I always preferred to pay it on the credit card website as I can see the process of the payment and also on Capital One and HSBC if I pay before 3pm then it's posted next day and credit is available next day. However as HSBC started to hold some of my payment I switched to pushing it to them. I have fidelity and only difference when I push the payment is that if I do it before 3pm the payment is posted in 2 days and credit available rather than next day..however so far it's been 100% successful and they have not held my payment once while paying by website it's a gamble so I do it with my bank now. Capital One I do it via their website still. They haven't held my money except once and that was like 2nd payment and ever since then they have been good. AMEX I just dont like their new website and it's weird so I just push it through and it works fine. In-fact Fidelity has been great and easy to do it so I might just switch that way. Like I said it's a day extra and no weekends, but it's easy and 100% reliable.
When your account is in the first year and you make big payments CapOne has been known to put holds on the payments which are annoying but they go away and worst case is you drop them an email they fix it.
A couple thoughts, from my experience, about your financial institutions online bill pay service:
A) It is never a wire transfer: If your bank, and your creditor, are both members of the same electronic funds transfer service provider, such as checkfree or Fiserv, then the funds may be transferred through that 3rd party and appear to be "wired", but it's not. Your bank should know and advise you, when you initiate a payment, whether it will take 2-3 business days (electronic) or 5 or more business days (they'll cut a paper check and mail it). This is important, especially if you're paying close to the due date.
B) It's almost always a 3rd party: This is important because if you need to get money back because of a misclick, you will have to prove the funds your creditor received are good and have left the account they were drawn on. If it was a 3rd party and they cut a paper check, then you have to get them involved in the proof. This can be difficult and time consuming. You may also have to provide "proof of funds clearing" if your check gets misapplied to somebody else's account.
C) Cut-off time: Usually, just like any other bank business, there is a cut-off time. If you initiate the transaction after X:XX, it will not process until the following business day. For brick and mortor transactions, this is usually 2:00pm local time. For online transactions, it may vary from 5:00-6:00 for the time zone your bank is based. If, usually, you initate a transaction on the weekend, it will not process to the following Monday. If the following Monday is a holiday, it will not process until that Tuesday. If you are used to paying your bills 3 days in advance because you are used to it taking 2 days to get there, and you start the transaction, without thinking about it, on Friday evening, it may take close to a week to get there.
D) "It's the USPS's fault": If they are mailing a check, and it doesn't get to your creditor, it was the fault of the post office. Your creditor will say they didn't receive it and the 3rd party or your bank will say they sent it, leaving the fault of the USPS and they will claim they are not responsible for lost or stolen mail. The reason I bring this up is because it does happen and when it does, you have no recourse. You may process 10,000 payments, it only takes one not getting there ontime to make things rough. This situation includes the fact that the check may have never reached the post office (your bank had issues with its machinery) and the fact that your creditor may have received it but it got lost in their mail room, got shredded accidentally, ect. It will always be the fault of the post office.
E) If you use the creditors website, it is electronic: The transaction will process through ACH (automatic clearing house). As long as you put the routing and account number in accurately, it will not get misapplied or lost.
In short, the only reason I'd use online bill pay service is if my creditor made me pay to use their service, OR, as stated above, I didn't have that option for this payment.
Goodness, thank you so much for this. I would have assumed ACH was used everywhere and all the time – like the SEPA system for Europe.
Here's the real issue I'm having...
I set-up a recurring payment on my BoA account that is for $31.67 a month. This shows up as a pending transaction 4 days before the payment due date and then posts as being paid on my due date! BoA won't let me pay more than my current balance so I can't ever get BoA to report zero. This payment will drop off in about six months so I really didn't want to switch it to a different card.
I might try and push a payment for the $31.67 the day before my due date next month. Do you think this would work?
I'm trying to rotate which credit card reports my less than 9% of CL each month.
Have you checked with the company that's pulling the payment from your card and see if they can change the date they initiate the transaction? See if they can do it a few days earlier then they currently are, so you have time to log in and pay it before the due date.
I wrestle with this question every month believe it or not. I like using my bank account to pay out so that I can have more central control over my budget. I can see everything, reschedule payments up or down and make adjustments if I want to press one particular accounts balance down quicker than another.
But the paying from the card sites get the payment posted fasster. Usually within 24 hours of the scheduled date. I have everything set up on both sides for each card. I pay from the individual accounts if for some strange reason that I forgot or wanted to make a special payment quickly in order to get a balance down to zero before the reporting close date.
I like to pay thru my bank. That way the money is taken directly from my account and I'm not overdrawn. I like to pay and get it done. Not waiting for it to post and the like
I hthe that same issue with Citi....PNC and BOA are much better as they do not hold my payment and most times, it posts on the creditors side by midnight and has already been taken out
I use USAA Billpay for almost everything. Most are electronic (I know some one said differently here, but on the payee side it always shows as ACH or 'electronic'). Most bills that are paid get credited the next day (Discover, Cap One, NFCU, and Verizon are all next day).
I have most of my bills sent to USAA. This makes it super easy to pay.
I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to my checking account. I never allow a 3rd party to take money from my account. I always send it instead.
I have never had an issues with USAA (almost 2 years) and prior to that I used Wachovia (now Wells Fargo). I have been using billpay since the early 90's (even before the web - I had a DOS program to access my account via modem).