Aron Roberts: “One of the better ways to avoid situations where credit card issuers impose late fees is to obtain a credit card from your bank or credit union, *if* it can automatically pay your full balance (or minimum payment, if you prefer) directly from your checking or savings account. My modest-sized community credit union, for instance, automatically deducts my full balance each month shortly before the payment due date. (Better yet, their Visa Gold card – with a $20 annual fee – pays a cash rebate of 1% on all purchases.) It’s worth checking with one’s bank or CU to see if they offer such an automatic payment option, as well as to check on the features of any credit cards they may offer. Sometimes the best credit card could be right under one’s nose!”

John Carr: “Since I get ballistic when I get late charges, I arranged to have my balance paid in full automatically. Citibank offers 3 options: pay in full, pay the minimum, pay a set amount each month. I have every utility and monthly charge paid automatically from my Citibank credit card where possible — for the frequent flier miles — or else from my checking account. So the only balance I have to watch is the checking [to be sure there’s enough to pay off the card balance in full each month]. Just call your credit card, utilities, newspaper deliverer, cable, etc and tell them you want automatic payment.”


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