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Things got away from me a bit this past month. By the time I sat down to pay our bills, it was too late for our bank’s bill pay system to get our Driver’s Edge payment in before the due date. No problem, I thought… I’ll just use their Click-to-Pay service. I actually signed up for Click-to-Pay awhile back when I was in a similar situation but ended up being unable to use it at that point, as they didn’t allow payments of greater than $499 during the “enrollment period.” Anyway, since I signed up so long ago, I figured that I should be safely outside of the enrollment period, and that I should be good to go this time around. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
As it turns out, Citi has now raised the maximum payment for new Click-to-Pay users from $499 to $1,000 (this is a good thing). However, they’ve also changed their terms such that this limit applies to your first payment, rather than only being in force during the mythical “enrollment period” (this is a bad thing). You then have to wait 15 days before you can make an additional payment (from that point on the only limit is one payment per day, but you can do whatever amount you want).
Since I never completed a payment when I first signed up, I was caught between a rock and a hard place. It was too late to mail in a payment or use my bank’s bill pay, and our bill was too big to pay in full using Click-to-Pay. What was particularly annoying about this situation was that we’ve never carried a balance, and thus never paid a dime of interest, on any of our credit cards. Not even by accident.
What to do? I decided that I’d bite the bullet, and pay the fee to make an instant payment by phone (it’s something like $14.95, but that would have been cheaper than carrying a balance this month). So I called them up and was told that the phone payment are subject to the same limits as online payments, so I couldn’t take care of this over the phone, either. BUT… The CSR offered to transfer me to someone in their internet department who could pull the necessary strings such that I could pay in full. Awesome. Except that the internet person told me that the original CSR was mistaken, and that there was no way to circumvent the limits. BUT… She offered to move my due date back by five days, such that my bank payment would make it in time. She further suggested that I go ahead and make the $1,000 payment to unlock the the Click-to-Pay functionality, and then pay the difference from our bank. Good advice. So good, in fact, that I also made a small Click-to-Pay payment on our other Citi card just to protect against this problem in the future.
Bottom line: If you have a Citi card, go ahead and make a small payment via Click-to-Pay just to unlock the full functionality. That way it’ll be there for you when you need it.
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