No one likes missing due dates on bills, after all they come with late payment fees. Especially, if it's your credit card, since the late payment fee in most cases is a good few hundred rupees. Take for instance, Citibank's Platinum card charges Rs300 to Rs700 depending upon your bill amount as late payment fee.
How to roll back: Late payment fees come into the picture when you are late to make the payment.
Let's take two scenarios.
Scenario 1: Lets say, the due date for your credit card bill is 20th of the month, and on 21st you realize that you missed paying the bill. Pay the bill amount (at least the minimum amount due) as soon as possible, and there is a good chance that you won't need to pay the late payment fee. Why so? Technically the fee is charged onto the account only on the next cycle cut date, or the statement date or the next bill generation date. This is usually a few days (usually five or more) after the due date.
So, you can say, you kind of get unwritten (they don't usually tell you this) grace period between the due date and a couple of days before the cycle cute date to make the payment.
If you pay the bill during this time, the payment gets reflected on the statement, and the bank will not charge you a late payment fee.
Banks usually have this (extra grace for payment) period at the back of their mind, since they know that many make cheque payments on the due date, and a cheque would take a few days to reach the bank. Check your credit card statement for the cycle cut date.
Scenario 2: Even when the bank has charged a late payment fee on your credit card statement due to delay in payment from your side, you can still get it rolled back. All you have to do is make a call to the banks' costumer service center and ask the voice on the other side, for late payment fee roll back, as a "one time goodwill gesture".
Banks' customer service representatives have authority to offer this goodwill gesture. If they refuse, insist to talk to the team leader. You will be surprised to know how often this works. After all, who wouldn't mind saving 700 odd rupees with a two minute phone call.
Keep in mind, that this is not your right, and bank would roll back the fee as a gracious gesture. So, don't make use of the trick, too often, or they might not entertain such a request on repetitive basis.
Finally, if you are perpetually late on paying your credit card, use your smart phone to set reminders, or choose the auto-pay facility on your credit card, wherein a fixed amount gets automatically transferred towards the credit card bill from your savings account on your card due date.
However, we suggest the former and not the latter. Now, that you know how to avoid a late payment and even roll back the late payment fee on credit card, make the most of this info.
And do keep tracking this space for more credit cards tips. Next we will tell you how you could lose your home, if you don't pay your card bill.
more in Investing