6 Reasons to Pay Your Credit Card Before the Due Date

Woman paying bills online
© Jose Luis Pelaez / The Image Bank / Getty

Making your credit card payment online gives you the ability to pay as close to the due date as you’d like, even on the due date if you want. While you do have the flexibility to hold off paying your credit card until the last minute, it’s often better to pay your credit card before the due date.

1. You’ll lower the interest you pay.

If your credit card issuer uses your daily balance to calculate your finance charges, then you benefit from making your payment earlier in the billing cycle.

The more days you have a low balance, the lower your finance charge will be.

2. It makes budgeting easier.

Paying your bills all at once rather than as they come due makes it easier to stay on budget. When you pay your bills early instead of waiting, the funds can be deducted from your bank account and you’ll have a better idea of how much discretionary spending you can do the rest of the month.

3. Free up additional credit sooner.

It can take anywhere from one day to a few days for your credit card payment to post to your account and reflect in your balance and available credit. If you need to free up some credit to make credit card purchases, paying before the due date can work in your favor.

The timing of your credit card payments is also important when it comes to the credit card balance shown on your credit report. Making your payment before the current billing cycle closes will show a lower balance on your credit report – assuming you don’t make any additional purchases before that time.

This can help boost your credit score by lowering the credit utilization used when calculating your score.

4. Lower the risk of being late.

Waiting until the due date to make your credit card payment means you’ll have to be very careful to make your payment before the cut off time. Your credit card payment may be due anywhere from 5 p.m. to midnight eastern time.

If you miss the cutoff time by even just one minute, you face late payment penalties. Paying your credit card early means you don’t have to deal with the time crunch that comes with trying to make a last minute credit card payment.

5. Save on expedited payment fees.

Many credit card issuers only accept online payments up to a certain time. After that time, you may be able to make an expedited payment over the phone, but it will typically cost you a fee. While less than a late fee, the expedited payment fee still is one you can avoid by making your credit card payment earlier in the month.

6. Give yourself peace of mind.

Perhaps one of the best benefits of paying your credit card before the due date is that you don’t have to be anxious or worry about whether you paid the bill. You don’t get the “due date jitters” or the panic that comes with trying to get your credit card payment in at the last minute.

Paying Your Credit Card Before the Due Date

If you find you continually forget to make your credit card payment until the last minute, get in the habit of paying your bills en masse monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly, depending on your pay dates. You may also be able to schedule payments via your bank’s online bill pay or directly at the credit card issuer’s website.

Be careful that you don’t make your credit card payment too early, particularly if you’re not paying in full. If you make a payment before the current billing cycle closes, without realizing that’s what you’re doing, you could mistakenly miss your next credit card payment.