This year I had to go away for military training from July 04 thru August 01. During that time, I had no access to telephone or Internet. Notice that the time period crosses the end of the month, and therefore a billing date.
Anticipating a problem, prior to leaving for training, I set up auto-pay for all three of my Bank of America Visa cards. (I’m not a big spender, it’s one card for each business and one personal.) I knew that a billing period would end on or about July 12, and by then I would be cut off from communication until after the billing due date of July 31.
When I received my cell phone and laptop back at the end of training, I noticed that Bank of America took it upon themselves to only auto-pay the minimum balance on each credit card. That worked out well for them because then they could charge me the 20+% interest on each balance. Plus, one of the payments didn’t transfer until the day after the end of the billing cycle, which meant that I was charged a late fee on top of it.
Now, since I have had a credit card, I have always paid the entire balance at the end of the month because I don’t believe in paying interest, period. However, Bank of America thought they knew what was best for me, and by me, I mean them, by only paying the minimum balance so they could then tack on a finance charge even though there was enough cash in the bank of completely cover the bill.
I ended up getting all of the fees refunded as well as the finance charges, but not before wasting an entire afternoon on the phone with two different customer service reps (because they don’t have the same customer service reps working the personal accounts as they do the business accounts.)
Guess which credit card didn’t have any problems while I was away at training – Discover.