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When to Pay Cards?

February 26th, 2013 at 03:10 am

I have three cards that I use. One is due the 5th. Another is due the 15th. And the last is due the 21st.

I would rather make all of the payments at once. When do I make those payments in order to avoid interest? Let's say I make it the 1st. Does that work (assuming they post within two days)?

16 Responses to “When to Pay Cards?”

  1. LuckyRobin Says:

    If you try to pay a bill on the first that is due on the 21st it probably won't have closed and any charges you make after the 1st but before the card closes (probably around the 12th or so) would still be due on the 21st or interest will begin to accrue. I would just ask the credit card companies to change all the due dates to the date you want.

  2. Frgal Says:

    I should probably do that (change due dates) to make it easier!

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    I am unfortunately on a 4-card system right now (the rewards are too good!!). They are all calendar month cards (I probably asked two of them to move the closing dates - if they close on the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th, will generally capture the calendar month, which I prefer for tracking spending and such). I do have a card that closes on the 25th, and I am fine with that, as I can always pre-pay charges those last 5 or 6 days, so that works too.

    Anyway, all my cards give me about 30 days to pay. I just try to pay them all off around the fifth of the month (after statement end dates). The one card is usually large and I usually pay that one after payday mid-month, but then it's still paid about 15 days before due date. I prefer to just pay off WELL early to avoid any potential problems. I've heard often you can pay electronically on due date and such, but my strategy to avoid interest has generally always just to pay the second I get the bill. These days since it is all online, then these days it is the second I know what the final bill is for the month. This has probably been more essential with managing a lot of cards. I tend to pay way on the early side.

  4. Frgal Says:

    I don't like paying when I get the bill. That means interest is applied. No one wants that. Smile

  5. ceejay74 Says:

    I have a lot of credit cards in play at any given time because I'm doing the bonus points shuffle! Smile I always keep track of all my credit card balances and pay them off entirely twice a month, after each payday. That way I'm never in danger of missing a due date or paying interest.

  6. MonkeyMama Says:

    Interest is not applied until after the due date. ??? I've never paid a cent of interest to a credit card company, personally.

    Do you have some different type of credit? Are you sure you would pay interest if you waited for bill?

  7. MonkeyMama Says:

    "What is a credit card grace period?
    It is a window of time you have where you will not accrue interest charges, if you pay them off in full. This grace period starts when your billing cycle closes. It ends when the payment is due for that billing cycle."

    This is how it works if you have paid off the balance, anyway.

  8. Frgal Says:

    Hmm. So, I suppose I will just pay them off two days before the due date.

  9. snafu Says:

    The whole point of CC is is to use other people's money, with as small or no cost to yourself. I use a few CC with different closing days in order to give myself the longest time for major purchases. Using your bank's electronic bill paying system is an efficient, easy method to meet CC [or any creditor] requirements by authorizing sum at least one business day in advance of the due date. When the bill comes, highlight the due date and balance/amount you planned to pay and the next time you go on-line or pay bills, set up the payment from your list of creditors. It sounds like eork when I write it out but it's really less than 6 clicks on most systems.

    It helps to instigate 'Desk Day' and take care of all financial tasks just before each payday.

  10. creditcardfree Says:

    Here's an example of my Target Red Card. Statement closes on February 25th. The statement includes all charges from January 26-February 25. My due date for all these charges is March 22. If I pay the full balance on the card on or before March 22, there is no interest. The grace period is February 25-March 22.

    If I didn't pay the balance in full, the next statement which would come out on March 25 in this example, would have interest added to the balance based on however the company calculates the interest. This amount would have due date of April 22.

    I hope the example helps. Smile

  11. Frgal Says:

    Interesting, creditcardfree. I don't think my Chase Freedom works the same way... I don't think I get a whole month, or else I would never pay interest. Ha. Maybe it was because I had just paid it off after having a balance for a while. Residual interest, possibly.

  12. Jerry Says:

    If I were in that situation I would ask the companies if they could lead the due dates together to around the same time... it would just make it easier to manage and you would have more insurance that you would not miss any payments. Good luck!

  13. creditcardfree Says:

    Yes, additional interest happens, when you have had a balance that you paid interest on the previous depends on how they calculate the balance. We have the Chase Freedom account, too. It does work the same way. In my case, the close date of the statement is February 12 and the due date is March 9. This is common practice for credit cards. If you don't pay the balance in full, you will of course, be charged interest.

    We never pay interest on the cards we have. We don't every carry a balance past the due date, thus no interest. Thus we are credit card debt free! Smile

  14. Frgal Says:

    creditcardfree, we won't have credit card balances now that we paid off last year's emergency moving expenses. Feels great!

  15. BuckyBadger Says:

    You said earlier:

    but that's not how credit cards work. As long as you pay your "statement balance" on or before the due date, you won't pay interest. I think this was discussed in a previous thread where you were describing how you sent money to your credit card like very other week or something? I think we explained the issue that you could actually end up messing up your payment because you're not waiting for all the charges to clear before trying to pay the card off.

    Time elapses between your closing date and the date that you get the statement. This time is there to allow pending charges to clear and give the CC company time to do their paperwork. Then they send you a bill with a due date, usually a few weeks later. (Like creditcardfree, I think we get about a month, as well. I think it closes on the 24th and is due the following 22nd.)

    As long as you pay the bill off in full before (or on) the due date, you will not be charged interest. Now, I'll admit that I don't know how it works if you have carried a balance previously. I've never carried a balance on a credit card. I can imagine that for one month there could be some sort of residual interest charge.

    But if it's now paid off and you're planning on paying it off every month going forward, there's no reason to confuse yourself by trying to pay before you're sent your statement. So in general I would say that you should wait until you get your statement, then pay the balance a day or two before it's due. Or a week before if it helps you sleep at night.

    (Remember, you pay the STATEMENT BALANCE, not the CURRENT BALANCE, which will be higher.)

    Now, I believe that you can ask to have your closing dates moved around, but I question if you really want to have all of your credit card bills due out of one paycheck. Do you WANT to have to owe all the money at once? Wouldn't it be easier for you to spread it out over a couple paychecks?

  16. BuckyBadger Says:

    I was trying to quote this statement in my above post:

    "I don't like paying when I get the bill. That means interest is applied. No one wants that."

    But it didn't work!

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