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When you get a new credit card, you’re probably excited to start racking up points towards travel and other rewards. But the first thing I do whenever I get a new credit card is…drumroll please…
…sign up for autopay!
Signing-Up for AutoPay Is the First Thing I Do When I Get a New Credit Card
If you have multiple credit cards, it can be difficult to keep track of all the payments. Setting up automatic payments for the full balance of your bill is the best thing to do for all of your credit cards. The biggest benefit of the autopay option is that you can avoid late payments, and your bill is always paid on time without you really having to think about it.
There are 3 options for autopay:
- Paying your balance in full
- Paying a set amount, and
- Paying the minimum payment
Pay the Full Balance Each Month
I always set up automatic payments for my full balance. Paying less than your full balance each month can result in interest being tacked on, unless you have a credit card with a 0% APR promotion. If you can’t pay your balance in full each month, then the miles and points hobby may not be for you. Your credit is too important and it’s not worth it for the high interest fees you’ll be paying!
I learned this lesson the hard way. I accidentally forgot to set up a card on autopay, and that card was closed by the credit card issuer due to non-payment. This brought my credit score down by ~100 points, and it took a couple of years to fully recover. But it did recover!
How to Set Up Autopay
It’s very simple to set up autopay for your credit card. Almost all cards will let you set it up online. Here we show you how to set up autopay on my Chase Sapphire Reserve.
A downside to autopay can be the overdraft fees you accrue if you don’t have enough money to pay off your balance. You can set up a notifications to go off a few days before autopay goes through. Then, you can check your bank account to make sure you have enough money to pay your bill. After that, autopay does the rest for you! If you don’t have enough to pay your bill (it happens!), then pause the autopay or move the date of the autopay to a later date. This way, you still don’t acquire a late fee or interest.
With autopay, you can make plans to pay off debt on a card you no longer use. This will help you move away from carrying a large balance on your credit cards and earn Big Travel with Small Money!