Adventures in Autopay

I recently got a new rewards credit card, and so I set up auto-pay on it just like I have for other cards. Naturally it takes a little time to get that set up, so the web site instructed me to continue to make my payments manually until I received notification that the automatic payment feature was in effect.

So I dutifully went online and made my payment. No problem there. And it went through fine yesterday morning. But um….

So did the very first automatic payment.

Did I mention that I elected to have my entire balance automatically paid from my checking account? And that I’ve been using the heck out of this card? My total balance was nearly $3300.

Now I did have a chunk of extra money sitting in my checking account for some odd reason (normally I barely have an extra dollar in there), but it sure wasn’t enough to cover two $3300 payments. There’s nothing quite like logging into your checking account in the morning and seeing a negative balance where you expected to see…money.


It turns out that I missed the notice on the final page of the statement informing me that my autopay payment would be drafted on such-and-such a date. Note: it really does pay to read the entire credit card statement, even after you think you’ve already read the important parts.

On the plus side, the autopay is definitely all set for next time! They will also be putting the duplicate payment amount back in my checking account, and they were nice enough to credit me for my overdraft fee, too.


  • Clifford

    A similar event happened with me and Wells Fargo recently. They changed their online payment form. Usually they give you the option of making a minimum payment or a payment of your choice. I usually put more money into my payment so I put in the mortgage amount plus $100. Come to find out, the form had changed so that my options were the minimum payment or the minimum payment PLUS enter the amount. I wound up doubling my mortgage payment for that month, which nearly killed me. But WF was nice enough to put the doubled payment back into my checking account.

  • Kim

    Call me old fashioned but I have been burned by auto-pays way too often. They take out 2 or 3 payments, they don’t take it out at all, or they take it on the wrong day. I will not own a CC that I cannot go directly to the bank and pay a teller. Maybe when I get my finances to a positive twist I will learn to trust. But no auto pay for me.

    • You know, I generally don’t have problems with them. Despite the occasional glitch though, I’m all about the autopay because otherwise I forget and end up with late fees. I have every single recurring account of mine set up that way.

  • That’s one thing I don’t put on autopay! Always go through the statement for fraudulent purchases before making a payment.

    If I put that on autopay, I get lazy and don’t check the statement!

    • Oh, I always check my statement for errors and to make sure everything is correct. I still get the statements in the mail, so that acts as my reminder.

  • The only automatic payments I have are checks I set up with my online banking. I routinely check the payments not because I am expecting a mistake, but that is how I record the payment. I have set up a few auto pays from my credit card too, but I go over my statement every month too.

    • Ah, I have most of my automatic payments set up to be paid by a credit card, and then I have the credit card set up to be paid from my checking account.