One of the most important credit card rules to follow is to make your credit card payment on time each month. Timely payments not only help you avoid late payment penalties, they also help you build a good credit score. But to make your credit card payment on time, you have to know when the credit card bill is due.
Three Ways to Figure Out Your Credit Card's Due Date
The best way to figure out when your credit card bill is due is to read your credit card billing statement. Information about your credit card payment, including the minimum payment amount and the due date, will appear at the top of your statement and on the coupon that you include with your mailed credit card payment.
Your credit card statement must be mailed to you 21 days before your due date to give you a chance to take advantage of the grace period if it applies.
If you’ve created an online account to access your credit card account, you can also check your due date by logging in to verify the next payment's due date. Once you've logged on, you can also schedule a future payment or make an immediate payment to be applied to your account right away.
Your third option is to call the customer service number on the back of your credit card to confirm your due date. Your credit card issuer’s automated menu may have an option to give your due date without you having to speak to a representative. Similar to checking your due date online, you may have the option to schedule or make a payment by phone, using your checking account and routing number.
Be Sure to Make Your Due Date
In general, your payment must be made by 5 p.m. on the due date to be considered on time. Some credit card issuers may consider your payment on time if it's made by phone or internet after 5 p.m. on the due date, but the exact cutoff time varies by credit card issuer. Check with your credit card issuer for the exact cutoff time.
Avoid waiting until the last minute to make your payment. The payment cutoff time may be based on your credit card issuer's time zone.
What If You Pay Late?
If your payment is received after the cutoff time on the due date, it’s considered late and you’ll have to deal with the late payment penalties, including late payment fees and possible interest rate increases, even if your due date falls on a holiday or Sunday. That means you need to send your payment ahead of time to be sure your credit card issuer receives it by the cutoff.
Online payments can sometimes be made one day in advance (and possibly even on the due date, up until the minute before the cutoff time), depending on processing times. That helps if you know that you'll be busy on your bill's due date.
Checks and money orders should be mailed several days in advance so they will arrive and can be processed before the cutoff time. You could be charged a late fee if your credit card issuer receives your payment after the due date, even if you mailed it before the due date.
Thanks to the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act, your credit card bill is due on the same date every month. So, if your bill is due on January 5th, it will also be due on the same day of every month. That makes it much easier to keep up with your due date. Make a list of payment due dates, or set a reminder on your phone so you won’t forget to pay your bill each month.
If you have credit cards with several credit card issuers, you’ll probably have varying due dates. You can typically call to have your due date changed if you’d like to have your payments all due on the same day. Some banks allow you to change your due date online. That could make it easier to meet all your payments, but be aware of how it will affect your other bills and leftover spending money.
Paying Before the Due Date
You don't have to wait until the due date to make your payment. In fact, you should make your credit card payment before the due date, as paying your bill early can improve your credit score. It also gives you time to confirm your payment has posted to your account. If there's an issue with your credit card payment, you'll have time to make it up and avoid late payment penalties.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you change your credit card's due date?
To change your credit card's due date, you'll need to call your credit card's customer service department. Some card issuers also allow you to change your due date online or by using their mobile app. If you have a past due balance, you may need to pay that before you can change your card's due date.
What happens if you pay your credit card before the due date?
If you pay your credit card bill before the due date, you could lower your card's utilization percentage before the issuer reports to the credit bureaus. That could give your credit score a boost. Credit utilization is the amount of your available credit that's being used. For example, if you have a $3,000 balance on a card with a $10,000 limit, you're using 30% of your available credit. It's recommended to keep your balance below 30% of your card's borrowing limit. A utilization of over 30% can bring your credit score down.