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RVing message boards => Fulltiming => Topic started by: RedandSilver on March 17, 2017, 08:53:00 AM

Title: Another bill paying question.
Post by: RedandSilver on March 17, 2017, 08:53:00 AM
Sorry if this has been posted before - looked a little and didn't find, so asking here.

I'm starting to setup auto payments.

IF you had the choice, would you set Utility Bills up with a Credit Card OR set them up with Checking Account numbers?
Title: Re: Another bill paying question.
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on March 17, 2017, 09:14:31 AM
I use direct debit to our checking account for only a very few things, organizations that are local and have a long track record of reliable billing procedures. Billing to a credit card gives me some leverage if there is a problem of some sort.

For several things I don't use auto-pay at all - I just receive the bills electronically. Then, after reviewing the charges, I have my banks pay electronically or use the business website to pay via credit card. I'm online every day whether home or traveling, so I can review statements and schedule payments as needed.
Title: Re: Another bill paying question.
Post by: martin2340 on March 17, 2017, 09:17:15 AM
I agree with Gary. Have your bank pay the bills automatically with their checks and deduct from your account. I was told by many that is the safest way to go. No one gets your bank or credit card info.
Title: Re: Another bill paying question.
Post by: NY_Dutch on March 17, 2017, 09:37:53 AM
I have a few trusted vendors, such as the electric company, set up for direct bank withdrawals, but not autopay. I prefer to review the current bill before authorizing payment. Others are paid using the bank's online bill paying service or credit/debit card. The only automatic credit card charge we use is a monthly news subscription that we charge to a seldom used emergency credit card to keep it active.
Title: Re: Another bill paying question.
Post by: spacenorman on March 17, 2017, 10:13:53 AM
While I pay virtually everything electronically - I prefer to review each and every bill - and then control the "how much", "when" and "from which account" of each payment myself.  That said - I pull down bills and schedule the actual payments via my bank's "online payments" system which I interface with using Quicken.  I'm simply not comfortable with giving anybody authorization for ongoing access to take money from my accounts.  Knowing that I have bills to pay ensures that I don't get lazy and lose sight of my billing amounts and/or current account balances.   
Title: Re: Another bill paying question.
Post by: Jeff on March 17, 2017, 04:28:36 PM
Like Gary I use direct debit as little as possible, taxes, utilities, our Association dues, etc.

I also use auto pay on several credit cards for varying reasons. Amex gives us a good discount on our Verizon bill, and most others are discounted at least 1 per cent. Auto pay makes sure they are paid on time but I receive a notice that the bills will be due in 20 days or so with plenty of time to contest them if necessary.

The fraud protection of most major credit cards also relieves us of anyone hacking the card while I am more protective of the bank accounts.
Title: Re: Another bill paying question.
Post by: SeilerBird on March 17, 2017, 04:47:46 PM
I used to think that it didn't matter until I had a disaster happen because I was using a debit card instead of my bank info. My insurance was taken out of my debit card and one fine day I had a problem and was issued a new card. In a burst of stupidity I did not inform the insurance company that I had a new debit card number. Farmers failed to notify me that the automatic payment did not go through and several months later I got a notice from the DMV that my license had been suspended due to lack of insurance. They not only failed to notify me but when I went to their office to give them the new number they refused to take it and reinstate my insurance. They won't insure you once you have had your license suspended. I had to find a new insurance company and my payment ballooned from $60 per month to $110 per month. My current insurance agent has heard this exact same story about Farmers at least six times in the last year. So I always use my bank account info on automatic payments since that will not change.
Title: Re: Another bill paying question.
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on March 18, 2017, 10:43:34 AM
I had a similar experience to Seilerbird's with Nationwide insurance. My "new card" merely had a new expiration date for the same account number, but that was enough to invalidate Nationwide's auto-billing, and their procedure was to notify me by snail mail, but only after the payment was 5 days overdue. By the time I actually received the official letter, I was near the end of their 30 day non-payment window. My agent tried to fix it but was unsuccessful, so I ended up setting up a new auto-pay on a different card to beat the deadline. Nationwide was not at all helpful either, basically their rep never got past "you have to pay your bill when due".

The moral of the story is to monitor credit card auto-pays closely.