What banks offer credit cards that will automatically withdraw the balance monthly from an account at another bank - and let me configure that online?
February 16, 2004 9:51 PM   Subscribe

What banks offer credit cards that will automatically withdraw the balance monthly from an account at another bank - and let me configure that online? [More inside]

I use a credit card (a platinum visa) for convenience, and to build up my credit history. Currently, my credit card company sends me an email every month when my balance is due, and then I have to log on and authorize the withdrawal from my account. I always pay off my credit card in full every month as soon as I get my statement, but I'm kinda paranoid about missing the email one month or forgetting or something and incurring all sorts of fees and problems (hasn't happened yet). What I'd like is for the process to be completely automated, so I don't have to ever even think about paying off my credit card, except to log on overy once in a while to check for fraudalent charges.
posted by kickingtheground to Work & Money (7 answers total)
Your location may play a role in what is available to you. This is the way all credit cards work in Germany, and most in the UK. I think America is sadly behind in banking convenience.
posted by Goofyy at 10:58 PM on February 16, 2004

Response by poster: I'm in NYC, if it matters.
posted by kickingtheground at 10:59 PM on February 16, 2004

bank of america's credit card allows checking account withdrawals (they *should* have assimilated NYC by now, but I can't be sure).

also, most large banks offer an online bill payment that should also do this automatically for you.

I can't say i've ever used auto-withdrawal for credit cards -- sadly, i'm one of those americans who uses credit cards for items that i *don't* have the money for at the time. otherwise i'd just use my bank card as a visa and have it come straight from my checking account.
posted by fishfucker at 11:53 PM on February 16, 2004

I don't think this is a function of your credit card company but one of your bank. At least that's the case with me. I'm in Toronto. I do my banking online and can set up "accounts" via the web interface for any and all bills. I can then specify that a payment be made a) once or b) every X days/months for X days/months (so, pay it once a month for 6 months or forever if I wish). My credit card company has nothing to do with it, really. I handle Visa, MC, and Amex this way. I also pay my phone and gas bill this way.
posted by dobbs at 6:42 AM on February 17, 2004

i thought the best way to build up your credit was to leave money on the card. I have like a running $200 balance on my card... perhaps I'm wrong?
posted by geoff. at 9:52 AM on February 17, 2004

A good payment history is far more important than a balance from the standpoint of your credit score. More than anything else, creditors want to know they will be paid back.

If you have a platinum Visa, though, you already have a pretty good credit history and shouldn't need to worry much about building it up.

I'm with dobbs on the payment thing -- set it up through the bill payment service of the bank where you have your checking account. (Your bank should offer this for free; if it does not, switch banks. Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, Key Bank, and US Bank all offer it for free.) Calculate the minimum payment for the highest balance you're likely to carry on your card (your card agreement will tell you the formula) and set up a monthly recurring payment to the creditor for that amount. That way if you forget, you're covered.

A less complicated way to make sure the bill gets paid on time would be to use an online reminder service or your personal organizer software (e.g. Microsoft Outlook) to remind you to pay the bill a few days before it's due. This is what I do.
posted by kindall at 2:57 PM on February 17, 2004

For what it's worth, my U.S. Bank Visa card has "AutoPay," which takes a payment automatically from my checking accout each month. I still insist they send me a paper statement, though, and of course it has "Do not pay! You have AutoPay!" stamped all over it. IIRC, I could set it to be a certain amount, up to and including the current balance.

So, it is possible to do it straight from the credit card side (rather than the bank/billpay service side).

I carry a balance, and frequently pay on top of the "AutoPay" amount, but on the off month I misplace the statement, you bet your sweet bippy I'm glad they got paid automatically.
posted by pzarquon at 2:08 PM on February 18, 2004

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