Here's an undisputable truth about life: It can be crazy. With a million things swirling around, accidentally paying the wrong amount on a bill can happen. Easily. So what should you do if you pay more on your credit card balance than the total amount you owe? Don't worry, you have a right to get a credit or your money back—and several ways to do it.

Write to request a refund

Depending on your credit card company, as soon as an overpayment on a completely paid down balance is received, that amount is often credited immediately to your account. If you didn't get a credit (or if you did, but haven't used it), write to your credit card company to request a refund. Also, some companies may allow you to request a refund by phone, so be sure to check with your issuer.

Spend it down if you prefer an account credit

If you prefer to leave the overpaid amount in your account, it's like having a credit in your favor. Any new charges, up to the amount you overpaid, will be covered.

The law has your back

So let's say the credit card company puts the credit on your account, but you don't make any additional purchases for 6 months. At that point, they're legally required to make a good-faith effort to provide a refund, even if you didn't request one.

Heads up if you overpay too much

If you overpay your statement in a BIG way, it could trigger a fraud alert and cause your account to be locked down. Let your credit card company know, and that should take care of the lock on your account. When something like this happens, you can have a little more peace of mind knowing your issuer is looking out for your account. And if you're concerned, there are other ways you can protect yourself against credit card fraud.

The bottom line, it's reassuring that there are ways to handle the situation if you pay more than you owe on your credit card. It's a simple mistake with a number of easy solutions.

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