Following a few easy procedures, the credit card company waived my late payment fee after I made an error with my payment. If you’re a financial journalist, you know that paying your credit card bill on time is critical. I was shocked to find a $28 late fee and a credit card interest penalty on my credit card bill last year.
As someone who consistently pays their credit card bill in full and on time, this was a surprise to me. However, I believe that in that specific month, I began the online payment procedure but did not complete it. So, I missed a payment by mistake.
Although this seemed like an expensive error at first, it really turned out to be a smart move that saved both my credit score and money in the form of a low late charge. The good news is that it didn’t work out that way, and the problem was actually rather easy to solve.
How late fees on credit cards work
If you fail to pay your credit card bill in full by the due date, you may be charged a late fee. You’ll typically get a 21-day grace period after the end of your billing cycle before you’ll have to pay. Every month, you’ll get a statement that details the minimum amount required and the deadline by which it must be made. In contrast to other types of loans, such as a mortgage, there is usually no further grace period after the due date. As soon as the due date has gone and you haven’t paid at least the minimum, many credit card companies add a late fee.
Whether or not you are penalized for being late on a payment depends on the individual card issuer. The Credit Card Act of 2009, on the other hand, set a limit on how much a credit card company may charge in late fees. This limit varies on a regular basis. There was a maximum penalty of $28 for the first late payment and $39 for any subsequent late payments that occurred within six months of the first one. In 2020, the maximum penalty for the first late payment was increased to $29, and the maximum penalty for the second late payment was increased to $40 within six months.
Though the maximum penalty is imposed by most card issuers, the option exists for card issuers to levy a lower amount or even not charge any fees at all. You may check your credit card’s terms and conditions to see when you’ll be charged and how much you’ll owe your card issuer if you don’t pay your minimum monthly payment by the due date.
You may be charged interest on a late fee if you don’t pay up your credit card bill in full, including the late fee, by the card issuer.
How I got my credit card issuer to drop my late fees
After seeing the late fee on my credit card bill, I immediately called my credit card provider to ask if they might cancel the charges. But before that, I made the late payment and paid off the total I owed. After that, I called the number on the back of my credit card and hung up.
When I phoned, I performed the following:
- When I called the credit card company, I apologized for the late payment and explained the circumstances of why I hadn’t paid on time. I also reminded them that I had been a cardholder for several years and that I had never been late in making a payment on my card before. Finally, I asked them if there was anything they could do about the late fee.
I received an offer from the customer support agent to have both the late fee and the interest I had been charged refunded within minutes. He claimed it might take up to two statement cycles for the credit to appear on my card, but it really appeared in my online account within a few days of him saying it would. Moreover, he reassured me that the late payment would not be recorded by the credit bureaus.
This was a quick and easy way for me to save a lot of money. Similarly, if you pay your payment late, you can ask your credit card issuer to waive and refund your charge by phoning them. If you’ve previously paid the missing payment and don’t pay your bills late on a regular basis, you’re far more likely to succeed in this endeavor.
On the back of your credit card, you’ll find the phone number for customer support. If you don’t have your charge excused by the first person you talk to, don’t be afraid to phone back or write a letter explaining why you were late and requesting tolerance for your mistake. Cardholders say they’ve gotten charge waivers after sending a secure message after logging in to their online accounts.
Credit cards with no late fees
In the event that you have a habit of making late payments, you may want to seek a credit card that doesn’t impose a fee if you’re a few days late in making your monthly payment. Late fees can be waived by some credit cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which does not charge them.
- Credit card from Citi Simplicity. There are no late penalties and there is no yearly fee on this card. Additionally, it offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months and 0% APR on balance transfers for 21 months (then 14.74 percent to 24.74 percent (variable)). However, there is a balance transfer fee for this card. If you’re attempting to get your finances back on track but are concerned that you may miss a payment or two, this card may be a good option for you.
- Find out more about it Reward money. If you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing a mistake won’t cost you anything, this is the card for you. Cashback of up to 5% may also be earned by using this card on purchases. This makes it a great card for anyone who desires significant rewards but is concerned about paying their card off late.
Even though you won’t be charged a late fee if you use one of these cards, not making your payments on time may still result in penalties. It’s probable that your credit card company may disclose that you’re more than 30 days past due on a payment. Late payments can have a negative impact on your credit score, making it more difficult and more expensive to get a loan in the future if you need one.
Paying late on a credit card may be a costly error, especially now that late penalties will be increasing in 2020. Despite the fact that a late payment might result in a large fine, you don’t have to just accept this.
On-time payments are the greatest approach to prevent being charged a late fee. Automated payments can be set up so that the money is withdrawn from your bank account without you needing to remember to pay your bill. Either your bank or the company that issued your credit card can do this function. It doesn’t matter how you go about it; just make sure you have enough money in your account to avoid being charged an overdraft fee.
A personal financial app such as Mint may also tell you when your payment is due, and you can sign up for notifications from your card issuer to remind you when it’s time to make a payment. In the event that you are forced to pay late, there are still solutions available.
There’s no reason not to call your credit card company and request that the fee be waived if you’ve been a good client and paid on time in the past. If you believe you’ll be late more than once a year, you may want to check into a card that doesn’t charge late fees. This works well for folks who are late occasionally.