Spending Money to Save Money

This summer has been a pretty crazy one for us from a financial perspective, what with the move, a new job, the changeover in our banks, etc. To be honest, I often fell like I’m hanging t times, I feel like I’m hanging on for dear life. For the most part, however, we’ve managed to keep everything under control and haven’t had any major mishaps. But this past week we had a near miss with our Citi Dividend Platinum due date…

We now pay the vast majority of our bills online. While this has worked out really well for us, we still haven’t automated everything at our new bank, so there’s always the chance that things will slip through the cracks. And that’s exactly what (almost) happened with our Citi card. Early last week I logged into the Bank of America website and noticed that we had a credit card payment due on the 16th, but I didn’t have the time to set it up at that precise moment. I then proceeded to go out of town for work, return, and then go back out of town. And on my way to airport the monring of the 16th, I realized that I still hadn’t paid the bill!

Since Bank of America, like most banks, requires a bit of lead time to make payments, I knew that was out — I had to make a same day payment. One option would have been to make a phone payment, but that costs $14.95. My only other option was to do it online. Fortunately, I had set up Citi’s Click-to-Pay feature awhile back, so all I needed to do was log into the Citi website and set up a same-day payment. The only thing that was missing was an internet connection…

While some airports have begun offering free wireless internet access, I wasn’t so lucky. When I got through security and fired up my laptop, I was greeted by a payment page. There were a number of options for loggin in via various paid access services, but I don’t have any of them. Thus, I was forced to pony up $7.95 to hop online for five minutes to make the payment. Kind of a bummer, but I consider this to be money well spent. After all, missing the payment date would have resulted in a sizable late fee as well as finance charges. Sure, it would have been cheaper (i.e., free) to pay the bill in advance, but I try not to think about that. 😉

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6 Responses to “Spending Money to Save Money”

  1. Anonymous

    *Jen: I’m not sure if this is an individual thing, but I thought the same and the one time (after 4 years of being a customer and 5 cards with no late payments) I accidentally submitted a payment a day late, Chase absolutely refused to reverse any charges for me.

  2. Anonymous

    One item of warning is that some companies don’t process even online transactions until the late evening which can make your online transaction still count for finance and late charges depending on at what time you did it.

  3. Anonymous

    I’ve just missed two or three payments over my years of using credit cards, and I’ve found that the credit card company will ALWAYS reverse the finance charges and any late fee associated with it. All I’ve had to do is call and ask. They don’t need a reason or anything. I’ve done it with the GM Mastercard and also the Citibank Platinum card. Still better to pay on time, of course, but it is nice to know that if you only do it very occasionally, you probably won’t be penalized.

  4. Anonymous

    I’m a huge supporter of online banking and online payments, but you’ve just highlighted how it’s not always the most convenient choice.

    Glad you were able to get your payment in–and on time!

  5. Anonymous

    When i was working as a traveling repair type guy, i got into this situation a couple of times (try to find internet in some of the remote alaska places), i would call my brother and walk him through the steps for me. This works if you trust someone!!

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