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One (Probably Obvious) Piece of Advice about Managing Credit Cards

I arrived home last night and found a letter from Chase with a gentle reminder that my payment was past due for my wife’s Sapphire card. I turned to my wife:

Me: You didn’t pay the bill on your Sapphire card?
Wife: No. You pay the credit cards.
Me: I pay the credit cards when I’m told they’re due. Didn’t you get a “payment due” notice from them?
Wife: Yes.
Me: Why didn’t you tell me?
Wife: Because you pay the credit card bills.
Me: Right, when you tell me there’s a bill due, I pay it.

(and so on for roughly 8 minutes)

I realized the problem immediately (besides that I should’ve just apologized and gone on with my day): i’m manually managing payments on WAY too many cards. This month, for example, we will put spend on:

Corporate Amex
Amex SPG
Wife’s Amex SPG
4 different Hawaiian Airlines cards
Sapphire Preferred
Wife’s Sapphire Preferred
Random USAA Visa that I have for some reason

That’s a lot of different cards to remember to pay.

Perhaps I am a complete idiot (yes) but I had never signed up for the autopay feature that Amex and Chase both offer. You can set your credit card bills to be paid automatically on a certain number of days after the end of the billing cycle.

Like I said, this may be WAY obvious. But it wasn’t obvious to me — I was just going in and paying all of these bills one-by-one. Kinda crazy. I’ve now signed up for auto-pay (you should too) and Susan and I can now go back to the perfect marital bliss we lived in prior to my not paying our credit card bills.

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  1. New Girl in the Air

    Glad you already set up a solution. Do be sure to call Chase though…I missed a payment once years ago and since I was otherwise a customer in good standing, they waived the fees and agreed not to report the missed payment to credit bureaus. YMMV but worth a shot.

    • Good point. They hadn’t charged me yet, but always good to remember that you should call and ask to waive any fee you’re not happy about.

      • Million Mile Secrets

        I’ll admit to missing a payment a few years ago when I was traveling.

        Banks usually don’t report the late payment until after 30 days and as New Girl in the Air points out, you can call them and ask them to waive the late fee.

  2. I have the same payment due date on all my credit cards. That way I know that if I go and check every issuer once a month then I will never miss a payment. Right now I only have four issuers and thus life is pretty easy.

    You can change your due date on any card by giving your issuer a quick call.

  3. LOL. My wif and I had the same conversation recently about a missed Amex payment. In my case I do put everything on autopay, but i forgot that one!

  4. I don’t know. What about the potential for auto-paying a fraudulent or incorrect charge if you don’t get around to reviewing your statement in time?

  5. Like Carsten I also have set all my credit card due dates for the same day. If you have the ability to pay them all a week or two before their due date, it might be beneficial for your credit score, especially if in the process of a card churn. Another helpful tip is to set up a reminder on Google calendar or whichever calendar you use. Of course this is much easier if the cards are all due on the same day! Aloha.

  6. Be sure to check in on your autopay now and again! LIke you (now), I have everything on autopay for various Amex, Chase, Citi, and Barlcay cards.

    I am 100% certain because I made notes as I set up autopay.

    but yesterday, I logged in to Citi just to check things over and got a “you’re late!” notice. I couldn’t believe it! My Visa was still set to AutoPay but the feature was dropped on my Amex.

    $20 late fee plus about $6 in interest were levied. I will call today to get the charges reversed, but the moral of the story is to verify your autopay settings occasionally!


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