Forgetting to pay off credit card bills on time is now a common occurrence among today's generation. The fast pace of everyday life, coupled with myriad bills and their due dates, makes it nearly impossible to keep track of what to pay and when. The problem is compounded by the number of bills that have to be paid.
It is quite easy to keep track of your payments and due dates if you have only 1 or 2 payments to make each month. Unfortunately, you do not. From electricity and phone bills to cable and internet payments, there are enough reasons to get lost in these payments. If you add your loan repayments, bills of family members, etc. you can be rest assured that your stress levels will rise every few days when you realise the due date is near.
Unlike other bill payments that result in a penalty fee, the repercussions of not paying off your credit card bills on time are more serious. For instance, here you will incur a penalty of approximately 2% per month on the amount left unpaid. In addition, a bad repayment history will dent your credit score. Not paying off large credit card bills on time will also lead to accumulation of debt and you will suddenly find yourself facing a huge amount that you need to repay without any idea of how it became so large in the first place.
Thankfully, you can easily pay off your credit card bills without any worries or hassles. Here are 10 ways of paying off your credit card bills easily.
1. Online Bill Payment Services
Also called electronic bill payment, these companies help you pay off your credit card bills on time. All you need to do is to select your bill payment service provider, enter your credit card details, your contact details such as your mobile number and / or your email address, the payment amount, and the bank and bank account from where you want to make the payment. These firms process the payments usually within a business day or two of you making the payment.
One of the key features of these payment service companies is that they send you reminders when the payment amount is due, making it quite easy to keep track of when you have to make the payments. Moreover, you can schedule payments well in advance by getting the bill payment firm to automatically make the payments at least 1-2 days before the due date.
2. NEFT Payments
The National Electronic Funds Transfer System (NEFT) allows you to make payments from your bank account to your credit card within the same day. You can make payments from any bank account you have. If you have activated your online banking services, you can make the payments by clicking on the 'Funds Transfer' option and choosing NEFT payments in the transfer option. The other option provided is RTGS but more on that in the next section.
Once you have clicked on funds transfer option, you have to add your credit card under the Payee details. You will have to enter details such as your card number, the name of the issuing bank, and the IFSC code, among others. To check bank branch IFSC code, you can call up the respective bank and ask them to give you the IFSC code to make card payments through NEFT. Alternatively, IFSC codes can be found online also. In most cases, when you search bank by IFSC code you will realise that it is either a specific branch code or a generic one for the city where you got the card (this is relevant for those of you who have since getting your card moved to a different city). Once the details are put in, you can transfer the money from your bank account to your credit card. Some banks may take some time from half hour to 24 hours, to add the credit card to the list of payees, but once this is done, you can make payments easily. NEFT payments are credited within the same day to the card if the payment is made before the designated cut-off time.
3. RTGS Payments
Like NEFT payments, Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) allows you to make funds transfers to your credit card on the same day, provided the payments are initiated before the cut-off time. The benefit of RTGS payments is that they are meant for large payments. If you have to make a very large credit card bill payment, then this mode is the best to ensure your card bill is repaid on the same day.
The process of making an RTGS payment is similar to NEFT payments. You need to add your credit card to the list of payees by putting in your card and bank details. Check bank branch IFSC as mentioned for NEFT - call up the customer care and ask. You can also visit your credit card company's website if they provide such customer-centric information on their site.
4. ECS Payments
Electronic Clearance System (ECS) payments are ideal if you use your credit card for specific bills on a regular basis. In such a scenario, you know the amount of the bill you will have in advance and you can set up an ECS mandate wherein you can ask the credit card company to present an ECS payment request to your bank. The bank will then honour your ECS mandate and make the payment from your bank account to the credit card company.
5. Mobile App Payments
Banks and credit card companies have come up with apps that allow you to make payments to pay off your credit card bill. All you need to do is to enter the card details and the mobile app will transfer the funds from your account to the credit card. You will have to put in the transaction and OTP in most cases to prevent any fraud.
You should note here that you cannot use your standard semi-closed mobile wallet from e-wallet firms such as PayTM, MobiKwik or Freecharge, among others to make credit card payments. These firms may start doing so in the future if they are allowed to make payments from your bank account directly to the credit card. If this is allowed, you are likely to see this payment option emerging in UPI-based apps such as BHIM first and perhaps later in the semi-closed mobile wallets.
6. Visa or MasterCard Money Transfer Send
Both Visa and MasterCard offer payment options on their sites to pay their respective brand of cards. All you need to do is enter your card details, put in the amount you have to pay, and enter your bank account details to make the payment. If you need to check bank branch IFSC codes, you can do so online or simply call up the customer service of your card issuing bank. Payments made through Visa or MasterCard are usually processed in a day or two.
7. Bank Accounts
This is one of the most convenient ways to pay off your credit card bills. All you need to do is login to your account, enter the card details such as issuing bank name, IFSC code (if necessary), etc. and make the payment. Like with NEFT and RTGS, the bank may take anything from half an hour to 24 hours to add the card as a payee. Once this is done, you can transfer funds to the card using your bank account.
You can also add the credit card to the list of billers whom you need to pay if your bank allows you to do so. In such cases, it will work like a bill payment service and you will get updates on due dates and due amounts well in time for you to make the payments. You can also set-up automatic payments (usually called Auto Pay) wherein the card bill is paid on the date you specify.
8. Standing Instructions
Most banks allow you to issue standing instructions under which the bank pays the minimum or the total amount due on your card. You will have to check with the bank how you can set it up but minimum documentation and verification should work in most cases.
Unlike one-off payments, standing instructions are ideal for regular payments. Hence should be used more frequently if you make a certain amount of purchases each month and the bank can pay the minimum amount due or the whole amount due. You should also ask your bank if they make such payments before you apply credit card online.
9. Cheque Payments
This is one of the easiest ways to make your credit card payment. All you need to do is to put in your card number in the payee name and enter the other details such as date, amount (in numerical and letters) before signing it. Remember to make the cheque account payee before you put it in the drop box. Paying credit card bills by cheque usually take 2-3 business days to be processed and if you are using a third party drop box vendor to drop your cheque, it makes sense to put it in at least 5-6 days before the due date so you do not miss any payments.
10. Cash Payments
The quickest way to make a credit card payment is by cash over the counter. The funds are transferred within the same business day to your credit card. This is the best option to use if you need to make a payment and want it to be credited on the same day.
There are a number of ways you can pay off your credit card bill. Check these options with your bank before you apply online for credit card so that you are not left in the lurch when you look for ways to make your credit card payment.