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Credit Cards

Fast Ways to Pay Your Credit-Card Bill

Whoops! You looked at the calendar and realized that your credit-card bill is due -- today. Don't panic. You can probably get your payment in under the wire and have it credited to your account without paying an extra fee. Just be sure that you have your credit-card number handy and you know your bank's routing number (the first nine digits on your paper checks).

American Express gives you until 10 p.m. (eastern time) on the due date to make your payment, and the service is free whether you pay online, by phone or by mobile phone. Chase offers several options, too. Use its free WEB Epay service or call the toll-free number on the back of your card by 5 p.m., and your account will be credited the same day. Talking to a live human will cost you $14.95, but you have until midnight to make the call.

The deadline for making payments on Capital One cards is 5 p.m. Your options include paying online, using an automated phone service or even talking to a customer-service representative -- all free. Wells Fargo gives you until midnight to pay and does not charge for any of its services. You can use its Inter-Fi service to transfer funds from another bank to pay your credit-card bill, or you can move funds from a Wells Fargo account or pay by phone.

Citibank offers numerous payment options for same-day credit, but you must act by 5 p.m. Call the toll-free customer-service number on the back of the card to pay by phone; the automated service is free, but if you talk to a person, you'll pay $14.95. You can also pay online, at one of Citibank's 900-plus branches (either at the teller window or at the ATM) or via your mobile phone -- all at no charge.