Can You Overpay a Credit Card?

What it means to overpay your credit card and what you can do about it


Accidentally overpaid your credit card? Don’t worry. It happens. Overpayment just means you’ve paid your credit card company more than you owe. And the result is a credit balance on your credit card.

But how did the overpayment happen? And is there anything you can do about it? Read on to learn the answers to these questions and more.

How Overpaying a Credit Card Can Happen

Overpaying your credit card may not happen often. But if it does, you’ll probably want to know how it happened. 

Here are a couple of ways you might end up overpaying your credit card account.

Making Manual Payments

Manual payments give you the flexibility to pay what you want, when you want. But it’s also easy to overpay when making manual payments.

You might accidentally add an extra digit or hit the wrong button when paying online. Or, if you’re chipping away at your balance with multiple payments, you might accidentally pay your credit card company more than you meant to.

If you’re worried about paying the wrong amount, you may want to consider setting up automatic payments. They can help you make on-time payments without overpaying. And you have options when it comes to how much you pay. You can set up automatic payments to make your minimum payment or pay your last statement balance. Or you can choose your own fixed monthly payment.

Receiving Refunds

Getting a refund from a merchant is another way you might overpay your credit card. If you pay off your balance before getting a refund, that refund would result in a credit balance.

Let’s say you make a purchase for $100. But then you decide to return the purchase for a refund. If you pay off your credit card balance before you receive the refund, you’ll end up with a credit balance of $100 once the refund is credited to your account. 

What You Can Do After Overpaying Your Credit Card

If you overpay your credit card account, you won’t lose the money. In fact, you have options if you overpay your card.

Spend Down the Credit Balance

You could choose to spend down the credit balance.

Think of a credit balance like an account credit. Just use your credit card like you normally do, and your credit card company will apply your credit balance to any new balance. Eventually, you won’t have a credit balance.

This is an easy way to handle overpayments because you don’t have to do anything out of the ordinary.

Request a Refund

If you have a credit balance and want the money back, you can make a written request of your credit card company for a refund.

Requesting a refund could be a good option if you need the credit balance back in order to pay other bills. It could also be a good option if the credit balance is on a credit card you don’t use often.

If you overpay your credit card by more than $1 and request a refund, your credit card company must send you a refund within seven business days of getting your written request.

And even if you don’t ask for a refund, your credit card company must try to issue a refund if you don’t make any other purchases for more than six months.

Don’t Worry If You Overpay

Remember: Don’t worry if you overpay your credit card. It happens. And if you do overpay, you have options.


Learn more about Capital One’s response to COVID-19 and resources available to customers. For information about COVID-19, head over to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Government and private relief efforts vary by location and may have changed since this article was published. Consult a financial adviser or the relevant government agencies and private lenders for the most current information.

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.

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