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This article was last updated Jun 22, 2013, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.
We all like to make our lives simpler; it is why some will use the microwave to reheat their food instead of the oven. Or why some will drive to work over taking public transportation. We like to make our tasks easier, and in this technological age where you can do almost everything from your cell phone, it’s even easier to make online payments.
Making Payments on Time
We all know the importance of paying off our bills on time – you can potentially increase your credit score. Other things that are just as important are making sure you don’t get hit by late penalties – fees, interest rate hikes, even unwanted calls; and those are just short term issues. The long term effects of missing a payment can truly hinder your credit, give you an interest rate equal to your minimum or worse. By paying off your debt on time, you just don’t have to worry about these issues and might be surprised to see better financing the next time you need to make a major purchase.
Advantages over Analog
By Analog, I mean mailing in your check or using a phone system. There’s nothing wrong with these methods, but there are just so many advantages to making payments online. The first is that you know the payment went through because you can get instant notification when it happens. By going through non-digital standards, you may only find out when you get the proceeding letter in the mail.
The second advantage by going digital is you are going green – you are saving trees used to make the envelopes and saving gas not driving to the post office – and potentially saving money by not having to deal with stamps.
The third advantage is automatic payments. For a lot of digital payments you can set up automatic payments that either charge your credit card or withdraw straight from your checking account. These set and forget style payments mean you won’t be worried about having to log in and make payments – you just need to make sure you have enough in your account. This also makes paying for things easier if you go on vacation- you no longer have to bring checks and bills, or have to worry about having them prewritten before taking your trip.
Unfortunately we are talking about ideal situations. To make online payments you need to have access to either a computer or a smartphone, and more significantly, these devices need to be ONLINE. For many of us, we take for granted the ease of being connected to the internet. For example, I just moved into a new home, and while I didn’t have internet, I could still get online through my phone. Not everyone has this connectivity, and for those without easy access, using mail providers or a phone system might be your only option.
So, if you have a stable internet connection, and are web savvy, there are a lot of advantages to going with online payments. Ultimately do what you feel is more comfortable, but it never hurts to try something new, especially when it is as easy as making an online payment.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.