Did You Mess Up? Here’s a Trick to Quickly Remove This Painful Card Fee

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Did You Mess Up?  Here’s a Trick to Quickly Remove This Painful Card Fee

Million Mile SecretsDid You Mess Up?  Here’s a Trick to Quickly Remove This Painful Card FeeMillion Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

I always recommend paying your credit card balance in full each month.  Because the benefits of the miles & points you earn are offset by interest and late charges.

But sometimes things happen and you lose track of a due date.  And making a late payment means you might also have to pay up to a $35 fee.

If it’s not a habit and you’re only late 1 or 2 days, it’s possible to get the fee waived.  Several Million Mile Secrets team members have had this experience!

How To Get Credit Card Late Fee Refunded
When You’re Earning Miles & Points With Lots of Credit Cards, You Might Lose Track of a Due Date

I’ll explain how to get a credit card late fee refunded.  And helpful tips to avoid late fees!

Get Credit Card Late Fee Refunded

Link:   Beginner’s Guide to Miles & Points

Link:   The 5 Dangers of Applying for Credit Cards

You can earn lots of valuable airline miles and hotel points by signing-up for credit cards and using them responsibly.  And you can redeem the miles and points for unforgettable trips, like a mother-daughter getaway to Europe or an around-the-world honeymoon.

But in this hobby, it’s important to avoid fees and interest to make the most of the rewards you earn.

However, unexpected things can come up that cause folks to miss a payment.  Like if you misplace a bill or are feeling under the weather.

How To Get Credit Card Late Fee Refunded
Feeling Sick and Forgot About a Payment Due Date? It’s Possible to Get It Waived

Thankfully, it’s possible to get a late fee waived.

For example, Million Mile Secrets team member Scott accidentally missed a due date by 2 days on a Capital One card.  So he quickly called customer service.  Here’s how the conversation went:

Scott:   Hello, I accidentally missed my payment this month.  I’d be a very happy customer if you remove the late fee.  I’ll pay the bill in full right now.  You’ll also see that I’ve been a great customer for years and have never missed a payment otherwise.

Capital One Customer Service Agent:   Thank you for being a customer.  I’ll see what I can do…

Thanks for waiting.  I’ve removed the fee.

Scott:   Thank you!  You’ve made me a happy customer!

And team member Keith had a similar experience with a Chase card.  Instead of calling customer service, he sent a secure message.  The bank responded the same day and reversed the $39 late fee.

How To Get Credit Card Late Fee Refunded
Calling Customer Service or Sending a Secure Message Could Get a Late Fee Removed

I can’t promise the bank will refund you a late fee.  But if it’s your first time and you have a history of being a good customer, it’s likely the bank will extend a one-time courtesy.

Note:   Depending on the terms of your card, you might also pay interest charges for carrying a balance past the due date.  These are typically NOT waived by the bank.

3 Ways to Avoid Late Fees

1.   Use Automatic Payments

Set up auto-pay to avoid credit card late fees.

It’s available with most banks and adds convenience to the bill pay process.  And you can establish rules for your payment like the amount to pay and the date you want the payment to go through.

How To Get Credit Card Late Fee Refunded
Making Automatic Payments for Your Credit Card Bills Is an Easy Way to Avoid Late Fees

But if you change bank accounts, be sure to update your auto-pay settings.  Because it’s easy to forget about a bill if it’s been automatically paid for awhile.

It’s also important to keep a balance in your checking account so your payments will clear.

2.   Personal Finance Management App

I know lots of folks who use apps like Mint, which let you link all of your credit card and bank accounts.

And you’ll receive notifications about upcoming due dates.

How To Get Credit Card Late Fee Refunded
Mint Alerts You to Upcoming Bill Reminders

Team member Harlan likes using Mint to monitor bill due dates.  And he uses it to track minimum spending for new credit cards.

3.   Receive Alerts

If you prefer to pay your bills manually instead of auto-pay, you can set up account alerts to avoid missing a due date.

How To Get Credit Card Late Fee Refunded
Account Alerts Remind You When a Bill Is Due

For example, team member Keith has text and email alerts for his AMEX accounts.  This way he gets notifications 5 days before a bill due date.

Bottom Line

Lots of folks earn miles & points with credit cards to get Big Travel with Small Money.  But it’s important to avoid fees and interest, which negate the value of your rewards.

If you accidentally miss a credit card payment, call or write to the bank to request they waive the late fee.  They’ll typically reverse a fee if you’re only 1 or 2 days late and it’s your first missed payment.

To avoid late payments, I recommend using automatic payments or establishing account alerts.  Or take advantage of apps like Mint.

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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I missed one payment on citi prestige, raking up about $80 between late fees and interest. I called in, and it was handled by an automatic answering service. I promptly received a full refund for interest and fee. This kind of service makes me a loyal customer.

The Chase Ink business card will only waive the fee one time. The second time I tried to get the fee waived was because I underpaid my balance by $5. Chase wouldn’t budget.

**Chase wouldn’t budge.

Million Mile Secrets

Good to know! Thanks for sharing your experience.

I was late in setting up autopay on a new Barclay card and got hit with a late charge and interest fee. I paid the balance in full and setup autopay, then called customer service. They quickly agreed to refund the fee and interest. Totally my fault, but they bailed me out. Thanks, Barclay!

Million Mile Secrets

Thanks for sharing your experience! Glad to hear you were able to get the fees and interest refunded!

I got charged a late fee from American Express on the SPG card even though the payment was there on the day but they did not record it until after their cut off time. They waived the late fee but not the interest. Then the next month, I was charged interest for two months. By then I was not a happy customer. My husband called and spoke with someone and they removed both interest payments. All told that could have cost us $100+ and we would have cancelled our cards with American Express over their unwillingness to reimburse fees. For now we will remain customers and pay our payment a few days earlier so this doesn’t happen again.

Good point….how do you fix this 2 month grace period thing? All credit card companies do it. Is the only way to completely stop using a card for 2 full statement cycles?

Yeah, I guess the best way to do that would be pay off the balance in full and not use the card till the next billing cycle.

Million Mile Secrets

That’s definitely frustrating! In the end, I’m glad to hear you were able to get a credit for fees and interest.