23 Jan Credit Card Late Payment Charges? Do This!
Pay your balances on time and in full. I tell people all the time that this is an essential piece of the credit card rewards game and the key to achieving maximum value.
And yet, while I have advised others over and over, it seems that I have forgotten my own advice…
I forgot to pay my credit card!
And right on cue, American Express charged me a late fee of $27! So, what did I do? Panicked, of course! Man how I love a good panic session…
Once that was over, it was time to take action! I wasn’t about to take this $27 hit lying down (literally) – I was going to get up and fight!
Pay the Bill!
Before you do anything, pay the bill! I missed the payment and I was in the wrong, but by paying the balance as soon as I realized my error, it will display my good faith to the credit card issuer. It is this good faith that I will then use in my negotiation of the late fee…
Contact the Card Issuer
Call, email, chat – whatever you prefer, as long as you get ahold of someone that can assist. My missed payment was with American Express, who happen to have a wonderful chat feature, and I was able to leverage that function to immediately get in touch with a representative who would hear my plead for mercy!
Don’t make excuses, but explain the situation. In my case, I was traveling for work and simply forgot what day it was! We are all human (enter recaptcha here to evidence your level of humanity) and sometimes life gets in the way!
Despite the common misconception, credit card companies are not out to get you. Believe it or not, credit card companies are in the “people” business and depend on working relationships with their cardholders in order to operate. Accordingly, they will go to great lengths to keep good customers!
In my case, American Express saw my good payment history and recognized that my missed payment was a fluke! They forgave the charged late fee that and immediately issued a credit for the full fee amount, which appeared on my account the next day!
Always pay your credit card bills on time and in full!
If and when you screw up, as I did, don’t sweat it! Pay that late bill ASAP and contact your card issuer for a late fee waiver!
May the odds be ever in your favor my friends!