Sneaky Credit Card Trick

While I believe that credit cards a great tool if used correctly I must admit that I almost got in trouble with a sneaky credit card trick. I pay all of my credit cards automatically via ING so that I do not have to deal with the hassle of writing checks.

I have a system to pay my credit cards where the two cards I use on a regular basis (to earn cash back) get paid four times a month based on my budget for what is put on that card. I have an idea of what I put on each card and divide that by four and ING sends that one fourth payment every week to the card. The amount is more than the minimum payment would be and since I am paying multiple times I do not even have to worry about the due date.

Luckily the due dates for both cards are about the same time so that makes it easy to manage them. I then check the balance on the cards during the last week of the month and pay any outstanding amounts so that on the last day of the month the card is fully paid off. The due dates are around the 10th to the 14th for both cards so I have about two weeks of zero balance on the card before the dance begins again.

creditcard.jpgAs a result of this I have no idea what the payment addresses on my cards are supposed to be and this is where the fun starts. I have one card that changed the payment address without giving me notification. Now I suppose it is their right to change the address but think of the ramifications of an address change. Depending on where the new address is this means my payment would now have to be routed to the new address over a number of days.

If I used to pay the bill close to the due date then this could possibly make my payment go in late and cause me to have a late fee on the account.  Sneaky sneaky.

I just got a feeling when I opened the statement that I needed to check the address and saw that it was different from what I had saved in ING. I looked on the website to make sure and then had to go into ING to make the changes.

* Delete all 4 weekly payments

*Delete account name

*Enter account with new address

* Add  in 4 new weekly payments

ING does not let you simply change the information on a mailing address that they have confirmed so that is why I had to go through all those steps. I am glad that I caught the address change and now my payments will go directly to the place they need to be and avoid spending extra days floating around.

Do you check the mailing addresses on your credit cards often?

Author: Lulu

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13 Comments

  1. I always pay online so don’t have to worry about mailing addresses, but they really should make it more noticeable when changing address because I doubt you are the only one doing it this way. Maybe a way for them to make some profit from late fees.

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  2. What, you mean a credit card company did something that would effect you, without notifying you in advance (or ever)?? SHOCKING!! 😉

    Shawn Knight’s last blog post..TV Back From The Shop

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  3. So why do you pay your bill 4 times? Is it a way of forcing self control or something? Cause for interest earnings sake wouldn’t it be better to wait and pay it in one lump sum just before it is due?
    I know that remembering to pay your bill can be a lot of pressure, but you are going through it 4 times every month. I thought ING also allowed you to schedule payments, so then you don’t even need the pressure of remembering. Unless of course you are worried about spending more than what you have…

    staci’s last blog post..I’ve got a pair-a-troopers, no, make that three

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    • I don’t physically go and pay the bill 4 times. The payment is split into 4 and sent off automatically by ING. I only check on the last payment, which is the one just before the due date to make sure that it is paid in full.

      I buy groceries for example and while my budget is set at $150 I might not actually spend that amount for the month. So I have 4 payments of $30 (adds up to $120) going out automatically and then if I spent more than $150 I check the difference….I have other things on the card as well so the amounts fluctuate.

      I have 4 payments going out to cover things like the billing address changing, due dates changing, payment glitches etc. Plus I update my finances in Money, Quicken and Mint weekly so this system works for me.

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  4. I had a similar problem in the past but I suggest people to stop using credit cards. Pay cash for everything, even for big purchases. Sadly that won’t work for most of us who shop online for almost everything. Credit cards are an extremely convenient tool for shopping and comes with several protections and rewards. We’d like to avail these benefits won’t we? hope you’re fine Lulu..

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  5. I have paid my bills online for years so it wouldn’t even occur to me! How crazy!

    I too pay my CCs a couple times a month. I’m kind of weird, but yes, I think it’s a form of self control. Plus, paying over $1,000 a month most months on my credit card – it makes me feel better to do a couple $300 payments than one big bang! Stupid really, but just something I do.

    Becky’s last blog post..Free Sample of Huggies Pure and Natural Diapers!

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  6. I think that using a debit card would be much easier than using a full serviced credit card.

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  7. @Online TV, it’s not always the case, –I guess it depends on what you mean,obviously having/using a debit card should be the first option but having a credit card can be more convenient when you don’t have money on your DC.

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  8. Crazy. I pay some bills online and some by mailing a check. So if an address changes, it would automatically change on the slip of paper I have to mail back with my check.

    I just sent my first check using Wells Fargo’s online bill pay… so I guess I would have to be careful about address changes if I start using this service more.

    Ryan

    Debt Reduction Formula’s last blog post..What Did They Do 100 Years Ago?

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    • Well DRF, I pay all bills via credit card so I don’t even bother to check mailing addresses. I also get my credit card statements BOTH online and in paper…but since I use ING to pay the cards I only use the paper statements to look for charges I did not make since it is easier to read paper than the screen.

      I never check the mailing address on the CC statement because I pay it online. Now ING sends some cards electronic payments but some places only accept paper checks from ING.

      I noticed on the statement that it reads ‘miscellaneous payment’ or ‘payment at New York (or other state) branch’ on the ones that were changed. I guess they eventually got sent to the right place….but that just makes me happy that I pay multiple times and always more than the minimum so that I do not get late fees for crazy stuff like that.

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  9. From what I’ve read it makes sense to pay more than once a month because of the way interest is calculated. So as per Staci’s comment above, I’d check with your card agreement to see when they calculate interest fees. If it’s based on an average daily amount, then it makes more sense to make more frequent payments and keep that average down, something that MoneyNing had an article on not too long ago too.

    MoneyEnergy’s last blog post..How Should You Spend Your Tax Refund?

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  10. Thank you for a very informative blog.

    If there was a list for top 10 most irresistible temptation, the credit card should make it there. LoLz

    Yes, the credit card is such a temptation for both young & old. IMO, it takes a lot of discipline to resist the urge to shop to our hearts delights. And once we get ourselves caught in that sticky web of debt, that’s when our nightmares begin.

    A mountain of financial liabilities can be such a nerve-wracking experience. I know the feeling well having been in that harrowing predicament before. It sure was a difficult climb to get over that mountain. What I did was took extra part time work, scrimped, saved, paid my bills, even consulted a debt elimination group! But, tell you what, the most important resolution I made was to never ever get myself into a sticky debt situation all over ever again! Being debt free now, I feel lighter and definitely HAPPIER!!!!

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