then I have an electronic copy, and if I want to print it out, a paper copy. I don't print many anymore, just keep them on my hard drive and backed up to my two backup hard drives.
I'm with you. I pay most things electronically these days but the really varying stuff, I don't have on autopay. It forces me to go to the website and actually check on for example, the charges on my credit card. Plus it's a good time to download the statement. I have those non-autopay accounts in a small spreadsheet grouped into the three days each month that I actually arrange to pay them. Set up for the 8th, 18th, and 28th so it's easy to remember. Then I have columns for the twelve months of the year and I can check off the various payments when I make them. I could probably have a reminder for each of the three "pay days" on my cell phone but I've been doing it this way for so long I rarely if ever forget.

I don't pay for the bill pay feature - most everything I pay electronically is arranged from the payee's website. Of course, when possible, I pay by a rewards credit card rather than my bank account.
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:30 PM   #27
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Because my CC is from the same bank I have my checking account with, it is very easy to pay the bill simply by going on line and making a few point-and-clicks to pay the full balance each month. Very easy.


I do not use autopay, unlike my other monthly bills where I use either ACH payment or autopay through my bank where they mail a paper check to the recipient, for 3 reasons: (1) is the variability of the CC amount due, (2) the considerable lead time (nearly 3 weeks) between the statement date and the due date, and (3) the fact that the two dates in (2) cross from one calendar month into the next one which is when my monthly dividends come in. Sometimes, I pay the CC bill before the new month begins if it is not extra high, sometimes I wait until the new month starts, so I need to control when I make the payment.


Either way, I no longer mail any checks to pay my monthly bills which is nice. I still mail out most of my less frequent than monthly payments but those are no big deal because they are infrequent and have long lead times between statement date (some don't even have a statement date such as income taxes) and due date.
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:41 PM   #28
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I double checked and was wrong about my CU. They provide bill pay for free but charge a fee for "expedited" payments, whatever that means. So this will be an option for me.

I kind of like the plan of having my statements delivered electronically so it forces me to pay attention to what is charged, then using something like bill pay to pay it.

Regardless, thank to everybody again for all the help.
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Old 09-18-2015, 04:05 PM   #29
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My cc bills are the only ones that I don't autopay. Getting the bill reminds me to go through it both for the budget and to make sure that everything on it is something we actually bought.
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Old 09-18-2015, 04:26 PM   #30
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I only use 2 credit cards. I check them, online, virtually every day. It takes a whopping 2 minutes or so but in this day and age of ID theft it's time well spent.
At end of billing cycle I can see the balance due, so I then schedule the payment a couple of days before the due date. I move money from an interest bearing account a day prior to that payment. When I get the bill in the mail, it goes straight to the shredder.
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Old 09-18-2015, 04:33 PM   #31
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I too have only two, but I rarely check them. Instead I have a notification emailed to me when anything more than 99 cents is charged. The only problem is it is sent when the charge clears, and not when it goes pending. I emailed the band and ask if it could be on pending as it would catch fraud quicker, and they said they would look at it. Two years later, I guess they are still looking. As my card has been cloned before, and the bank picked up all charges, it is really more their worry than mine.
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:02 PM   #32
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Except for all the other ways.

I use autopay for bills that are pretty much the same every month, like cell phone, insurance, and cable/internet.

Any bill that varies month to month (credit cards, electric, etc.) and yearly or semi annual bills (taxes, some of my insurance policies) I prefer to see before I pay, so I pay them electronically, but manually. If I didn't see all the credit card bills every month I wouldn't know what to bitch to/at my wife about......
So old school.

I was this way to until a few years ago when DD convinced me that auto pay was the way to go. I still get to review the bill and would have plenty of time to undo the auto pay if there was an issue that could not be resolved.

On New Year's Day a few years ago i sat down and set up every bill that I could think of on auto-pay..... it has worked like a charm... definitely the way to go and I have yet to have a problem.
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:06 PM   #33
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I only use 2 credit cards. I check them, online, virtually every day. It takes a whopping 2 minutes or so but in this day and age of ID theft it's time well spent.
At end of billing cycle I can see the balance due, so I then schedule the payment a couple of days before the due date. I move money from an interest bearing account a day prior to that payment. When I get the bill in the mail, it goes straight to the shredder.
That sounds just like my system/habit.
Pay through Fidelity which is a free service. The great thing about it is that while the money is waiting to be shipped off to the credit card company, I'm raking in those wonderful money market rates to the tune of .00001%.
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:26 PM   #34
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I have my cards set to autopay but they rarely do as I like to check and pay them online manually. However we travel a lot and can be off-line for days or weeks at a time so I like the security of having that autopay to catch any bills I don't get a chance to pay and get stung with late fees and/or interest.
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:29 PM   #35
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Reconciling the credit card bills is a separate step. That's when I check the statement against the downloaded transactions and against my credit card slips. And correct the category for each charge as needed - most of them are automatically assigned on import as Quicken recognizes the vendor.
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:31 PM   #36
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I have my cards set to autopay but they rarely do as I like to check and pay them online manually. However we travel a lot and can be off-line for days or weeks at a time so I like the security of having that autopay to catch any bills I don't get a chance to pay and get stung with late fees and/or interest.
^^^^^ interesting idea.... but why not just let them auto-pay?

I regularly import my card transactions and reconcile within a few days after I receive my CC statement electronically, but then I just let the auto-pay do its work.
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:08 PM   #37
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Brother in law set up a pull type auto pay for most all his bills. When checking account was compromised this caused some issues. Had to close account and replace with a new one. Then changed all his auto pays. Certainly not likely but something to be aware of.

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Old 09-18-2015, 10:15 PM   #38
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^^^^^ interesting idea.... but why not just let them auto-pay?

I regularly import my card transactions and reconcile within a few days after I receive my CC statement electronically, but then I just let the auto-pay do its work.
I'm a control freak, I'd still worry that one time something will go wrong if on full automatic. When I press the remote to lock the car I still try a door handle to be sure it locked. I tend to prefer the belt and braces (suspenders) approach.
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:41 PM   #39
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Since we travel a bit, often for months at a time, I have virtually everything set up to be paid automatically through a mileage credit card. Then I pay the credit card manually each month using checking bill pay. That gives me a chance to review the credit card statement online to make sure nothing screwed up, and any credit card transaction over a set amount gives an immediate alert via email for another doublecheck.

I still pay annual property tax manually because they have a surcharge for using credit cards and I'm too cheap to pay that. Everything possible is also set up to send statements by email, which takes two seconds to check for anything unusual. Never have to depend on snail mail statements, which helps when on the road.
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:52 PM   #40
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Brother in law set up a pull type auto pay for most all his bills. When checking account was compromised this caused some issues. Had to close account and replace with a new one. Then changed all his auto pays. Certainly not likely but something to be aware of.
Never had my back account compromised, but my CC has been multiple times. And I did close one bank account and open another when we moved. I have a text file on my desktop that lists which bills are autopay to which card, or to my bank account. If I have a problem I just open the file, then go to the various sites and update the payment info. No account information in the file, just CC or account nicknames, so I'm not worried about security for it.
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