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Old 04-04-2016, 03:57 PM   #41
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I'd rather use my CU's own bill pay feature than let the creditor/payee automatically draft from my account.
Me too! There have been a few occasions where we were traveling and I wished a few of the bills had been on autopay. But, generally, it's so quick and easy to go to the CU site and pay the bills by just typing in the amount and hitting enter, I just don't mind doing it.

Over the years, I've had a small number of battles with companies over bills. Just the thought of them being able to dip into my account at will and me having to fight to get the money back gives me the creeps.....

If I needed to use snail mail in lieu of autopay, I guess I'd probably go with autopay. But as long as my CU offers free on line bill pay in a format that's quick and simple to use, I go with that.
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:02 PM   #42
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I have vehicle insurance, medical insurance, and a really tiny gas bill on direct debit.

And the IRS too - but there I tell them how much to take out and when each quarter.

And my HSA - but there I also set up the contribution amount and recurring schedule.

When I travel I use a separate bank account to withdraw funds via ATM (separate from my bill paying bank account).

So far I haven't had trouble switching medical insurance and having the prior company stop in a timely way. On the vehicle insurance - I went to direct debit after problems with credit card fraud and having card numbers swapped on me at bad times. They didn't take the alternate credit card I used as my "clean" isolated card.

In general, I avoid it though. My other insurance I pay annually with a credit card.
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:27 PM   #43
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Me too! There have been a few occasions where we were traveling and I wished a few of the bills had been on autopay. But, generally, it's so quick and easy to go to the CU site and pay the bills by just typing in the amount and hitting enter, I just don't mind doing it.

Over the years, I've had a small number of battles with companies over bills. Just the thought of them being able to dip into my account at will and me having to fight to get the money back gives me the creeps.....

If I needed to use snail mail in lieu of autopay, I guess I'd probably go with autopay. But as long as my CU offers free on line bill pay in a format that's quick and simple to use, I go with that.
Unfortunately, my CU charges $5/month to use their bill paying system. So I go through the hassle of pushing the payments manually on the websites of the vendors.

I used it for a few payments over the summer when I was travelling because I had a few bills that didn't have web payment systems (Hello COBRA). And it was painful to get the CU to cancel it when I was back in town, and refund the 2 extra months they billed me.
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:41 PM   #44
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Unfortunately, my CU charges $5/month to use their bill paying system. So I go through the hassle of pushing the payments manually on the websites of the vendors.

I used it for a few payments over the summer when I was travelling because I had a few bills that didn't have web payment systems (Hello COBRA). And it was painful to get the CU to cancel it when I was back in town, and refund the 2 extra months they billed me.
Gosh - don't you want a bank account with free bill pay for this stuff?
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:09 PM   #45
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Speaking of fees, the county charges 1.49 to pay property taxes via their website. It's 4.95 if you use a credit card. I never tried to push this payment from my bank account.


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Old 04-05-2016, 07:56 AM   #46
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I use the bill pay feature from CU account. I typically sit down for 30 minutes 2x/month to pay bills, update spreadsheet and do an overall review of finances. The bill pay feature will send me an email alert when a bill is close to being due it hasn't been scheduled to be paid.
If I'm planning a trip I just take care of all bills in advance by entering a future pay date. Love this.
Only two bills on auto pay. My gym membership to my CC and Vz cell from a checking account I plan to close in a few months (we plan to shop around for a cheaper cell plan at that time too).
I like having to enter the amount and dates in the bill pay system as it keeps me fully aware of what we are paying for services and when rates/costs change.


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Old 04-05-2016, 09:17 AM   #47
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I'm planning a one time 4-6 month trip. I plan to prepay all utility bills. I knew a coworker who paid like $1000 for one of his utility bill, so that should cover it in case I can't access to my account online overseas.
The only problem I still have and have not solved yet is how to hold mail longer than one month.


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Old 04-05-2016, 09:28 AM   #48
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I seldom change homes, but love to travel, so I prefer auto billing for utilities, phone, TV etc. Thirty some years now and no problems
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:57 AM   #49
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I'm planning a one time 4-6 month trip. I plan to prepay all utility bills. I knew a coworker who paid like $1000 for one of his utility bill, so that should cover it in case I can't access to my account online overseas.
The only problem I still have and have not solved yet is how to hold mail longer than one month.


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That's where having a mail forwarding service like Escapees can help. They will hold longer, and send stuff to you if you like, upon demand. There are other such services.

Or forward your mail to a very good friend family member while you are traveling - usps temporary address change.

Or pay someone to check your house, pick up your mail, every two weeks.
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:41 AM   #50
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My kids will be here and so will my sister. But I'm not sure it's safe to transfer to their addresses, they both live in an apartment and that means they have small mailboxes. I need to check into this further. Thanks for the info.


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Old 04-05-2016, 03:51 PM   #51
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All my bills are on auto-pay using cash-back credit cards. For most of the bills, I get an email several days before the charge with a link to the online bill. For the CCs themselves, I use my bank's bill pay service after validating all charges on the statement.

I've thought about using direct bank debit to auto-pay the CCs. I review all CC transactions online at least weekly. So by the time I review the statement, it's already been validated once. For those of you who auto-pay with CCs, how do you pay the CC itself?
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:13 PM   #52
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My kids will be here and so will my sister. But I'm not sure it's safe to transfer to their addresses, they both live in an apartment and that means they have small mailboxes. I need to check into this further. Thanks for the info.


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When we went away for 9 weeks last summer I had my sister come by once a week and sort through the mail. It was nice that she could alert us if there were any letters/bills we hadn't planned on. Turns out there were a couple relating to MIL. (DH is her guardian)... He was able to direct a sibling to pay the bill.

While she was checking on our place she could confirm no pipes had burst and the house hadn't fallen down.
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:13 PM   #53
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All my bills are on auto-pay using cash-back credit cards. For most of the bills, I get an email several days before the charge with a link to the online bill. For the CCs themselves, I use my bank's bill pay service after validating all charges on the statement.

I've thought about using direct bank debit to auto-pay the CCs. I review all CC transactions online at least weekly. So by the time I review the statement, it's already been validated once. For those of you who auto-pay with CCs, how do you pay the CC itself?
I use the bank's ebill feature where I can. The CC company notifies the bank of the bill, and then I have the bank automatically pay the balance on the statement 1 day before due date.

For others I enter that same information after I review the statement.
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:35 PM   #54
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If I have anyone doing automatic withdraws from my checking account, the day I cancel the service I call my bank and tell them to block all ACH transfers from whatever company. That way the company can send me a final bill, and I don't have to worry about them accidentally trying to keep charging me.

I have found that if company isn't good at refunding you the money they owe from charging your account even after cancelling service, you can find their corporate HQ number online. From there it's usually a matter of guessing if they have a 3 or 4 digit extension system. Typing a few random numbers in can get you in touch with someone even if their system is built to try to give customers the runaround. They really, really don't like when you find that out. And even less when you start giving out that information on their Facebook page.
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Old 04-06-2016, 08:19 AM   #55
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I have found that if company isn't good at refunding you the money they owe from charging your account even after cancelling service, you can find their corporate HQ number online.
When MIL died, we closed the account that was being charged, and advised the Cable TV Co of the last date that service would be paid. When subsequent monthly charges bounced, they turned it over to collections, who tracked us down. We gave them the address of the graveyard.
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Old 04-06-2016, 11:45 AM   #56
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All my bills are on auto-pay using cash-back credit cards. For most of the bills, I get an email several days before the charge with a link to the online bill. For the CCs themselves, I use my bank's bill pay service after validating all charges on the statement.



I've thought about using direct bank debit to auto-pay the CCs. I review all CC transactions online at least weekly. So by the time I review the statement, it's already been validated once. For those of you who auto-pay with CCs, how do you pay the CC itself?

I have one CC with a 0% balance transfer that's on auto pay. The main reason is so I won't lose the 0% if I miss a payment. The rest of my CC which includes auto-pays, I authorize a bank debit through the CC. One thing I've changed since we earn little to none on held cash, is to pay the CC once funds are available versus waiting until the due date. With all the fraud going on, I try to keep my checking balance low in case of fraudulent debits.


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Old 04-15-2016, 08:54 AM   #57
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My BCBS insurance no longer takes CC payments beginning in June. There goes my hefty cashback bonus .


So looks like choices are autopay (which I won't sign up for), debit card, or old fashioned paper check.
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