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How To Pay Monthly Credit Card Bills
Old 09-18-2015, 09:42 AM   #1
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How To Pay Monthly Credit Card Bills

Hi all,

This is going to be a really dumb question so bear with me please.

I am planning on retiring next year at 60 or 61 and am in the process of trying to get my living expenses reduced as much as possible (which I should have done long ago). In reading through some of the threads here it became apparent one of the ways you can save a significant amount of money through taking advantage of rewards credit cards which I've never done. So I have a SallieMae card coming for groceries/gas and a Citi Double Points card for all other CC purchases.

My question is, what is the easiest way to pay of the monthly balances for these cards? I have the funds but what is the easiest way to get them from my CU or Vanguard to SallieMae/Citi every month to pay off the purchases?

In the past I've always had my Visa card through the local credit union and would just do a scheduled transfer from my MM or checking account to the Visa account (I always pay the balance off in full every month). I could just write checks and send them off snail mail every month to SallieMae and Citi but this seems archaic for even somebody like me who up until now still uses cash to pay for most things. There has to be an easier way.

Thanks for any suggestions you might have.

Cheers!
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:47 AM   #2
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I'd check with whoever has your checking account if they offer electronic bill pay and use that service for paying the credit card.
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:50 AM   #3
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I just use the "Autopay" feature on my credit cards. I pay the "Full Balance" each month, and once a month, Citi/Amex/etc... will draft my checking account to cover the full balance of the CC Account
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:00 AM   #4
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We have 6 rewards cards with Visa, M/C and AMEX, and every one offers a nice Web interface with several ways to pay on-line via electronic transfer from our credit unioni: full balance, statement balance only, or minimum payment (not that you would do that!).

It saves a lot in stamps!

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Old 09-18-2015, 10:01 AM   #5
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I transfer money online each month using ACH or EFT. My credit union charges for bill pay. I want to review the bill before paying so I don't set it for autopay. I pay via the cc's website.
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:13 AM   #6
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All my bills including credit cards are automatically paid in full (from my checking account). Only exception is property taxes which I pay via bill pay.
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:21 AM   #7
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I like to keep a close eye on the bills. I get paper statements and pay electronically from my bank's online payment center to the creditor. The only auto-pay I have is my mortgage. I do have one auto-pay directed to a rewards card. I have had several screw-ups with ACH which snowballed.


Maybe if I travelled for a few months at a time I would consider auto bill pay.
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DROPOUT View Post
I just use the "Autopay" feature on my credit cards. I pay the "Full Balance" each month, and once a month, Citi/Amex/etc... will draft my checking account to cover the full balance of the CC Account
We do this as well, but also reconcile the CC bill in Quicken each month as soon as we get the bill, which would give us a chance to scream if we find an error.
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:32 AM   #9
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I transfer money online each month using ACH or EFT. My credit union charges for bill pay. I want to review the bill before paying so I don't set it for autopay. I pay via the cc's website.
Yeah - what is up with that fee from a credit union for bill pay?

SDCCU charges for that as well - f' that. It's cheaper to use the cc website and tie in the payment via electronic transfer (but not via bill pay) - or use stamps!


I review my cc bills for charges, but DW and I both pay off our cc balances in full to carry no balances month to month.
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:32 AM   #10
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Most if not all credit cards have an electronic process to pay the bill from your selected bank account. Go into the credit card's website, and look for their bill payment menu There will be a dropdown to set up your payment option. It's very easy, it'll take you step by step.

If need be, you can always call your credit card customer service and they can assist you.
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by DROPOUT View Post
I just use the "Autopay" feature on my credit cards. I pay the "Full Balance" each month, and once a month, Citi/Amex/etc... will draft my checking account to cover the full balance of the CC Account
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We do this as well, but also reconcile the CC bill in Quicken each month as soon as we get the bill, which would give us a chance to scream if we find an error.
If it was not for auto-pay, I would have a 300 credit score...

Autopay is the only way to go. As a back up, be sure to have a reserve line for any account shortages and a bill pay method in your own checking account.

Most of my bills, including many rental property bills, are paid by CC if there is not CC add-on percentage. Others come right out of my checking account. I rarely use stamps anymore to mail bills. It saves me at least $100 per year and a bunch of time. I probably have 20+ invoices a month paid automatically.

Be sure to reconcile each month.
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:41 AM   #12
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Like others, I have almost everything on autopay for the full billed amount.
I also reconcile every bill in Moneydance every month, as well as download a PDF of the actual bill or statement.

For the few manual payments that come up from time to time, my USAA checking account has a free bill pay service that has always worked fine. I can't remember the last time I had to mail a paper check to anyone.
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:50 AM   #13
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I don't autopay anything. I use Wells Fargo's online bill paying service, which I institute.

I continue to use Capital One's credit card that I can use the rebate for travel--airlines, hotels,, etc. One reason I use them is that when traveling outside the U.S., I get full credit for the currency--not discounted like so many other credit cards do. They now have a 2% payback travel card, but it comes with a $59 charge after the first year.
It's the best deal right now.

Virtually every major finance company and bank can enter your checking account info into their system that allows quick and easy drafting whenever you authorize payment on their automated attendant payment system.
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:53 AM   #14
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All my bills including credit cards are automatically paid in full (from my checking account). Only exception is property taxes which I pay via bill pay.
+1

I don't have those particular credit cards, but for my Visa card I just have the full amount automatically deducted from my checking account. Easy and I don't even have to think of it except to keep a sufficient checking account balance.

I have been paying my bills this way since May of 2000, and I check every transaction. None have been incorrect by even a penny during the past 15+ years.
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Old 09-18-2015, 11:17 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by DROPOUT View Post
I just use the "Autopay" feature on my credit cards. I pay the "Full Balance" each month, and once a month, Citi/Amex/etc... will draft my checking account to cover the full balance of the CC Account
+1. Way easy. That said, I tend to concentrate my spending on just 2-3 cards (with best rewards/cashback) so I'm thinking of doing weekly payments now so I don't exceed the 30% threshold on any one card to up my FICO score.
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Old 09-18-2015, 11:18 AM   #16
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Most if not all credit cards have an electronic process to pay the bill from your selected bank account. Go into the credit card's website, AND look for their bill payment menu There will be a dropdown to set up your payment option. It's very easy, it'll take you step by step.

If need be, you can always call your credit card customer service and they can assist you.
+1
I have the SallieMae card. It's managed by Barclays. When you create an account at Barclaycardus.com, there is a tab named 'Manage Payments.' On that screen is a link named 'Repeat Payments.' You then fill in the following fields once:

Amount = Statement Balance
From: Enter your checking account # and ACH routing #
Frequency: Select 'Monthly on due date'

If you don't like your due date you can submit a request to change it. This avoids my CU billpay fee. I also suggest setting up threshold alerts so you're notified if a purchase over $xxx is made.
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Old 09-18-2015, 11:20 AM   #17
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My CU's billpay service has a minimum # of bills you must pay each month to avoid a $4.95 fee (the service charges the CU, so the CU passes the charge to customers). I think it is 3 bills a month. I don't use it very much, but I keep the "Free" service available by sending small, monthly dollar-cost-averaging amounts to Vanguard accounts.

Like others, I like to review the bills on-line as they come in, rather than trust to "auto-pay." If allowed, I will pay the bills with a rewards credit card to gain more points. The only bills where I use an envelope and stamp are property tax and estimated tax. I've had some foul-ups when I tried to pay those with the bill-paying service. It was the taxing authorities' fault, but of course I was the one who had to iron out the wrinkles....

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ-Nut View Post
Yeah - what is up with that fee from a credit union for bill pay?

SDCCU charges for that as well - f' that. It's cheaper to use the cc website and tie in the payment via electronic transfer (but not via bill pay) - or use stamps!


I review my cc bills for charges, but DW and I both pay off our cc balances in full to carry no balances month to month.
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Old 09-18-2015, 11:38 AM   #18
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Using a bill payer from my CU account also. Just happened to look at my YTD usage for that yesterday, it has saved me about $42 in postage YTD! Minimum # bills to be paid per month on mine to be "free" too, hope it stays that way. Kind of wonder about how they come out ahead, perhaps the ETFs are cheaper to process than paper checks. I set the date to pay as the actual due date, never ran into any problems with either Chase or Citibank crediting the payment on time.
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Old 09-18-2015, 12:05 PM   #19
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We use electronic bill paying from out bank account. For some of them, they send an ebill to the bank and I have it set up to automatically pay the balance on the statement one day before due. Others I have to enter the amount and when to pay at the bank.
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Old 09-18-2015, 12:08 PM   #20
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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.
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