I had always paid credit card bills manually, sort of to force myself to keep an eye on things, actively. But finally I decided to set up automatic payments (for the minimum payment), as I had forgotten to pay a few times due to traveling or being busy.

If I make a manual payment earlier than the date of the automatic payment, does my automatic payment become zero? Provided I paid at least the minimum payment of course.

It seems intuitive, and I expect this to be the case, but the language is that the automatic payment will pay the minimum amount due, which, is a figure printed on my statement almost 30 days beforehand. I can't find any clear language stating that the automatic payment will pay the minimum amount due at the time of the automatic payment, i.e. accounting for manual payments, as opposed to the statement version.

  • Who do you bank with for your credit cards? – Michael Feb 15 '17 at 16:37
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    Depends on the bank. Some do, some don't. – TTT Feb 15 '17 at 16:44
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    If you really make only the minimum required payment each month, and would seemingly be very upset if more than the required minimum payment got paid during the billing cycle (one or more manual payments by you plus an automatic monthly minimum payment made presumably on the due date), then you are in a lot more financial trouble than you know (or are willing to admit to). – Dilip Sarwate Feb 15 '17 at 23:06
  • @DilipSarwate - Well... clearly you are not a master of all situations then. I just set it up as minimum payment so I don't get charged a late fee when I happen to forget. I still want to pay in full manually. I am wanting to just pay all my bills down to zero right now, while it's on my mind. But wondering if my automatic payments will still go out and end up with account credit (negative balance), because I've overpaid my bill by accident before and that's what happened. – Andrew Cheong Feb 16 '17 at 2:48
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    If you are intending to manually pay your full balance but tend to forget occasionally, why not schedule an automated payment of the full statement balance on the date that it is due, or a day or two before of you like? As soon as I get the notification that a monthly statement is ready, I go to the card website, make sure that there are no issues with unauthorized charges etc, and then schedule a payment of the full statement balance on the due date. There is also the possibility of setting up automated payment of full statement balance on due date with no further action on one's part – Dilip Sarwate Feb 16 '17 at 3:53

This varies from Bank to Bank depending on the software they use.

Most banks are moving towards a system where they would on the payment due date see if there is "Automatic Payment" set-up. If set-up for full amount, they would take what is left upaid. Even after making full payments leaving few cents; the Automatic Payment would take those few cents. Similarly for "Minimum Payments", it would figure out if there were any manual payments and not take Minimum Payments.

So there is no way of telling for sure how the system behaves. Ideally the people at Bank's call centre should be able to answer, in reality more often they themselves may not know.

More importantly even if they take additional payment, it would get adjusted in the next cycle. So apart from small cash flow issue, it shouldn't really matter.

  • Last year, I paid off a bunch of cards and ran into trouble with a couple that added an automatic payment on top of the payoff, so that they had a positive balance. That is not a big deal if you use the cards regularly, but it’s a pain if you are planning to pay off the card to zero and leave it there. – Bradd Szonye Feb 16 '17 at 4:24

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