Missing a credit card payment can trigger consequences including getting hit with a late fee, a higher penalty APR and a decrease in your credit score. The good news is the convenience of autopay is available with most credit cards. Although enrolling in autopay isn’t a surefire way to ensure a credit card bill gets paid, it can help keep you on track.
What is autopay?
Most issuers offer autopay so that you can set recurring monthly payments on your credit cards. You can usually opt to pay the minimum payment, the full balance or a fixed amount every month. When you enroll in autopay, the payment is automatically withdrawn from your bank account on the bill due date. Note that it’s your responsibility to make sure you have sufficient funds in your account to cover the withdrawal, or you may get hit with an overdraft charge.
If you choose to enroll in autopay, most credit card issuers offer a variety of payment options:
- Pay the minimum: You can opt to pay the minimum amount owed to ensure you aren’t hit with late fees. Your issuer may charge a flat rate or a certain percentage of your monthly balance. However, if you don’t intend to pay your full remaining balance, you’ll be hit with interest charges.
- Pay the full balance: Setting automatic payments for the full balance is the best way to ensure that you don’t receive interest charges each month. Ensure your checking account has enough to cover the monthly balance, so you don’t accrue overdraft fees.
- Pay a fixed amount: If you are working on paying off a large credit card balance, setting autopay to a fixed amount each month can help you steadily progress. However, like only paying the minimum, paying anything less than the full balance will result in interest charges.
How to set up autopay
Setting up automatic payments is a simple process. Log in to your credit card account online or through the mobile app, and choose the option to set up autopay or recurring payments. From there, you’ll select the amount you want to pay each month and connect your bank account. You can adjust the amount withdrawn each month or discontinue this feature at any time.
Who offers autopay?
Many banks and card companies offer cardholders an automatic payment option. Some of the major banks and card companies below offer autopay setup online, on their mobile app, by phone or at a physical branch:
- American Express: Set up autopay online, through the mobile app or by calling customer service at 1-800-528-4800
- Bank of America: Set up autopay online or by calling customer service at 1-800-432-1000
- Barclays: Set up autopay online, through the mobile app or by calling customer service at 1-888-710-8756
- Capital One: Set up autopay online, through the mobile app or by calling customer service at 1-877-383-4802
- Chase: Set up autopay online, through the mobile app, by calling customer service at 1-800-935-9935 or visiting a branch in-person
- Discover: Set up autopay online, through the mobile app or by calling customer service at 1-800-347-2683
- Wells Fargo: Set up autopay online, through the mobile app, by calling customer service at 1-800-869-3557 or visiting a branch in-person
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Correction, 7:30 a.m. PT Jan. 25: This article was clarified to state that you may have certain payment options by enrolling in automatic payments. The previous version incorrectly suggested you would have access to every option in every case.