How to Pay Your Credit Card Bill
Learn about the different ways you can pay your credit card bill
If you use a credit card, that means you’ll likely have a payment to make every month. And staying on top of this bill is important because it can help keep your account in good standing. It’s also a big part of building healthy credit.
Knowing when and how to pay a credit card bill can help you turn this task into a habit. Most credit card issuers let you pay by phone, through an online account or mobile app, or by mail. You might even be able to pay in person. Here’s what to know about how you pay credit card bills and why it’s so important.
Ways to Pay Your Credit Card Bill
Depending on how your credit card issuer accepts payments, you may have several options to choose from. Here are some of the common ways issuers let you pay your credit card bill:
- ACH transfer: Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments let you transfer funds directly from one account to another. You can make this payment in person or by calling the phone number on the back of your credit card. You’ll likely need to provide your credit card account, bank account and routing numbers.
- Cash: If your credit card issuer has a location nearby, you may be able to pay in person with cash.
- Check: If your issuer accepts this form of payment, you can drop a check off in person. Or you can follow the instructions on your credit card statement to mail a check with your credit card bill. Just remember to allow plenty of time for your payment to reach the issuer before the due date.
- Mobile bill pay: Some credit card issuers offer a mobile app you can use to pay your bill. You’ll just need your payment account details.
- Online bill pay: Sign in to your credit card account, and provide your bank account or debit card details to make a payment online.
When to Pay Your Credit Card Bill
Every credit card has a billing cycle that typically lasts about a month. At the end of the billing cycle, your credit card issuer will send you a statement that lists your account activity, the minimum payment due and a due date. And that due date will be the same date every month.
Credit card issuers are also required to give you at least 21 days between the date your statement is mailed or delivered and the date your payment is due. You’ll want to make at least the minimum payment by the due date to keep your account in good standing and to avoid penalties.
Paying your bill on time can also have a positive impact on two areas that affect your credit scores:
- Payment history: Making on-time payments shows responsible credit card use and may help you improve your credit.
- Credit use: Another factor that impacts your credit scores is your credit utilization ratio, which measures how much credit you’re using. Paying down your balance may help you improve your credit score because it lowers your utilization ratio. Paying off your entire balance lowers that ratio even more and can help you avoid paying credit card interest.
Every card issuer has its own reporting schedule, so it’s best to ask your issuer about its practices. If you can find out when your card issuer reports your account activity, consider making at least a minimum payment before it’s reported as late.
Strategies for Making On-Time Credit Card Payments
It can be easy to miss a credit card payment, especially if you’re juggling multiple bills every month. But paying a credit card bill by the due date helps you maintain healthy credit and keep your credit card account in good standing.
Here are three ways to help you keep up with your credit card payment due date:
- Set up autopay. With autopay, you’ll ask your credit card issuer to automatically take money from your bank account to pay your credit card. The issuer can withdraw the minimum payment, the entire balance or a prespecified amount on a prespecified date. This can ensure your bill is paid on time—just make sure you have enough money in your bank account before the autopay goes through.
- Set up payment alerts. Sometimes it can be tricky to predict whether money will be available for autopay on the same day each month. In these cases, you can set up text or email alerts that notify you when a payment due date is coming up. When you see the reminder, make a payment using the method that works best for you.
- Request a due date that works for you. Some card issuers like Capital One allow you to pick your due date. This can help you streamline your payments if you have multiple credit cards and other bills. You can usually do this either by calling your card issuer or making a request online.
- Create a budget. Based on your take-home pay and ongoing bills, it may help to figure out how much you can afford to charge to a credit card each month. Try to stick to a budget so you can pay off the balance in full and avoid interest. When you plan ahead, you’re more likely to pay your credit card bills on time.
Try to Pay Your Credit Card Bill on Time, Every Time
The most important thing to remember is to make at least the minimum payment on your credit card by the due date every month. Consistently paying your bill on time can help you maintain good credit and keep your account in good standing.
You can find the payment amount and the due date by checking your most recent billing statement or calling your credit card issuer. And to help you meet this goal, you can set up autopay, set reminders or even ask your card issuer to adjust your due date.
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We hope you found this helpful. Our content is not intended to provide legal, investment or financial advice or to indicate that a particular Capital One product or service is available or right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.