I believe it’s possible to request your CC company to change the due dates on your credit cards. This leads me to see three strategies:
Random. The CC companies will set the due dates based on when you first opened the card. Each of your cards have random due dates. You do nothing to change it.
Staggered. You request different CCs to have different due dates that are staggered throughout the month at strategic times. This lets you maximize the interest-free loan period from each card if you plan it properly. It would also let you live paycheck-to-paycheck a bit easier if you were in that type of situation, possibly on a temporary basis.
Same date. You request all CCs to have the exact same due date. Perhaps the 15th since many bills like rent are due on the 1st, so this staggers your payments throughout the month but still keeps things simple. You know with certainty that you log in on the 14th to pay your CCs each month. Or, perhaps you make it the 1st to make it simple. Pay your rent, CCs, utilities, everything, on the 1st of the month.
Thoughts on these strategies? I am leaning towards having all of my Credit Cards become due on the same date each month. I can’t actually pay my rent on the 30th/31st, I need to pay until the 1st of each month for my rent to post and pay it due to technical limitations imposed by my landlord. And if the CCs were due on the 1st, I think that means I really need to pay them the day before at the latest to be safe.
The real concern I have is not to squeeze the most amount of time out of paying the CC, but that I need to wait until after the statement posts before I pay the bill because some of the cards like AMEX Blue Cash Preferred and AMEX SimplyCash will not apply your rebate until after the statement posts, so if you login randomly to pay, you wind up with a negative balance since you overpaid.
Thus, I am leaning towards making the due date be the 7th of each month. There’s generally a 3 week grace period to pay from statement closing, so if I set the due date at the 7th, then the closing date was around the 15th of the prior month. That means if I log into my computer on the 1st, I can pay my rent and also know that all of my CCs have closed from the prior statement and all rebates are posted. I might lose 7 days of interest by paying a bit early, but it gives me flexibility in case of holidays or a problem with ACH.
I’m uncertain if banks let you select the due date of the CCs or the closing date of the statement, or if it depends on the bank. I haven’t called in a while to do this. I’m also uncertain if it matters whether you have a balance or not. It might be prudent to pay the balance down to $0 prior to changing the due date.
The real pros here are changing their Citi Forward dates so that their statements will close right after whatever random subscription (in the $3/month range) they charge to the card posts. This ensure they don’t accidentally pay the bill in advance (after noticing the card has a non-zero balance) of the statement closing. Then they get that sweet, sweet 100 TYP bonus for paying their bill on time. That’s at least 1.5 free Chipotle burritos a year they’re scoring!
Citi, for example, will let you set your payment due date online from the account management page. They give you a dropdown menu with a lot of options so you might not be able to choose the exact day you want but at least one close to it. Your statement date is then something like 25 days before that, I have mine set to the 27th and my statement closes on the 2nd most months.
I don’t consider maximizing the grace period for my CCs with interest rates as low as they are. The interest savings spread only really comes in the first month you start spending on a CC anyway. You gain your 25ish days of float but since you’re paying it off at the due date every month it doesn’t grow any further.
I prefer to have my payments staggered through the month so I can be reasonably confident that the balance reflected in my checking account is representative of my average balance. My mortgage comes out the 1st, I typically pay the larger CC the following week (usually 2-3x mortgage in size), there’s a car payment the week after that, and the second small CC is sometime in the middle.
It’s more about piece of mind that the checking account doesn’t drop below a comfortable level. I typically only keep an average of $4k in there which covers all the monthly bills plus a grand or two of safety net. The rest goes into a 1.3% savings account (or invested) that is psychologically protected from being spent.
I don’t care about the due date, only about the statement closing date. The end result is very similar to #3.
All of my CCs and most of my utility bills close on or near the same day every month. I wish it was more precise, but while some card issuers close on the same date every month, others make +/- 1 exceptions on weekends, yet others have a fixed due date with a fixed grace period, so the statement date can vary by 2/3 days each month (amex).
This allows me to download all my statements and schedule all bill payments just once a month. I don’t always do it that way, but having the option is nice.
Almost all of my cards are due on the 28th. Just because as mid-month approaches, I login and ensure I have no strange charges, reconcile my budget, etc. Then everything comes out automagically.
I pay the day before the statement date so the card usually reports zero or a low balance to the credit bureaus.
Great idea. I do this too, depending on if I am planning on applying for a new Credit Card.
Business Credit Cards do not report to bureaus, so perhaps it’s prudent to separate these out and pay these at the last possible moment.
Most business cards do not report. Some, like CapOne, do.
I do 3. Pay everything the same time of the month, much simpler. I’m not broke so I don’t buy things I can’t pay for. My mortgage is “due” on the first of the month, but there’s a 16 day grace period, so I generally pay it around the 15th. I’m probably uncommon for fwf as I have never really meticulously budgeted or “balanced” checkbook with my charges. I Have adjusted spending when I decide I am spending too much on something in an ongoing manner.
The one issue I’ve had in the past is a life event (or a vacation) really distracting me and then I have up to 5 late payments. Takes a good 30 minutes to straighten them all out and get the lates waived. I could set autopay at minimum balance but then I’d run into the issue of having to clear the grace period (since no “late” that’s waiveable). That seems like a much more frustrating task. Of course, it’s preferable compared to an issuer denying a late waiver.
- Super staggered - you call up the bank every two month to change your due dates back and forth between the 1st and the 28th to maximize that grace period.
Citi doesn’t cancel small balances, but that 100 TYP each month for doing an amazon reload is just as nice.
Or just use it to order from Amazon for fast/free shipping and use Price Rewind while you’re at it.
Some do, be careful. I think CapOne does…but could be wrong. I remember reading mixed reports. I believe Chase does NOT.
Edit: here’s my CapOne spark on my personal report…
Sometimes a person will have more than one credit card from the same bank. I’m thinking that it might improve a person’s bill-paying efficiency if all of the credit cards from any one bank have due dates that are either the same or nearly the same. Then each month a person can log on to that bank’s web site and pay all of those cards at once.
Another quite different consideration would be if you have automatic payments set up for your credit cards. It could be better to have different credit card due dates so that if unexpected automatic payments start hitting your checking account, at least they will be hitting your checking account one at a time over a span of time. Then you are more likely to notice what’s happening and take action before your checking account would be overdrawn or have insufficient funds.
Are the automatic payments pushed from ch cling or pulled from the card issuer?
Automatic payments pulled from the bank account by the card issuer have in some odd situations been more than the cardholder expected to be pulled. Different card issuers have different rules for how much will be pulled, and they can change the rules. Citi, for example, recently changed their rules regarding whether an automatic minimum payment will be pulled. Formerly, if you had already paid at least the minimum, then they wouldn’t pull it. Now, they pull it anyway, unless a pull would create a negative balance. In September they pulled the minimum even though I had already paid in full. I liked their old system better.