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How Do I Make Payments on my Card?

Updated on October 8, 2009

I am assuming that the card in question is a credit card. With a credit card the card company gives you a line of credit with a limit. You can charge up to the limit on the card, but don't go over the limit as most credit cards will assess an over limit fee that can be anywhere from $15 to $35 or more.

You will receive a bill from the card company once a month listing the charges you have made and telling you when the payment is due, what the total balance on the account is if you want to pay the account in full and avoid finance charges and what the minimum payment amount is if you do not want to pay the balance in full that month.

It is always a good idea to pay the full amount so as to avoid finance charges which can be as much as 20% or more. The finance charge will be added to the bill for the next month and will further reduce the amount of credit left which you can charge against. Also, if you have charged almost up to your credit limit, when the finance charge is added it might put you over the limit in which case you will have an additional over limit fee added to the balance (as stated above the over limit fee can range anywhere from $15 to $35 or more).

It is important to remember that the due date is the date on which the payment has to be at the processing center where the payments are processed. This center is frequently in another city or state so be sure to send your payment sufficiently in advance of the due date to make sure it arrives on or before the due date. If it is late you will have a late fee, which can also range from $15 to $35 or more.

You can usually pay your bill in any of the following ways:

- Mail it in. Your bill will come in the mail with a return envelope and detachable payment stub. Write the amount you are paying on the stub, write a check for the same amount and place both in the envelope. Most places use window envelopes so make sure that the payment stub and check are placed in the envelope in a way that leaves the address you are sending your payment to clearly visible - this will prevent it from being returned to you or simply lost in the mail. It is also a good idea to write the last four digits of your credit card account number on the check. In this way if the check and stub get separated at the processing center it will be easier to identify your check and post it to your account and not someone else's by accident. DO NOT include your full account number, just the last four digits, as the last four digits plus your name on the check will be sufficient for the card company to locate your account but will not be sufficient for anyone else who handles the check along the line to get your full account number and gain access to your credit card account.

- Make the payment in person at the issuing store or bank. In most cases you can make your payment at the bank or store that issued the card. If it is a store credit card take your payment to the credit department in the store and if it is a bank card take it to one of the tellers in a branch. Most card issuers will allow you to pay in person but some won't so check sufficiently before the due date so that if they don't accept payments at these locations you still have time to mail the payment. ALSO, even though the bank or store may let you pay at their location, they often do not have the capability to post the payment and credit your account on the spot but, rather, send it by courier with other materials to the processing center. Again, unless you know that they will credit your account immediately, pay the bill in sufficient time to allow for it to travel to the service center.

- With some bank cards you can put your check and payment stub in an envelope and drop it in the night depository box outside the bank after hours. Again, check in advance and verify that your bank will accept payments in this manner. Don't leave this until the last minute as some will not credit your payment until the next business day and that may be past the due date.

- Some banks will also let you make your payment on their bank credit card via an ATM machine. Like the night depository, first make sure that they will accept your payment this way and also check to see if your account is credited when you put it into the ATM or not until the next business day.

- Most banks and stores have websites and many allow you to pay at their website on line. This requires that you first register on their site and, in some cases you many have to wait a couple of days or more between registering and making your first payment in this manner. When paying on line you will have to provide them with your checking account information and they will transfer the payment from your checking account to the credit card account. Most of the time there is no service charge for paying on line but some places do levy a one or two dollar charge for this service. Also, most have a cut off time after which payments are not credited until the next business day. If the site says that it will give same day credit to payments made before 4 p.m. then you not only have to make sure you make your payment on line before 4 p.m. but before 4 p.m. in THEIR time zone (if they are in New York and you are making the payment in California there is a three hour difference so you have to make the payment on line by 1 p.m. California in order to meet their 4 p.m. New York time.

- Finally, most banks now offer free on line bill pay in which you can list all of your creditors and then simply enter the amount due next to each one each month and the bank will automatically draw money from your account and pay each one


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    • jessicab profile image


      8 years ago from Alabama

      Great hub I have 3 or 4 credit cards max out but now the credit companies have stop writing me. Its all seem weird, I need to check my credit report to see what they have said.

    • profile image

      Joe Vaz 

      8 years ago

      I want to schedule regular payments andreceved an invitation on Bof A letterhead to do so. This site was not helpful. It was a waste of time. I pressed one link and was directed to Wells Fargo Bank. What a disappointment!!!

    • harrisdy profile image


      8 years ago from Texas

      great hub!

    • Chuck profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuck Nugent 

      8 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      sonia ruiz - first go back on line and try to sign-in again. When it tells you that you have the incorrect user name or password, look for a phone number or email address where you can contact them to get your user name and reset your password.

      Also, to pay your credit card, look on your statement for a telephone number (usually an 800 number) which you can call and make your payment by telephone. There is often a charge for this but it is usually considerably less than a late charge.

      Finally, if there is time you can mail the payment in.

      Good luck


    • profile image

      sonia ruiz 

      8 years ago

      hello my name is sonia ruiz and i want to make a payment but i cant get into my online because i forget my id and password. i hope there is anther way of paying my credit card thank you.can you tell me how

    • wsp2469 profile image


      9 years ago from Alta Loma, Ca

      You have a point there, Chuck. There ARE those whose parents did not have credit cards. I no longer feel so old when there are people out there whose parents never had/knew nothing about credit cards. Still, it just seems odd that so many people can use a computer but don't bother to read the information that comes with credit cards, ya know?

    • Chuck profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuck Nugent 

      9 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      wsp2469 - Thanks for your comments.

      I agree that what I wrote was common sense and those of us who had families who used credit cards learned things like this from them.

      However, there are many whose parents either did not use credit cards or, for whatever reason, their children never learned about credit cards until they were on their own and responded to a card solicitation.

      For whatever reason, it appears that there are a number of people who were unsure as to how to go about this. The beauty of sites like HubPages is that people can ask questions like this and others can answer. Then everyone who doesn't know how to do something like this can obtain the information without having to ask a banker or someone else face to face and risk embarrassment for appearing not to know what is assumed to be common sense.

      Successful businesses succeed by satisfying a need and providing the customers what they want without making judgments about their customers.

      So while I would never have thought to ask this and I don't personally know of anyone who would have to ask this, a number of people have apparently found this information useful so I was happy to provide it.

      Thanks again for visiting my Hub and commenting.


    • wsp2469 profile image


      9 years ago from Alta Loma, Ca

      I can't believe anyone ASKED that question! I mean it's cool that you turned a stupid question into an actual hub and even managed to get a high score but--damn! Don't people teach their kids anything anymore!? A lot of this is common sense!

    • Andrew0208 profile image


      9 years ago from Zion

      Thanks for sharing.

    • HKrafston profile image


      9 years ago from Columbus, OH

      Nice Hub. It's well writen and good advice. Thanks

    • Caleb Anderson profile image

      Caleb Anderson 

      9 years ago

      You need to be careful not to miss a payment because that is when your credit card company will begin charging you all sorts of penalties and miscellaneous fees. Good and informative hub.

    • Chuck profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuck Nugent 

      9 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Paul Mack, Sr. - Thanks for visiting. As for your request, I am not familiar with the First Premier Credit card but it seems strange that you are not receiving a monthly statement showing both your charges on the card as well as minimum and total amount due along with the due date. A return envelope should accompany the statement and you should be able to tear off either the top or bottom portion of the statement which is your bill. Write a check for the amount due or other amount you wish to pay, note the amount you are paying in the space provided, put the bill and check in the return envelope and mail it.

    • profile image

      Paul Mack, Sr 

      9 years ago

      I Have a First Premier Credit card, All I Want To Do Is Make A Monthly Payment. Can Somebody Help Me?

    • SamSurvivor profile image


      9 years ago

      I guess this is good info. But cutting up the cards and paying them off is by far the best remedy!

    • estiko profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice unfo. Thanx

    • Garrett McLee profile image

      Garrett McLee 

      9 years ago from Florida

      Excellent advice!

    • mwaky profile image


      9 years ago

      good hub even if im a kid n i dont use a credit card bt it now i know how credit card works

    • Chuck profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuck Nugent 

      9 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      bobmnu - thanks for the good tip. Setting up an automatic payment for the minimum due is a good trick to avoid a late charge and, so long as you make the balance before the due date you can avoid finance charges as well. But the $25 - $35 savings on a late charge (to say nothing of the ding on your credit report) is significant.


    • bobmnu profile image


      9 years ago from Cumberland

      Good advice and a good hub. I have been using my card more lately to help track my expenses. I have also set up an auto payment using the Bill Pay at my bank. This allows me to sent in a minimal amount, but above the minimum payment required by the card, to avoid the late fees. I can them pay the balance later with out worrying about the time frame. The bank also notifies me when one of the Auto payments is due so I can check my account to make sure there is enough money to cover. Any way we can save a few bucks is good for me.


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