Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

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meebers
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Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by meebers » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:40 pm

I have been having the utility company's, (gas, water, electric, cable) auto withdrawal from my checking account for the monthly bills. Been doing it for 17+ years without issue. Just wondering if it would be prudent to change that and have them charge my credit card instead. Seems like it would offer more protection in the event of fraud, typos etc. Would add to the cash back from my card. Any good/bad experiences doing it this way.

hightower
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by hightower » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:56 pm

As long as they don't charge you a "service fee" or anything like that, then yeah, use a credit card and get some points/cash back. I use my credit card for this always. No issues that I can see. Obviously, you have to make sure you pay the credit card off each month before you get charged any interest.

BeneIRA
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by BeneIRA » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:00 pm

meebers wrote:I have been having the utility company's, (gas, water, electric, cable) auto withdrawal from my checking account for the monthly bills. Been doing it for 17+ years without issue. Just wondering if it would be prudent to change that and have them charge my credit card instead. Seems like it would offer more protection in the event of fraud, typos etc. Would add to the cash back from my card. Any good/bad experiences doing it this way.
If there is no service fee, such as Comcast, Brighthouse, etc, then definitely go the credit card route. It is so much more secure that way. If someone gets my credit card number, that is bad, but isn't the end of the world. If someone steals my checking account number, then that is a horse of a different color and will probably result in many hours of sadness for me. I use my credit card whenever possible.

DSInvestor
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by DSInvestor » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:07 pm

Checking account numbers do not change and your autopay has probably been hands free for the last 17 years. Credit card information (CC number and/or expiration dates) can change at any time, so there is a little more risk of something going wrong if your card info changes. Make sure to update all of your payees with new info immediately to avoid missed payments.

I pay my home/auto/health insurance, cell phone, cable using credit card. I am not charged service or convenience fees to pay by card.
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MikeG62
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by MikeG62 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:57 pm

I pay everything I possibly can by charging one of my cash back or reward CC's. This includes all my utilities, my heath, auto, and homeowners insurance premiums, my landscapers, and all purchases.

Even though my electric/gas company charges a modest CC processing fee, I earn more in cash back than the amount of the fee (by a factor of nearly 3). So that goes on the card too.

Been doing this for several years now.
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takeshi
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by takeshi » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:48 am

meebers wrote:Seems like it would offer more protection in the event of fraud, typos etc. Would add to the cash back from my card. Any good/bad experiences doing it this way.
I pay every bill that can be paid with a card without a fee for the reasons you've stated.

tampaite
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by tampaite » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:26 am

meebers wrote:I have been having the utility company's, (gas, water, electric, cable) auto withdrawal from my checking account for the monthly bills. Been doing it for 17+ years without issue. Just wondering if it would be prudent to change that and have them charge my credit card instead. Seems like it would offer more protection in the event of fraud, typos etc. Would add to the cash back from my card. Any good/bad experiences doing it this way.

You can't - None of the utilitiy companies(gas, water, electric) that I know take credit card unless you pay a transaction or convenience fee and that's usually 2.5% to 3%.

Does your's do without any fees?

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jharkin
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by jharkin » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:45 am

I have changed all my recurring bills - that will allow it without a fee - to cashback cards for the points. This includes, cell phones, ISP/cable and my insurance company.

Gas bill, electric bill, water bill, trash bill, all charge convenience fees so we pay those with electronic billpay at the bank... which basically means the bank pays for a stamp to send a check ;)

deltaneutral83
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by deltaneutral83 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:59 am

I pay my internet, H2O, and Gas with CC no problem. My Electricity charges $1-$2 per payment so I pay $500-ish each time and this usually covers 6 months and essentially I'm paying a 0.20% fee to use a cc all of which that I have distribute 2% cash back or better in the travel arena.

BW1985
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by BW1985 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:08 am

jharkin wrote:I have changed all my recurring bills - that will allow it without a fee - to cashback cards for the points. This includes, cell phones, ISP/cable and my insurance company.

Gas bill, electric bill, water bill, trash bill, all charge convenience fees so we pay those with electronic billpay at the bank... which basically means the bank pays for a stamp to send a check ;)
+1.

My HOA fee covers water and trash but I choose to send my HOA a check every month rather than allowing them access to my checking acct.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

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Pajamas
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by Pajamas » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:11 am

Same here, all recurring bills are paid automatically, charged to a credit card for rewards and extra float if that is an option and there is no service fee for doing so, or deducted from checking otherwise.

It would provide you some extra protection as you could do a chargeback if billed incorrectly and you couldn't get it corrected. If you have given a company permission to debit your checking account, your bank may not get involved at all if there is a problem, whereas a credit card issuer would.

I had a problem with an incorrect debit by my mortgage lender many years ago. They fixed it and even reimbursed me for the missed interest I would have earned on the overcharge, but the bank with my checking account would do nothing because I had authorized the mortgage lender to make debits in general, even though the amount debited was incorrect.
Last edited by Pajamas on Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

infotrader
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by infotrader » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:15 am

I pay all my bills using cc, except for property tax which has a 2.28% fee.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by oldcomputerguy » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:21 am

My power and water providers don't have auto-pay, but my other monthly bills go to the credit card. Absolutely nothing is set up for auto-pay from my checking account. I manually initiate "pulls" from my checking account to credit cards periodically, and the power and water are "pushed" from my checking account's online bill pay facility.

I had a bad experience once with a health club that only would accept auto-pay from our checking account. I naively set it up, only to find out next month that the club had pulled multiple payments at once rather than one, which made me overdrawn. Since then, nobody gets autopay "pull" access to my checking account.
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AllieTB1323
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by AllieTB1323 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:21 am

I pay all our utility bills using a Cash Back reward CC. The CC is on autopay from the check account.

FYI: Debit cards, since they are a direct line to the checking account scare the heck out of me.

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flamesabers
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by flamesabers » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:33 am

meebers wrote:I have been having the utility company's, (gas, water, electric, cable) auto withdrawal from my checking account for the monthly bills. Been doing it for 17+ years without issue. Just wondering if it would be prudent to change that and have them charge my credit card instead. Seems like it would offer more protection in the event of fraud, typos etc. Would add to the cash back from my card. Any good/bad experiences doing it this way.
So long as you can pay your bills without getting hit with a convenience fee, I think it's a good idea to charge them to your credit card. The only other catch with using credit cards to auto-pay bills is remembering to update the expiration date whenever your card expires. Otherwise there is the possibility you might get hit with fees for non-payment because your card on file has expired. I set reminders on my calendar for when my cards expire, so I remember to update the billing information for my auto-pay transactions.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by FrugalInvestor » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:39 am

We use a CC for everything possible including utilites as long as there's no additional fee to do so. At our previous home most of our utilities would accept a CC but unfortunately at our current location almost none will. As you say, it adds one more layer of protection and often also builds rewards.
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michaeljc70
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:03 pm

I do the same as most other- put it on the credit card if they charge no fees. Why not get the points or cash back?

meebers
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by meebers » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:08 pm

Tx all, excellent suggestions. Will research the ones that require a "fee" (and how much) and which ones that do not. Great response.

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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by madbrain » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:29 pm

jharkin wrote:I have changed all my recurring bills - that will allow it without a fee - to cashback cards for the points. This includes, cell phones, ISP/cable and my insurance company.

Gas bill, electric bill, water bill, trash bill, all charge convenience fees so we pay those with electronic billpay at the bank... which basically means the bank pays for a stamp to send a check ;)
PG&E had a pilot that allowed VISA/MC for a while, and they stopped.

Now, you can pay a $1.25 convenience fee to make a payment - not a percentage. You can make an overpayment, however, and pay enough for the whole year, and then the fee becomes reasonable, in order to get cash or travel rewards on your credit card. Problem is that this is not automated, and you have to watch your bill balance when it's no longer negative.

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midareff
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by midareff » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:35 pm

meebers wrote:I have been having the utility company's, (gas, water, electric, cable) auto withdrawal from my checking account for the monthly bills. Been doing it for 17+ years without issue. Just wondering if it would be prudent to change that and have them charge my credit card instead. Seems like it would offer more protection in the event of fraud, typos etc. Would add to the cash back from my card. Any good/bad experiences doing it this way.
I'd put everything possible through a 2% cash back card. I like the ride time and the 2% back.

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whodidntante
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by whodidntante » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:26 pm

I charge everything unless there is a fee.

meebers
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by meebers » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:11 pm

whodidntante wrote:I charge everything unless there is a fee.
I am now 95% thru the change. My results were not good. The Electric and Water does not except credit card automatic pays. You can pay on their website with a credit card however??? The Gas company did accept auto payment (no fee)with credit card. Will inquire with the cable/internet/phone company next week as the bill was just paid today, did not want to upset the apple cart so to speak.
Last edited by meebers on Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:14 pm

I would provided they don't charge a fee. Both of my primary utility companies charge a "convenience" fee of about 2.5% so I don't.
I ALWAYS charge everything to a credit card provide there is no fee.

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Re: Credit card vrs checking account for utility bills

Post by JGoneRiding » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:26 pm

tampaite wrote:
meebers wrote:I have been having the utility company's, (gas, water, electric, cable) auto withdrawal from my checking account for the monthly bills. Been doing it for 17+ years without issue. Just wondering if it would be prudent to change that and have them charge my credit card instead. Seems like it would offer more protection in the event of fraud, typos etc. Would add to the cash back from my card. Any good/bad experiences doing it this way.

You can't - None of the utilitiy companies(gas, water, electric) that I know take credit card unless you pay a transaction or convenience fee and that's usually 2.5% to 3%.

Does your's do without any fees?
I have 2 different utility companies I pay (city vs county) both take my visa without any fee and are happy to bill automatically. So it depends

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