Which is the Best Way to Make a Credit Card Payment?September 4, 2010 - 9:26 am
Most credit card companies offer three ways to make a credit card payment: via mail, over the phone, and over the internet. The most important aspect of choosing a credit card payment method is making sure the payment gets there on time. If your credit card payment arrives late one time, you face a late payment fee. If your payment is late two times in a row (60 days late), your credit card issuer can increase your interest rate. If your payment is late twice in a six-month period, your card issuer can charge you a higher late payment fee. If your payment is late by 30 days or more, the late payment will be reflected on your credit report.
Paying credit cards by mail
This is the most traditional method of sending credit card payments. When you send a payment through the mail, you need to have a few things: the payment stub from your credit card statement, a check or money order, a stamp, and an envelope.
You need to mail your payment in enough time to reach your credit card issuer by the due date. If your due date falls on a day the mail doesn’t deliver, e.g. a holiday or weekend, aim to get your payment to your credit card issuer on a mail delivery date before your payment is due. For example, if your payment is due on a Sunday, send your payment in enough time so your card issuer receives it by Friday.
Paying credit cards by phone
Making a credit card payment by phone is faster than mailing payment, but it also has drawbacks. Phone payments usually require you to have a checking account. You’ll need your checking account and routing number to submit a payment over the phone. You’ll also need the customer service number (found on the back of your credit card), your credit card number, and any security code required to access your account via phone.
Making a phone payment is free unless you are making an expedited payment to avoid a late payment. For example, if your credit card payment is due today and you opt to have your credit card payment applied to your account today, you may have to pay an extra charge.
Paying credit cards by internet
A final option for making your credit card payment is to pay over the internet. Not all credit card issuers have this option. When you apply for a credit card, check for the ability to make online payments if this is important to you.
You’ll typically have to create a username and password to make your credit card payment online. You also need your checking account and routing number so you can make payment. It can sometimes take 3-5 business days for online payment to be applied to your account, so it’s wise to make your payment in advance of the due date.
Like phone payments, it’s free to make online payments unless you’re making an expedited payment to avoid a late fee.
Bill pay through your bank
There’s a final way to make your credit card payment that’s not necessarily offered by your credit card issuer – that’s via your bank’s bill pay. Online bill pay is either done electronically or with a check. It’s important that you know which one your bank uses because that affects how early you need to send your payment (paper checks take longer).