Credit, Personal Finance 

Don’t Get Electronic Credit Card Statements

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How many emails have you received, meant to respond, but then forgot about? Exactly. It’s not that you don’t mean to act on them, it’s just that you had a few minutes to check your email, saw something important but couldn’t act on it right away so you put it aside. The problem is when you get the electronic statement from your credit card because when you forget to schedule a payment, it costs you money. That offer of $5 to go all electronic, while good, may be a losing proposition.

Consider that when you get a statement in the mail, it’s something tangible you can leave on your desk, so it can serve as a more physical reminder to schedule your payments. Now, if you have some sort of autopay feature that knows how much your statement balance is then you should take the $5 and run. Otherwise, just keep getting the paper statements and shred/recycle them after six months.

{ 10 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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10 Responses to “Don’t Get Electronic Credit Card Statements”

  1. andy says:

    I am much more likely to (and have done so in the past) misplace a paper statement than electronic. Until I’ve made the payment corresponding to the statement notification, the email remains unread in a folder in Thunderbird, as a reminder.

    This, coupled with setting up scheduled transactions in Quicken, has done tremendous amounts for me in terms of handling my payment schedules. I’ve found myself twice in the last 3 months rummaging through the house for a paper statement because Quicken said I was due to pay it and I thought I’d lost track of the envelope. In one case, I did find the envelope. In the other case, the credit card company just hadn’t sent it to me yet.

    It’s just too easy for me to lose track of the paperwork. My desk is small and cluttered, and I have 2 cats that think they own every square inch of surface area they can find.

  2. Rich says:

    One time management tip I’ve heard is to create folders in your email called -Action, -Reading. -Waiting For, etc. Then drag emails like credit card statements to the -Action folder. When you have time to pay bills, just look in the -Action folder.

    I’m also looking into setting up reminders in Yahoo calendar to remind me to pay bills.

  3. mbhunter says:

    Or you can set up rules in your e-mail program to shuttle the important e-mails to another folder.

  4. I’m with Andy… I misplace or forget about snail mail at least as often as e-mail.

  5. Dennis says:

    this is exactly why I flag all important emails and I’ve conditioned myself to double check any flagged emails.

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  7. Matt says:

    Honestly, the exact opposite is true for me. If it arrives by email (and isn’t from a mailing list…those are handled seperately), it is either deleted or acted-upon within 5 minutes of me first seeing it in my mailbox. But if it arrives by postal mail, it could be many months before I look at it again. Honestly, with the exception of christmas cards and items I’ve actually _ordered_, I’d probably be better off putting all my paper mail directly into the trash on arrival…it’d keep the apartment cleaner, and since all my bills are paid electronically, it wouldn’t actually impact my financial situation at all. Every few months, I go through the piles of accumulated snail mail, making extra-double-sure that nothing important is in them (nothing important ever is), and then toss them. It usually fills four or five large garbage bags, and my place is always much cleaner afterward.

  8. echidnina says:

    I disagree, Jim! Since I pay my CC bills online anyway, getting the email is a perfect reminder for me to pay my bill right then and there, from my desk. Getting a paper statement, it gets shoved aside and forgotten about for a few days. Plus, since I’m a college student and moving around a lot, most of my statements get mailed to my parents’ house instead of whatever apartment I’m living in at the time – and their mailbox is something of a black hole…

  9. Shirley says:

    I will definitely keep getting emails and paper statements for all financial matters.

    The emails are my reminders that the bill is coming up and I take care of all our finances online.

    My husband does not use a computer, so if something were to happen to me, he would be lost without the paper statements.

    I mark the paper statemnt as paid with the date and keep it until the next one is paid. Then the no longer current statement gets shredded. Only one folder, marked “Current”, no muss, no fuss.

  10. thisguy says:

    You could just pay your credit card off monthly like your supposed too and save the rest of America from the financial situation they’re in now…

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