Looking for a good automatic bill payment solution
April 29, 2012 7:01 AM Subscribe
Please give me your recommendations and tips on automatic bill paying solutions. I currently use Bank of America's Bill Pay with my checking, but I'm hoping to find something better.
posted by forforf to Work & Money (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
What I'm hoping for is a solution that can:
- Sort and organize payees
- Show last payment to the payee and when it was payed
- Ability to set recurring bills for fixed and variable bills
- Pay the bills through credit card rather than direct from checking
- Keep records for at least 18 months (ideally longer)
- Doesn't need direct access to any of my logins or accounts
Also, I'm not comfortable with the Mint.com model, and I've heard good things about Chase's Bill Pay, but I would rather use my preferred credit card if possible.
Additional background on why I have these criteria follows for anyone who prefers more detail (the impatient can safely skip it).
My bill paying workflow is essentially I realize I haven't paid the bills in a while and its time to fix that. This generally works for me and I get most bills paid on time, so I'm not looking to change the workflow. However, it means that when I do sit down to pay bills it would be enormously helpful to have an understanding of what's been paid so far. Knowing what's due is helpful, but not really that critical since people wanting money generally are pretty good at telling me when they need it.
For recurring bills, I'm fine with automatic payments if I see what was paid when. This gives me a good idea of where I stand with any particular bill. But I have bills that are not only monthly, but quarterly, semi-annually and annually, so not keeping track of when I paid the bill after 6 months is problematic for me. Also, it is very helpful to have an upper limit for paying bills that don't have a fixed rate (electricity bills, etc).
I prefer having my credit card being the central clearing house for all my bills. In fact, my first choice would be to use a bill pay through my credit card, except that since its affiliated with a bank they want me to open a checking account (and the bills would be taken from the checking account), which then completely bypasses my credit card. I'm good about paying off the credit card each month, so I'm not worried about carrying a balance. I would reluctantly consider getting a new credit card for bill paying purposes, but would prefer not to, since in all other respects I like the one I have.
Regarding retaining data, on several occasions I've needed to track down a bill months, or even a year or two after the fact. Short record retention policies becoming incredibly annoying when this happens.
Finally, I'm not interested in sharing any authentication credentials, so the Mint.com model doesn't work for me. I'm ok giving a bill paying site a credit card to charge for bill payment, but not account credentials.