credit & debt

Catch-22 on Credit-Card Payments

If your monthly bill is due on a Saturday or Sunday, make sure your card company accepts payments on weekends.

I know that the new credit-card law changed the rules about when the bills are due. What happens if my due date falls on a weekend?

Your payment will now be due on the same day every month, which makes it easy to keep track of the deadline. The law also specifies that if the due date falls on a day that the card company does not process payments, you have until 5 p.m. the following business day for the issuer to post your payment without it being considered late.

Some card companies are accepting payments on weekends. For example, Capital One processes payments Monday through Saturday. So if the due date falls on a Saturday, the payment must be received by 5 p.m. that day. Sunday payments are processed on Mondays. Bank of America and Chase process payments on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

But here's the problem: Some banks allow you to schedule online payments only for weekdays. So even if your payment isn't due until Saturday or Sunday, you need to schedule it for Friday to avoid a late fee. To be safe, call the card company and your online bill payer to ask about their procedures. For example, Bank of America lets you make a payment online or by phone on the due date for no extra charge. Better yet, schedule your online payments so they arrive before the due date.

For more information about the new credit-card law, see FAQs on the new Credit-Card Law, More Credit-Card Fees Coming and Close a Credit-Card Account to Avoid Fees.

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