Advantages: Automatically Pay Bills/ Donations with a Credit Card

Paying your bills with a credit has many advantages, compared to paying each bill individually, which can cost more money, and provides no rewards. Many utility services provide consumers the option, having their monthly bills, directly charged each month to a credit card, includes electricity, water, and telephone companies or referred as Automatic Bill Payment. Also, many cable and satellite services, newspapers, and insurance company premiums (car and home insurance), offer the option for payment by credit card through an automatic service or providing the credit card number each billing cycle, by phone, internet or enclosed in the mail. When applying for Automatic Bill Payment, you should continue to pay your bills directly, until you are notified the service has been established. Certainly, companies that accept credit payments are happy, knowing that the credit card company is reliable to send them payment each month, rather than waiting until a customer pays a bill or pays the bill late. Contrarily, automatically having bills charged to a credit card, eliminates possibility forgetting to pay a utility bill or some other monthly charge, since the credit card company, pays that bill each month or like having your own accountant, except your only responsible for paying the credit card bill. These companies that have Automatic Bill Payment policy, do not have to consider any legal action, against customers that don’t pay their bills, since nonpayment is the concern of the credit card company. However, at some point in time, the credit card company will notify the customer’s utility service or other business entity, discontinue service and stop charging the credit card, for noncompliance of payment. However, credit card companies provide line of credit, not offered by utility or other type of monthly services. This can be utilized cautiously for a duration of time, when paying a minimum monthly amount to a credit card company, and preferably sooner than later, pay the entire balance.

A credit card user may add an additional amount to a credit card payment, which is credited for a future payment. This can be helpful, when going away on vacation or long trips, and next month(s) bills have sufficient reserve funds to be paid, by the credit card company. Since, utility or other basic services are billed each month. Also, a good method to have sufficient reserved money held in a credit card account, if you are tempted to spend that money, before the next credit card bill arrives. However, any money credited, does not earn any interest. This approach can be helpful, if you have a college student that has credit card, and uses it responsible. Advance payment to a credit card, ensures the student’s bill will be paid following month or longer, if you can calculate approximately next month’s charges. Also, if you are away from home for a long period of time or have a busy schedule, which may cause you to forget to pay a future credit card payment.

Consumers that use a credit card to pay monthly, quarterly or annual bill charges increase the number of advantage reward points or earn rewards faster during the year. Also, paying with a credit card instead of cash increases reward points or benefits. Limit the number of credit cards utilized two – four cards – this will quickly increase rewards points, than having many credit cards paying bills. Certainly, advantageous signing-up with a credit company that offers some type of rewards points, “cash back” program, frequent flyer mileage, and/or rebate program, whenever a charge is applied, and paying no annual fee. Sometimes, paying an annual fee for a credit card, will entitle the credit card user availability of more services, and better selection of gifts for the exchange of reward points. Credit card companies that offer “cash back’ rewards, make it possible for consumers to receive money back, from a credit card company, and in some situations, the amount can be significant. For example: A credit card company may offer the user, one percent “cash back,” for each dollar charged on a credit card. If the monthly expenditures on the credit card total $2,000, than the credit card user would receive $20 “cash back.” If that amount averages $2000, each month or more, by the end of the year, the total “cash back” would be at least $240. Other reward programs, such as American Express, offer advantage reward points for each dollar charged on a credit, after payment is received, and often will include additional free bonus points for certain charges. Sometimes, during the year, credit card companies including American Express, will offer double point rewards, for certain type of charges, including purchasing groceries, gasoline and insurance payment. By the end of the year, reward points could add up significantly, especially for large purchases or travel charges. Also, before the Holiday Season, reward points can be exchange for various gifts, and saving money, rather than to pay for these gifts. Besides, exchanging reward points for gifts will save money, on sales tax, usually no delivery charge, and whenever getting a gift for yourself. Also, paying each bill individually, adds to the cost of postage, and sometimes the cost of an envelope, which can be reduced to one stamp per credit card service, and a return envelope is provided. Reward points earned by a credit card does not expire, compare to frequent flyer mileage points, and other reward service providers, often have an expiring date.

Making charitable donations with a credit card has many advantages, than just claiming a deduction on your income tax return. When the charge is applied to your credit card, payment is not required immediately, until the credit card bill arrives in the mail. Some people will charge a credit card for a charitable donation, and will be expecting to receive amount of money, in the near future (within a few days), that will pay all or part of the credit card charge. Also, any amount charged on a credit card, user will receive after payment, reward points, “cash back” amount or benefits, offered by the credit card company. Most charitable organizations, accept credit card donations, since payment is send to them, from the credit card company, after verification, and processing the transaction. Many charitable organizations offer the option to debit a user credit card, for a specific amount each month. Certainly, this process is convenient, and accounting each month for a deduction.

When a monthly bills, arrive in the mail, which have been automatically charged to a credit card, those amounts should be written down, and then later, compared to the amounts charged on the corresponding credit card. This will ensure the accuracy and inconsistencies can be rectified, by contacting the credit card company, and/or charged service company or business, as soon as possible. Credit card companies usually have twenty-four telephone service, most problems can be resolved anytime, day or night. Also, many offer a website address, where customers can send E-mails to have questions answered. Sometimes for various reasons, necessary to notify the service or business that automatically charges your credit card, by providing new credit card number (and/or a new credit card service). Often, getting a new credit card number is necessary, when a credit card is fraudulently used, stolen or misplaced.

Many credit card companies provide annual statements, relating to previous year transactions. This information is useful, locating tax deductions, when preparing an income tax return.Some credit card companies, may offer this service for an additional charge or upgrade of a credit card service, while other credit card companies, don’t provide this service. American Express and maybe other credit card companies will subdivide the year’s paid expenses into various categories (including restaurants, entertainment, travel, etc.), which is helpful finding acceptable tax deductions including donations.

Certainly, when a credit card bill is not paid on time, additional charges will be added, and the credit rating of the user will be affected negatively. The convince of paying monthly bills by a credit card, prior there should be sufficient money collected, earned each month or during the year, which is put aside, for each monthly bill that is prepaid. Certainly, tempting to spend the money in the bank account for other expenses, instead of using the funds to pay the monthly credit card bill, should be avoided. When financially manageable, having the ability to spend the money set a side for a credit card bill, if the amount is replaced, in short amount of time or within days, before the credit card bill arrives in the mail. Actually, when money is set aside for credit card bills, that money will earn more interest in a financial institution or bank account. This happens often, considering the credit card bill does not have to be paid immediately, for at least a few days or a week later, until the amount is due. Also, after a bill arrives in the mail, which has been prepaid, usually at least a few days or more, the credit card bill will then arrive. Once the credit card bill company receives payment by mail and the check clears the customer bank account, and approximately 30 days have elapsed, since first receiving a prepaid bill(s).

Credit card service companies provide access to cash (a line of credit) or ability to write checks, but the interest and fees are very high, since the amount being borrowed, has not been back – up by a collateral asset or considered unsecured debt. This type borrowing should be considered only for emergencies or extremely short duration of time. Certainly, beneficial borrowing money from a bank or lending institution, since the interest is lower (assuming there is collateral or equity to secure the loan), and the interest is tax deductible, for certain types of loans, including home equity loans.

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