What’s the best and safest way to pay your credit card bill? Should you pay your credit card bill via mail, online (the internet), or on the telephone (phone)?
In this article, I’m going to tell you how I pay my credit card bills, and also the best and safest option to pay your bill on time every month.
Best Ways to Pay Credit Cards
The three most common ways people use to pay off their credit cards are
- Mail: In this method, you usually mail in a check or money order to pay your monthly credit card statement.
- Internet: Some people choose to pay online by using a savings or checking account number, or another type of online transaction.
- Phone: Others may still prefer to pay via phone. With this method, a checking or savings account number is usually given over the phone (either to a customer service agent, or an automated system).
So which method is safest to use? Which one is the best to use? Here are the pros and cons of each:
Pros and Cons of Paying via Mail:
The pros of paying your credit card via mail is:
- No internet connection or phone required–some people don’t have an internet connection or a home phone.
- No risk of internet hacking, or phone scanners picking up your information.
- Convenience: Simply walk to your mailbox and drop the check in the mail
Cons of paying your credit card via mail:
- Delays or lost mail: If your mail is lost or delayed, it could cause your bill to be late. This could raise your interest rates, hurt your credit report, and more. I’ve had my mail payments delayed or lost in the past.
- Theft: Mail theft still happens, and someone may try to steal your credit card number or banking information if they steal your payment information in the mail.
- Stamps: You generally have to pay postage, and while this isn’t a significant expense, it is worth considering.
Pros and Cons of Paying via Phone:
Pros of paying your credit card over the phone:
- Payments usually post the same day, or the very next day, thus there is little risk of payments being late as long as you pay on time.
- No internet or postage required. Simply call on the telephone and make the payment using electronic checking information.
Cons of paying via phone:
- Neighbors with scanners could listen in (unless you use a secured landline).
- Some credit cards charge a fee or surcharge to pay via phone, which could be as much as $10 or more.
- It could be a hassle dealing with customer service people, or going through an automated menu each month.
Pros and Cons of Paying via Internet (Online)
Pros of paying your credit card via the Internet:
- Instant payment posting (as long as you pay before a certain time of day, usually 4 or 5 pm)
- Ability to schedule payment posting dates. You can schedule payments to post on certain days.
- Little to no risk of payment being delayed or not posting on time (as long as you pay or schedule before hand).
- Usually no fees or postage to deal with (unless your bank charges a fee, but this would be rare).
Cons of paying your credit card via the Internet:
- Usually have to enter your checking or savings account information one time (which could potentially be hacked)
- Some people don’t have an internet connection.
- Will have to keep up with account passwords and security.
So What’s the Best Way to Pay Your Credit Card Bill?
As a long-time credit card user, I’ve used all of the above methods. I used to mail in all of my statements. I’ve had to make a few phone payments, and I also have used the internet. So which one do I prefer?
The internet by a long shot. Not only is it more convenient, but I really like accessing my credit card online. I can view my cashback status, schedule payments, see recent transactions, and more.
Is there a chance it could be hacked? Yes, but the cool thing is that to pay my card, I only have to enter my bank information one time. After that, I simply schedule my payment and hit “pay bill.” So while there is always a chance data can get hacked, it has been safe for me for the past 8 years or so.
Not to mention that there are also risks with mailing or phoning in a payment as well. Unfortunately, you can never escape risks 100% when dealing with credit cards. But if you use good practices, either method will work.
But hands down, I prefer to pay my credit card bills and view my account activity online. It’s much faster, easier, and I enjoy staying on top of my finances.