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How do you manage paying your credit card bills while you are traveling for extended periods?

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How do you manage paying your credit card bills while you are traveling for extended periods?

Old Oct 12th, 2004, 09:41 AM
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How do you manage paying your credit card bills while you are traveling for extended periods?

How do you manage paying your credit card bills while you are traveling?

I am in the process of putting all of our regular utility bills on an automatic draft. However, I am not sure I'd want this approach for my credit card bills. I know some of you plan quite lengthy trips and was wondering how you manage paying your bills while you are away. We will be on a 24-day trip in Jan/Feb 05 and I'm working to get our financial bases covered. (By the way, we are the type who pay our credit card bills off each month to avoid interest payments.)

- Sharon
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Old Oct 12th, 2004, 09:46 AM
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My credit cards have 800 numbers on all of them. You can check your balance and see when the next payment is due by telephone.

Or you could even pre-pay your credit card bill.
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Old Oct 12th, 2004, 09:46 AM
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I have my secretary monitor and pay them, or forward them to me by Federal Express to pay. Same for other important mail.
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Old Oct 12th, 2004, 09:49 AM
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Don't know about every credit card or bank, but I believe you can authorize your credit card company to directly debit your checking account. If you're comfortable with the level of your balances and aren't worried about being in an overdraft, you can have your charge card provider set up an automatic payment from their end.

I probably should let my wife answer this because she handles the bills, but I believe we pay our AMEX bill through their website with an authorization to debt our account.



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Old Oct 12th, 2004, 09:52 AM
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I should add that you can simply have your bill paid directly by your bank as well. If you'll be somewhere with secure access to a computer, like any Kinkos in the US, then simply login to your bank's site and pay your bill.

With computers and toll-free numbers, there really are numerous ways to check or pay your bills from virtually anywhere in the world.
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Old Oct 12th, 2004, 09:53 AM
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I also pay by phone.

You could always have your bills sent to your accountants office.

Some bills you can estimate and pay in advance.
 
Old Oct 12th, 2004, 09:53 AM
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I pay pretty much all of my bills online. I have wireless roadrunner that I use at home, but I have dial-up available as well so I can use that when I'm away from home (I bring my laptop). If you don't have access to a computer easily on the road, you could have your statement faxed to your hotel and then make the payment over the phone (if you want to check your statement before you pay).
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Old Oct 12th, 2004, 09:55 AM
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When we were on a 3-month trip, I paid all my bills online. I used ATM's for cash so I also monitored my checking account balance on line regularly. It's hard to calculate your balance when withdrawing money in a foreign currency, so the ability to keep track on line was invaluable.
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Old Oct 12th, 2004, 10:03 AM
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Real low-tech:

Get phone numbers, account#, etc. ahead of time. Make copies of recent remittance coupons. Call to get balance. Mail check. Allow a few extra days, since encoding on copies of remittance coupons might need adjustments.

I like AMEX because I make the decision to pay them from my checking account, both HOW much and WHEN. I use automatic deduction on fixed amounts from my checking account, like mortgage & insurance, but I prefer to have control over the variable amounts, like credit cards. AMEX is the only cc that I've been able to do this with.

If your credit card is issued by your bank, you can probably get a little preferential treatment on account transfers, etc.
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Old Oct 12th, 2004, 10:25 AM
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I can't remember if AMEX or GM, but when I wanted to send check without receiving invoice I had to send to a different address. Might check.
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Old Oct 12th, 2004, 10:31 AM
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Easy. Transfer payment from my checking account by electronic bill pay. Internet access is easy to find in Europe. Nothing to it.
I can do it just about as well as I can when I am sitting where I am now -- in my house at my key board.
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Old Oct 12th, 2004, 10:34 AM
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I pay most of my bills automatically online through my bank, I pay Amex online through their website. I actually write very few checks anymore.
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Old Oct 12th, 2004, 10:40 AM
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I've paid my bills online for a few years now and typically go that route if I'm gone for an extended period.

I recently pre-paid my credit card bills before a trip, however, and ended up being charged a late fee on every one of them because the payment went thru before the billing cycle ending date. So, you might want to ensure with your credit card company that pre-paying will not end up netting you a late fee anyhow if the payment comes thru before the end of that month's cycle.
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Old Oct 12th, 2004, 10:43 AM
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We pay our bills in advance by check.
Those are the various telephone, cable, other utilities, mortage, car stuff etc.

The longest that we were gone was close to three months so we called some of the above and they projected, where appropriate, the estimated bill and we paid that before we left.

The mortage and car stuff are same ole bill...different month...we send those for the months we will be gone before we go.

We do not have credit cards per say except the VISA Card or Master Card that we travel with. These card companys know where we are and they for know how long...that fraud prevention thing. Having held Visa cards and Master cards for centuries through or financial folks we pay when we get back.

These cards are for travel only so our credit limits are unbelievable. Our travel budgets however, are not. When we get home hubby calls...same day...and gets what we owe. He pays that and the pending and not posted yet charges by check and that is that.

Now I have my "secret" department store credit cards but I usually pay what I owe when the bill comes each month. Many months I get no bills cause I have no purchases. It is GREAT to not have store credit card debt. Makes travelling much easier for me.

Enjoy your trip...I am sure you will tell me all about it. Haven't forgotten you I have simply beeen blessed with loads of assignments and deadlines!
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Old Oct 12th, 2004, 12:08 PM
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With most credit cards now, you can set up to check your account online. So you can log-in and see how much you owe (knowing approximately when your statement closes each month helps).

I pay all bills online with online bill pay. With Bank of America, it's free. It's easy and convenient. Once you know how much your cc bill is, you can login to your bank account and pay the bill online. You can even choose the date you want the funds to be withdrawn from your account.

If you're travelling in the US, internet access should not be a problem - there's Kinko's, libraries, hotels, etc. In Europe,Mexico, asia, you can go to the internet cafes.

If you're going to some remote place where there's absolutely no internet access, then there's always the phone. If you're going to be outside US, most if not all cc companies have a collect call number. It should be on the back of your cc or call & get the number from your cc before you leave for your vacation.

You might also want to let the cc when & where you'll be on vacation so that they do not stop your charges.

Have a great vacation!
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Old Oct 12th, 2004, 02:53 PM
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Me too, Travelcraze! BofA's online bill paying is wonderful! The ONLY bill that I can't pay online is my city water bill, and that is only because my city still thinks of itself as a small town.
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Old Oct 12th, 2004, 04:50 PM
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I didn't read the other replies, but I pay credit card bills and most other using Bill Payer--a service of Bank of America that doesn't cost me anything extra because I have a "senior" account. I make the transactions using computers in hotels, internet cafes, and libraries.
 
Old Oct 12th, 2004, 05:01 PM
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I also use my bank's online bill paying, but I'm also signed up at the websites of my credit cards (they e-mail when the statement is ready). At the credit card website, you and see your entire statement and find out the payment due date. With my bank, you can select the payment date and set payments up in advance. My paycheck is deposited directly into the money market account, where it earns a bit of interest before I transfer funds (online) to cover the bills.
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Old Oct 12th, 2004, 05:08 PM
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My credit card allows payment-by-phone to an 800 number. Call, make a payment by punching in numbers from your checks, and they deduct from your checking account. When I'm away, I call the number, it tells me my balance, and asks if I want to "pay with the same account as last payment". I push yes and it's paid.

Another thing you can do is pay in advance. If your cc card bill is $500, pay $1000 before you leave on vacation, and you will have $500 credit balance and not have to worry for a while.
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Old Oct 13th, 2004, 05:22 AM
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Hi Sharon,

How are you?

I pay all of my bills online. You can set this up ahead of time at your credit cards' websites - giving them permission to automatically withdraw the amount due from your bank account.

Or, if you will have access to the internet on your trip, sign up for the credit cards' email notification service - they'll send you an electronic bill. Then you can go to your bank's website and pay the bill from there instead, just like you would at home.

I haven't written a check to pay a bill in several years.

Have a great trip!

Karen
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