A Review of the Basics of MyCheckFree Bill Pay
Learn about the pros and cons of this online service
MyCheckFree is a free service allowing you to pay bills online. Instead of writing paper checks and sending them separately to service providers, you can use MyCheckFree to make electronic payments. This can make paying the bills much faster and more convenient while also reducing payment errors.
Fiserv, the same company that owns MyCheckFree, also owns CheckFree, a similar service that serves the small business community. MyCheckFree, on the other hand, serves individuals.
The main attraction of MyCheckFree is the electronic payment feature. Another benefit is that your bills all arrive at MyCheckFree each month, so you can log in and see them all in one centralized location before they get paid.
The service helps you save time and trips to the mailbox, reduces errors, and tracks your finances. You also can keep your data more secure by paying online, especially if you're concerned about mailbox thefts and strangers accessing your signature or account number on checks. If you've never used electronic payments, MyCheckFree will help you make the transition.
MyCheckFree also saves time because you won’t have to log in to each account to pay electronically anymore or set up an ACH bank account debit for every service you use. It also means you no longer need to store and memorize multiple passwords for each site where you do business.
As its name implies, the MyCheckFree service is free, and because it's electronic, you also save money on postage. However, you have to pay a fee for any same-day payments. That means you'll benefit from planning ahead and paying your bills before the due date. If you get side-tracked or find that money's a little tight, though, you still have the option to pay a fee to have a bill payment sent the same day you schedule it.
MyCheckFree offers the option to pay about 600 different vendors, so you might find that you can pay every last bill with this service. However, you can only pay participating service providers, and there is no option to add new providers. You may not find your local utility company on the list. If that's the case, you may want to look into using the method with your bank.
MyCheckFree is a decent option if the service covers all of your payees. However, online bill paying is included for free with most checking accounts, so there's really very little that separates MyCheckFree from using the online bill-paying service you may already have access to. As well, payments through MyCheckFree can be made only through checking or money market accounts, so it's not a good option if you don't have a checking account and want to make payments with a credit card. If you're unable or unwilling to set up online bill pay at your bank for vendors not covered by MyCheckFree, you might just have to pay a few bills the old-fashioned way.
MyCheckFree also can be useful if you switch banks often. Instead of needing to recreate your list of payees every time you switch banks, you’d just need to update your bank account information once within your MyCheckFree account.
You might also see if you can just skip the bill-pay service altogether and sign up for auto debit. With this method, each payee automatically collects the outstanding balance from your bank account on a given day of the month without you needing to set up or authorize payments each time.